SELINSGROVE, Pa. – The University of Scranton men's track & field team kicked off the 2018-19 indoor season with a strong performance at the River Hawks Opener hosted by Susquehanna on Friday as the Royals totaled six top-10 finishes on the day.
"The team had a great meet today and I'm quite pleased how we performed," said head coach Ozzie Brown. "We are already way ahead compared to last year and I know we have much more in the tank. I'm looking forward to where we will be at the end of the season."
Senior Mark Merli (Peckville, Pa./Valley View) led the Royals by finishing third in the long jump with a leap of 6.28 meters.
Freshman Nicholas Socci (Woodbury, N.Y./Syosset) was sixth in the 800-meter run after crossing the finish line in 2:13.97 while fellow freshman Phil Cocco (Hughestown, Pa./Pittston Area) took eighth in the shot put with a toss of 11.95 meters.
Sophomore Zachary Mead (Montrose, Pa./Montrose) also logged a top-10 result, finishing ninth in the mile run after clocking in at 4:43.26.
In relay events, the Royals placed third in the 1600 sprint medley as freshman Alexander Schwabe (Doylestown, Pa./Archbishop Wood), sophomore T.J. Toles (Freeport, N.Y./Chaminade), freshman Alexander Belotte (Elmont, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial), and freshman Ryan Maguire (Chester Springs, Pa./Bishop Shanahan) combined for a time of 3:58.23.
In the same event, Socci, junior Keyser Leepier (Scranton, Pa./Scranton), senior Connor Sharp (Gaithersburg, Md./Gonzaga College H.S.), and freshman Alexander Badman (Yardley, Pa./Conwell Egan Catholic) earned a fifth-place finish with a mark of 4:01.24.
Scranton will now enjoy the holiday and semester break before next competing on Saturday, January 26 when the Royals travel to Lehigh for the John Covert Classic in Bethlehem, Pa.