HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Saint Joseph’s men’s track and field squad recorded four individual wins and a relay victory at the season-opening Jack Pyrah Invitational, hosted by Villanova at Haverford College’s Alumni Field House on Saturday afternoon. Senior Eddison Gulama (500m), junior Steve Thompson (800m), sophomore John Podles (mile), and freshman Derrick Stephenson (high jump) claimed individual titles while the group of junior David Henderson, senior captain Kevin Barry, junior Barren McCoy, and junior Kenny Evely won the 4x400m relay. The Hawks raced against La Salle, Villanova, Cheyney, Swarthmore and the Moore Elite Track Club in the unscored meet. 

Upon posting of conversion times, Gulama and McCoy both met IC4A qualification in the 500m, while the Hawks' 4x400m relay's converted time also meets the IC4A standard.

Gulama won the 500m in a time of 1:05.98, edging out McCoy (1:06.01) in the same heat as the duo finished first and second, respectively, in a field of 13.

Coming in off of a year in which SJU’s 4x400m relay reached the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds down in Jacksonville, Fla., excitement is high for the event. With two of those legs graduated and the third leg, senior captain Torey Doaty, out for Saturday’s meet, Henderson was the lone returner from last year’s group on Saturday afternoon.

It didn’t matter. 

Henderson posted a strong 48.8 split from the blocks to lead off, followed by Barry (51.8), McCoy (50.9), and Evely (50.4) as the Hawks claimed the 4x400m relay title by over a full second to defeat Villanova’s ‘A’ group in 3:22.13.

Thompson crossed the finish line of the 800m in 1:57.58 to edge out teammates Brandon Ossont (1:58.57 PR) and Dan Ferraiolo (1:58.71) for the individual win as the trio took the top three spots in the event. 

The Hawks also claimed the top three finishes in the mile, as Podles won the event in 4:27.66 and freshmen Harrison Morris (4:30.22) and Joey Angelina (4:32.15) followed up in second and third place, respectively.

In his collegiate debut, Stephenson posted a high jump mark of 1.89m (6' 2.25") to edge out La Salle junior Kenneth Worthington (1.86m), who has placed second at the meet twice in the last three years. Also in his collegiate debut, sophomore high jumper Alec Arena placed third (1.86m).

Junior Dave Garton cruised to his fastest 1000m since January of 2015, clocking in at 2:32.78 to finish as the top collegiate runner, and third overall. Sophomore Dylan Eddinger (2:33.25) and senior captain Jack Magee (2:35.41) rounded out the top three collegiate finishers.

Sophomore Sean Princivalle led a trio of Hawks in the 3000m, checking in with a fifth-place finish in 9:14.92. 

SJU was led by freshmen in all three jump events, as freshman triple jumper Eron Swan placed fourth (12.33m, 40’ 5.5”) and freshman long jumper Bruce Howard checked in at 11th (5.79m, 19’ 0”).

Saint Joseph's will return to action in the new year when the Hawks travel to the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex for the Wagner Collegiate Invitational in Staten Island, N.Y. on Friday, January 6. 

MEET NOTES: Sophomores Alec Arena (High Jump, 1.86m) and Alex Karam (500m, 1:10.23) and freshmen Joey Angelina (Mile, 4:32.15), Will Davies (300m, 37.56 and 4x400m Relay), Jacob Feiertag (4x400m Relay), Riley Hannan (Mile, 4:41.73), Bruce Howard (Long Jump, 5.79m), Aaron Lemma (4x400m Relay), Harrison Morris (Mile, 4:30.22), Justin Moscoe (4x400m Relay), Colin Parker (4x400m Relay), Christian Roberts (Mile, 4:41.37), Trae’ Robinson (500m, 1:08.72 and 4x400m Relay), Tristen Shoemaker (4x400m Relay), Derrick Stephenson (High Jump, 1.86m), and Eron Swan (Long Jump, 5.69m and Triple Jump, 12.33m) made their collegiate track and field debuts.