ON CAMPUS: Dunchack still adding to medal collection
• EDITOR’S NOTE: On Campus features graduates of area high schools who are performing athletically in college, and it appears weekly during the school year. If you know of someone who could be featured here, contact Mirza Zukic by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (724) 465-5555, ext. 267.
Apparently, Janae Dunchack likes setting the bar high. After all, it’s all she knows.
The former four-time PIAA Class AA champion in the high jump during her time at Northern Cambria High School, Dunchack has compiled a similarly impressive résumé during her collegiate career at prestigious Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. And as time winds down on her collegiate career, Dunchack is making sure nobody forgets about her anytime soon.
Competing at her final Ivy League Indoor Track and Field Championships on March 1, Dunchack won her fourth straight pentathlon title to become just the second Ivy Leaguer ever to do that and the first since Brown’s Lindsay Taylor did it from 1998 to 2001. She was named to the All-Ivy first team in the pentathlon.
Dunchack also took second in the long jump at the Ivy League Championships and was named to the All-Ivy second team in the event.
Her 3,895 points in the pentathlon ranks as the fourth-highest total in Ivy League Championships history, and she also holds the second-highest total with the 3,940 points she piled up as a junior in 2013.
One of the most challenging disciplines in track and field, the pentathlon is a five-event endurance test consisting of the 800-meter run, the high and long jumps, the shot put and the 60-meter hurdles.
IUP TRACK AND FIELD: A half-dozen local products, including one Division I transfer, compete for the IUP track and field teams. They include four distance runners, a thrower and sprinter/hurdler.
• JACKIE BEISEL: A senior distance runner, Beisel primarily runs the 800- and 1,500-meter races during the outdoor season, and she’s a regular on the Crimson Hawks’ 1,600 relay.
Running her first competitive 800 of the outdoor season, she placed fifth out of 59 runners with a time of 2:23.67 in IUP’s most recent competition, the Millersville Metrics last weekend. Including the indoor season, it was her third top-10 individual finish this season.
A Penns Manor graduate, she also took eighth in the 800 at the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Indoor Championships with a 2:22.10 and fifth in the mile run at the Spire Challenge on Feb. 7 with a 5:13.01.
A week before that, Beisel ran a career-best time of 2:20.19 in the 800 at the Penn State National Invitational on Feb. 1.
At the PSAC Championships in early March, Beisel also ran legs on IUP’s 3,200 and 1,600 relays as well as the fourth-place distance medley relay.
Beisel also ran cross country for IUP.
• LIZ CUNNINGHAM: A sophomore hurdler/sprinter, Cunningham is enjoying a solid season, having set personal-bests in her two primary events.
A Northern Cambria graduate, she is coming off a third-place finish in the 400 hurdles (1:07.89) at last weekend’s Millersville Metrics. A week earlier, she ran two career-best times at the first meet of the outdoor season, the Raleigh Relays, posting a 1:06.81 in the 400 hurdles and a 1:00.88 in the 400 dash.
As a freshman last season, Cunningham ran 200- and 400-meter dashes during the indoor season, but turned her focus exclusively during the spring season to the 400 hurdles, and outdoor only event.
This season, she has competed in the 200, 60 and 100 hurdles, and she’s run on the 1,600 relay three times, but her main events remain the 400 hurdles and 400.
• LAUREN LYONS: A senior long distance runner, Lyons made her outdoor season debut two weeks ago at the Raleigh Relays with an 11th-place finish and a career-best time of 38:53.07 in the grueling 10,000-meter run.
During the indoor season, she competed in the 3,000 and 5,000 and qualified for the PSAC Championships in both events. At the conference meet, she ran career-best times in both events, with a 10:41.58 in the 3,000 and an 18:36.17 in the 5,000.
The highlight of her indoor season came at the Spire Challenge on Feb. 8, when she posted a second-place finish in the 5,000 in 18:42.76.
An Indiana graduate, Lyons also ran cross country at IUP and was part of the team that finished third at the Atlantic Region Championships and qualified for the NCAA Championships last fall.
• RAY OFMAN: A junior distance runner, Ofman competed in his first meet of the season—outdoor or indoor—two weeks ago at the Raleigh Relays, running a 15:28.78 in the 5,000.
Before that, the last time he put on an IUP tanktop was in September in his only race of the cross country season. Ofman had been battling injuries since then and missed the indoor track season.
He is a graduate of United.
• JESSICA ROCCO: A senior thrower, Rocco is listed on the roster but she has not competed in any meets yet this season.
Last year, in her first season at IUP after transferring from Pitt, she had a dominant outdoor season during which she racked up six top-10 finishes, including second place in the javelin at the PSAC Championships, and qualified for the NCAA Championships in the javelin.
Rocco is a Northern Cambria graduate.
• BECKY WILSON: Another distance runner, Wilson posted a career-best time of 20:15.60 in the 5,000 last weekend at the Millersville Metrics, her first outdoor meet of the season.
An Indiana graduate, she specializes in the 3,000 and 5,000, and she’s set career bests in both events this year.
During the indoor season, at the Kent State Tune-Up on Feb. 22, she ran an 11:54.43 in the 3,000 for her first career race of under 12 minutes. Between the indoor and outdoor seasons, Wilson has competed in four meets this year.
A sophomore, Wilson is also a member of the cross country team.
GABRIELLE PIZUR (Penn State Altoona, basketball): A Northern Cambria graduate, Pizur was selected to the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference All-Sportsmanship women’s basketball team, as voted by her teammates and peers and released on Monday.
During her freshman season, Pizur appeared in 16 games for the Lions (7-18) and averaged 5.3 minutes, 1.3 points and 0.9 rebounds per game.