What a difference five years can make or even just two months.
The Muhlenberg womens track and field team won its first conference
championship ever by
capturing the 2005 Centennial Conference outdoor title at home at Scotty
Wood Stadium. The Mules had come close at the indoor meet, taking a slim
lead into the final event before settling for second place by 2½
points to host Dickinson.
Both achievements were remarkable for a team that finished ninth out of 10
teams at the 2000 CC Championships, both indoors and outdoors.
The Muhlenberg men finished second indoors and third outdoors, placing in
the top three in both for the fourth time in five years. They ended their
season on an individual high note, as senior John Brodowski earned
All-America honors by finishing fourth in the decathlon at the NCAA
Indoors and outdoors, women and men, the Mules combined to break or tie 37
school records, win 11 CC gold medals and qualify six athletes for the
With a much-improved home facility to practice in every day, the
Muhlenberg teams had a big advantage
over previous years for the indoor season. The Mules hosted their first
two indoor meets in Deitrich Field House, sweeping Ursinus and DeSales in
a triangular and holding a pentathlon.
Hankee broke her own school record in the 110-meter
high hurdles three of the last four times she ran the event. Her best time
of 14.87 met the NCAA provisional qualifying standard.
At the CC Indoor Championships, the Muhlenberg women were 14 points behind
Dickinson after the first day, but survived a tumultuous second day in
which junior Danielle Seiler won the 400 meters, then had the
victory taken away on a protest, then restored on appeal, to take a
14-point lead with three events to go.
Dickinson came back, however, thanks to a strong showing in the 5,000
meters, and trailed by just a half-point heading into the 4x400-meter
relay. When the Red Devils crossed the finish line two places ahead of the
Mules, they had their championship.
Seiler had a part in the Mules only other gold medal of the meet,
running the anchor leg of the 4x200-meter relay team that finished first
in school-record time. The other members were seniors Ashlie Hankee
and Danielle Bovelle and freshman Jenna Lombardi.
Brodowski finished his career as the holder of nine
school records. He increased the school record in the decathlon from 4,714
to a CC-record 6,818.
The mens team was on the opposite end of a close finish, only this
was for second place behind perennial champion Haverford. A third-place
showing in the 4x400 gave Muhlenberg second place by a half-point over
A week after the CC Championships, Muhlenberg sent its largest contingent
ever to the ECAC
Championships, where the women tied for 11th and the men tied for 16th,
both reaching all-time highs in points. The mens 4x800-meter relay
team of senior Christopher Martin, sophomore Lex Mercado,
senior Calvin Tintle and sophomore Stephen Rothwell took
first place, shattering the school record by almost 10 seconds and
breaking St. Lawrences Newell Field House record.
The outdoor season was abbreviated by the weather, as the first two
scheduled meets were cancelled. The Mules sent their entire team to only
four meets prior to the conference championships, but the women, who took
first place in the small-college division at the Delaware Invitational,
Considering the closeness of the indoor meet and the previous two outdoor
championships (both won by Gettysburg by a total of five points), there
was every reason to expect another competition that would go down to the
wire. But Muhlenberg ran a near-perfect meet, placing an athlete in the
top three in 15 of 21
events, to unseat Gettysburg by a whopping 33½ points.
Junior Karen Mount broke or contributed to six school
records and won five silver medals at the two CC meets in 2005.
Seiler was named Most Outstanding Performer for track events after winning
both the 400 meters and the 400-meter hurdles for the second year in a
row. She set school records in both, as well as with the second-place
4x100-meter relay. Seiler ultimately earned her second straight trip to
the NCAA Championships in the hurdles.
Senior Meghan Douglas-Snyder and sophomore Sarah Mitchell
also were repeat winners. Douglas-Snyder won the pole vault for the fourth
time in her career, matching her own school record. Mitchell won her
second straight gold in the javelin, reaching the NCAA provisional
Senior Jenna Belisonzi, in her first season running track at
Muhlenberg, effectively slammed the door on the championship by winning
the 5,000 meters. Earlier in the meet, she provisionally qualified for
NCAAs the first time she ran the 10,000 meters.
Although the men were edged out by Ursinus for second place, they also had
an outstanding meet, particularly their two senior decathletes. Harry
Kegelman won the decathlon, coming back from fifth place after the
first day and 120 points down heading into the final event.
Brodowski didnt run the decathlon at the CC meet, but it seemed like
he was in everything else. He placed in seven events to earn Most
Outstanding Performer honors for field events for the second time in his
career. Brodowski became only the fifth athlete in CC history to win three
events, capturing the high jump, 110 hurdles and javelin while also
placing second in the long jump, third in the 400 hurdles and fourth in
the pole vault. He set school records in both hurdle events and ran the
anchor leg of the 4x100 relay team that also broke a school record.
Brodowski earned his third straight trip to the NCAA meet in the
decathlon, and after finishing no higher than 13th the previous two times,
he went out on top, coming in fourth. Along the way, he long jumped 22
feet, 7 inches to tie the oldest school record in the book, set by Ben
Hubbard in 1916.