Prebola sets javelin record at Penn Relays, Warabak places second at Covert Classic

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Lafayette found overall success at the Covert Classic last weekend. (Photo courtesy of GoLeopards)

This weekend, the track and field team attended both the Men’s Penn Relays in Philadelphia and the Covert Classic in Bethlehem, Pa. The weekend was highlighted on the men’s side by senior Billy Prebola, whose javelin throw of 218′ 10″ placed first of 24 competitors in the college division and set the Lafayette javelin record. On the women’s side, senior hurdler Jill Warabak earned second place in the 100 meter hurdles at the Covert Classic.

“[My teammates] were very excited and happy for me which meant a lot,” Prebola wrote in an email. “I train with them everyday and they push me to want to do better.” 

Prebola broke Ethan Blose’s throw record of 217’10”, set nearly two decades ago in 2003.

“I was just trying to hit some good positions and use Penn as a stepping stone for this upcoming week,” Prebola wrote. “I wasn’t chasing a number because when you do that, everything will go down the drain.”

After Prebola’s Bucknell meet two weeks ago, he was determined to improve his form. 

“I realized I needed to hold my block leg a little longer and stay back a split second longer before I released the javelin. I just kept picturing that in my head all week before the Penn Relays,” Prebola wrote. “It was a great feeling to break the record, but I could not have done it without the support of [Track and Field Head] Coach [Michele] Curcio, my family, teammates, and friends.”

Prebola was not the only Leopard who found success this past weekend as other members of the track and field team attended the Covert Classic.

Sophomore Sean Hamilton won the 3,000 meter steeplechase in a time of 9:49.95. Senior Autumn Sands and junior Bobby Oehrlein placed second in the 1,500 meters, crossing the line at 4:43.73 and 3:59.15 respectively. 

Warabak ran the 100 meter hurdles in 14.81 seconds, earning second place. To find success between the lanes, Warabak emphasizes visualization techniques she’s used since high school. 

“Beforehand I take a few minutes to just stand by the blocks, close my eyes and visualize the race,” Warabak said, “I pretend that I’m about to win some huge race like the Olympics.”

Warabak, in her final season of her college career, explained how fast each meet truly is.

“You have to take a moment to breathe and slow down because you don’t want your downtime to be when you’re in the blocks. Instead, that’s the time I remind myself, ‘you got this’,” Warabak said.

Competing in dual meets during the outdoor track season is rare, but rivalry Patriot League schools like Lafayette and Lehigh are an exception. 

“The rivalry definitely comes into play; when we’re at the meet we are butting heads, we wouldn’t even look at each other,” Warabak said.

However, when both teams face off in larger invitationals there is a sense of community between the Leopards and Mountain Hawks. 

“We’re chatting and having fun, it’s good to see them, since you’ve been running with them for four years it’s nice to see each other improve,” Warabak said, “It’s good to have the friendship and rivalry.”

In the jumps, the Leopards finished in the top eight consistently. Highlighting these top-eight finishes for Lafayette was junior Caity McTernan’s third place finish in the javelin with a throw with a mark of 118′ 6″.

In the long jump, triple jump and high jump the Leopards placed sixth across the board. The long jumpers were junior Claire Fedor (17′ 2″) and senior Oscar Jopp (20′ 13/4″). Freshman Quinn Curtin (42′ 6″) competed in the triple jump, while Isaiah Moore (20′ 13/4″) competed in the high jump.

Both the women and men took third place in pole vault thanks to efforts from freshmen Julia Greeley (11′ 13/4″) and Jack Lynett (14′ 31/4″).

Senior Harrison Greenhill placed third in the shot put (53′ 81/4″), and junior Andrew Swiniarski placed seventh in the hammer throw (159′ 6″). 

In the discus, juniors Fischer Biggs (145′ 2″) and Andrew Bowsher (141′ 6″) finished sixth and seventh respectively.  

Looking forward, Prebola and Warabak will compete at the Patriot League Outdoor Championships today and tomorrow at Navy.

Warabak will be running two relays (4×100, 4×400) and the 100m hurdles. 

“My goal is to focus on my own race. The harder you push the slower you can get,” Warabak said. “I just have to run my race in trials to make it to finals.”

Each Patriot league team sends a limited number of athletes to the Patriot League tournaments.

“I know if my form improves, the number will come,” Prebola wrote. “I believe we have a great team and they have put in a lot of work and I’m excited to see what we can accomplish this weekend.”