McKeesport, PA. – With the winter sports season in full swing and the Christmas break upon us, the Penn State Greater Allegheny Athletics Department is excited to introduce a new program for the first time in 2019. When the athletics season heats back up again on January 7th 2019, PSUGA will welcome the brand-new Track & Field team into their first season of competition.
The team was originally created in the fall of 2017, but had to be postponed for a year while recruiting efforts were made to gain interest for the team. PSUGA brought in a strong recruiting class of five talented freshman and gained interest from the campus community creating the layout for this season’s team.
Leading the group of newcomers is sophomore sprinter Eladia Kennedy (Pittsburgh, PA./Imani Christian Academy). Kennedy transferred to PSUGA from Geneva College where she participated in Track & Field. Kennedy participated in the 100, 200, and 400 meter dash and was a regular competitor for the Golden Tornadoes. She finished the 2017-2018 season at the 2018 Great Lakes Final Qualifying Meet where she performed in the 100 m dash posting a time of 13.16 which was good for 11th place.
Joining Kennedy on this year’s team are freshman Jalen Bolger (Philadelphia, PA./Philadelphia Electrical Technician Charter HS), James Plez (Philadelphia, Pa./Northeast HS), and Davin Manfredi (Pleasant Hills, PA./Thomas Jefferson HS).
Manfredi comes from Thomas Jefferson high school where he was a three-sport athlete playing football and basketball as well as being a member of the track & field team. He was a three-year captain for the Jaguars and ranks top-ten all-time in school history in the 100 m dash (12.06) as well as the 300 m hurdles (52.74).
Plez comes to PSUGA from Northeast high school in Philadelphia where he had a very successful track career. He finished as the school’s record holder for fastest 100 m time (7.02) and 200 m time (25.80) and looks to bring that success to PSUGA. Bolger also comes from Philadelphia area and will be competing as a thrower and a sprinter for PSUGA in the upcoming season.
With a new head coach set to be named later this month, the PSUGA track & field program is ready to hit the ground running. They will compete as part of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association which hosts its National Championships at SUNY Delhi in New York. Track and Field is a growing sport across the Penn State University Athletic Conference as well with PSUGA becoming the fourth program in the conference along with PSU-Fayette, PSU-Brandywine, and PSU-Schuylkill.
The PSUGA 2019 Track & Field season is set to begin after the break with the team competing in a few indoor events before transitioning into the outdoor track & field season. The athletes are excited to begin and put PSUGA in position to be a competitive program.