Hosts of the meet for the first time in five years, the Bears had light involvement on the opener of the three-day championship. Thatcher was one of them, ending the afternoon in fourth place after the first half of the decathlon.
Thatcher, who earned 2243 points, is almost 100 points clear of McDaniel's Caleb White in fifth but will need a big second-day performance to catch Gettysburg's Thomas Clark for a spot on the podium. He was fourth in the 100-meter dash (12.83) and fifth in the 400 (57.50), high jump (5-00.50), and long jump (17-8.00), and seventh in the shot put (26-4.25). All but the long jump were new PR's.
Senior Connor Lent concluded the day in seventh place in the decathlon. He was fifth in the 100-meter dash (13.56), sixth in the shot put (27-6.75), and seventh in the 400 (1:03.11), high jump (4-4.25), and long jump (15-10.25).
Psaradakis finished just out of scoring range in 10th place in the hammer, logging a new personal best of 115-6.00 on his first attempt.
The championship ramps up with a full day of action on Saturday, beginning with the decathlon hurdles at 9 a.m.