Closing the gap with ‘Nova

The men’s and women’s track and field teams won eight individual events at Saturday’s Jack Pyrah Invitational. Host Villanova won 16 events total.

The men’s and women’s track and field teams won eight individual events at Saturday’s Jack Pyrah Invitational. Host Villanova won 16 events total.

KRISTON BETHEL TTN Senior Alex Schiavi hangs in mid-air as he competes in the long jump during the track and field team’s first spring invitational Saturday at Haverford College.

As the winter’s first snow fell outside, the men’s and women’s track and field teams opened their indoor seasons Saturday with the Jack Pyrah Invitational at Haverford College. Villanova hosted the event, named for Villanova’s retired Hall of Fame track and field coach Jack Pyrah.

Of the eight individual victories the Owls took home, Temple coach Eric Mobley said he “was very happy with how [the teams] performed.”

The men’s team picked up five individual victories, including a meet record from senior sprinter and jumper Tim Boeni, who had a long jump of 7.11 meters.

The Owls also picked up victories from senior hurdler and jumper Josue Louis in the 55-meter hurdles, sophomore distance runner Travis Mahoney in the 3000-meter run, junior thrower Bob Keogh in the men’s weight throw with a toss of 17.81 meters and junior Brian Smith in the pole vault.

“Picking up five individual victories is a good way to start the season for our men’s squad,” Mobley said.

The women’s team captured three individual victories Saturday.

The Owls dominated the weight throw competition, as they claimed the top four places. Sophomore throwers Allana Owens, Ebony Moore, Brittany Weston and Amber Moore led the charge, with Owen recording the best throw at 14.89 meters. Owens also won the shot put with a toss of 13.25 meters.
Senior jumper Sequoia McBall wrapped up the first-place finishes with a victory in the triple jump with a jump of 11.40 meters.

Senior jumper and hurdler Brittney McRae held the women’s long jump record as of last year, but this year, she finished second behind Saint Joseph senior Erin Vandenhoof with a jump of 5.19 meters, .6 meters behind last year’s mark. Junior Paris Williams broke her personal best in the 300-meter, as did junior Assata Cowart in the 1,000-meter, but both sprinters finished third in their events. The Owls placed two teams in the Top 3 in the 4×400-meter relay, including an all-freshman team that came in second.

“Our women’s team played really well,” Mobley said. “It was a great way to start the season.”
There’s improvement in the Owls’ results: Last year, they came away with seven individual victories at the Jack Pyrah Invitational.

Host Villanova led the event with 16 individual victories – eight for the men and eight for the women.
“We aren’t quite to Villanova yet, but we are closing the gap,” Mobley said. “Our main focus is on getting better in-conference. Hopefully, that’s where we will see all the hard work in the offseason pay off.”

The Owls will have the chance to get back at the Villanova squad when they compete in the Villanova Invite March 27.

The men’s and women’s track and field teams compete again Jan. 15 in the Gotham Cup in New York City.

Ryan Rosengrant can be reached at

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