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The Hawks were determined to stand out this weekend at the Lennox Invitational.

Tighten those spikes and gather your throwing equipment because the Crimson Hawks are back. The team traveled to PSAC rival Slippery Rock University for the Bill Lennox Invite on Saturday. It was the second time this season they traveled to Slippery Rock.

Although there was not an individual winner, the team collected three second-place finishes. The meet was not scored, but it served as a motivational boost with many top-five finishes.

A big standout was in the women’s 800-meter race. The Crimson Hawks finished second and third with Paige Wess (sophomore, nursing) finishing with a time of 2:26.55, which was 0.07 faster than her teammate Tori James (freshman, nursing) with a time of 2:26.62.

Wess has been one of the standouts for the Crimson Hawks, who is competing in the first outdoor season of her career after last season's cancelation.

“I think for not competing in about a year, and for it being my first collegiate outdoor track season I have performed well, but I’m not fully satisfied just yet,” Wess said.

Although she has had several top finishes in the 800-meter this season Wess still wants to improve her time.

“I would definitely like to cut a few seconds off my 800 time, so hopefully I can make that happen before the season ends,” she said.

This kind of motivation is exactly what is needed as the season winds down. Having a teammate like James, who can run next to Wess, will be important as well when it comes to meets that score team points. They are two names to keep an eye out for in the 800-meter.

The track team also had Brianna Herr (senior, food and nutrition) finish in second place during the 5000-meter race. She finished with a time of 19:28.65.

Saturday was the first meet that IUP competed in the 3000-meter steeplechase. On the women’s side was Emma Grace Alexy (sophomore, natural science biology) who finished seventh with a time of 13:37.32.

James and Wess were not the only Crimson Hawks to finish back-to-back as Cahsia Page (freshman, fashion and interior design) and Cassidy Kline (freshman, safety sciences) finished ninth and 10th respectfully.

Finally on the women’s side was Haley Dodson (freshman, history), who collected her first career top-five finish with a 38.12-foot throw-in shotput. That throw was good for fifth overall.

Heading over to the men’s team where Sam Lenze (senior, biochemistry) led the way in the 3000-meter steeplechase. He finished in second with a time of 9:57.49. Soon after Lenze was Nate Kuntz (freshman, kinesiology health and sports science) finishing in fourth with a time of 10:31.39.

Freshmen continued to dominate the day for the Crimson Hawks with Marco Cardone (freshman, political science) finishing fourth in the 5000-meter with a time of 15:44.90.

Yet another duo had a top-five finish, this time in the high jump. Jayden Thomas (sophomore, marketing) and Trejon Turner (freshman, finance and legal studies) finished tied for fifth after clearing 6.10 feet.

Justin Jones (graduate student, mathematical and computer sciences) continued his solid season in the 1500-meter. His 4:14.31 time was good enough for fifth place overall.

Gregg Taylor (junior, kinesiology health and sports science) continued the day for the throwers finishing sixth in discus. His best throw was 132.45 feet.

Back on the track, IUP’s Ethan Ribelin (freshman, management) finished ninth in the 5000-meter with a time of 16:11.31. Addison Singleton (sophomore, finance) ran a 16.61 in the 110-meter hurdles, which was good for ninth. Finally, was Mitch Chunta (sophomore, psychology), who finished 10th in the 800-meters with a time of 2:02.83.

Next on tap for the track and field team is the Paul Kaiser Classic on Saturday in Shippensburg. The week after they will be back locally as they will travel to the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown for the Pitt-Johnstown Invitational.

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