Track and Field 2012 Season Review


One of the best ever for Muhlenberg track and field reached the finish line of his career in 2012, while others just out of the starting blocks established themselves as future cornerstones of the program.

Peter Rice
Rice set a school record with his 19 CC gold medals; the next-most by a Muhlenberg male is nine. He also won five silvers and four bronzes.
The men finished fourth and the women seventh at the Centennial Conference Championships both indoors and outdoors, combining for a total of 10 gold medals.

Seven of the golds came courtesy of the fleet feet of senior Peter Rice, who repeated as Most Outstanding Performer at the CC indoor meet. He finished his incredible career with 19 CC gold medals and eight school records to his credit.

As Rice was adding to his collection of gold medals, others were starting theirs. Freshman Tyler Bauer won the javelin at the CC outdoor meet, and senior Kimberlee Yalango finally won her first gold with the indoor 4x800 relay after earning four silvers during her career.

And although she didn’t win a gold medal, junior Samantha Mayden qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 5,000 meters, wrapping up a successful year in which she also ran in the national cross country meet.

Mayden won both the 1,000 meters and the mile at the Lafayette-Rider games, held at the Armory in New York a day before the Millrose Games and two weeks prior to the CC Championships. Her time in the 1,000 (2:58.69) broke the former school record of 3:07.16 – held by a three-time NCAA qualifier – by almost nine seconds.

Michael Baer
In addition to his gold with the 4x400, Baer was a placewinner in the 60 hurdles and high jump indoors and the decathlon outdoors. He was named to the Academic All-District team for the second year in a row and was a co-valedictorian of the Class of 2012.

Two other school records fell that night. Yalango teamed up with classmate Nicolette Miller, junior Erica Bash and sophomore Nicki Cronin to break the school and CC records in the 4x800. And Rice joined with senior Kyle Sullivan and sophomores Andrew Onimus and Jake Ullmann to set a new standard in the 4x400.

The women’s 4x800 team repeated its effort at the CC meet, giving Yalango her gold and the women’s program just its second in a relay. Mayden earned a silver in the mile.

Rice won a school-record four golds at the CC indoor meet, defending his titles in the 200 and 400 and also anchoring the 4x200 and 4x400 relays. He set a meet record in the 400 and combined with Sullivan, junior Isaiah Vaughn and sophomore Jeff Reinhart to break the school and CC records in the 4x200.

Onimus, Ullmann and senior Michael Baer were Rice’s teammates on the 4x400 as the Mules won the event for the third year in a row.

Vaughn added two medals in open events, a silver in the 60 and a bronze in the 200. Senior Marc Brookland (triple jump) and junior Ryan Hellings (pole vault) also won bronze medals.

Although they didn’t qualify for the NCAA Championships, the women’s distance medley relay team of Cronin, Bash, Mayden and freshman Kirsten Kuchera knocked more than 11 seconds off the school record at the Columbia Last Chance Qualifier.

Mayden was the first Muhlenberg athlete to break a school record outdoors, shattering the mark in the 5,000 meters by more than seven seconds at the Bucknell Distance Night.

4x800 relay
Yalango and Miller (first and second from left) were the only seniors on a very young women’s team to score points at the CC Championships.
Two weeks later, the men achieved a program milestone when Rice, Onimus, Ullmann and sophomore Darnell Davis won the MAC/Centennial 4x400 at The Penn Relays. It was the first Penn Relays title for Muhlenberg since 1943.

The quartet struck gold the following weekend at the CC Outdoor Championships, setting a school record. Davis and Rice also contributed to a school record in the 4x100, teaming up with Sullivan and Vaughn for the Mules’ fourth straight gold in the event.

Bauer’s first-place performance in the javelin came on his final throw, making him the first Mule freshman to win an individual event at the CC outdoor meet. It was Muhlenberg’s first gold in the javelin since 2005.

Sullivan (100), Rice (200) and Hellings (pole vault) won silver medals, while Vaughn (100)and senior David Kurtis (400 hurdles) took home bronzes.

The lone gold for the women at the CC outdoor meet came from sophomore Erin Saucier, who captured the pole vault for the second time in her career.

Junior Tara Keegan won bronze medals in the javelin and heptathlon, as did sophomore Stephanie Carnevale in the 100 hurdles. The 4x800 team, anchored by Mayden, came in second.

When Mayden was selected to run in the NCAA Championships at Claremont, Calif., it marked the 11th time in 12 years that the Muhlenberg program was represented at the national meet. Seeded 22nd in the 5,000, she finished 18th.