Fortunately for the UR men’s track and field team, they did not have to travel very far for Saturday’s meet. Despite the horrible weather conditions, the team journeyed down the road to the Rochester Institute of Technology to compete in the RIT Tiger Invitational.
They competed against five other teams from the area, including some familiar opponents from last week’s home meet – RIT, SUNY Geneseo, Roberts Wesleyan College, Alfred State College and Alfred University.
Like the first two meets of the season, Saturday’s meet was non-scoring. As has been the case so far, the Yellowjackets set up primarily to qualify as many people as possible for the postseason meets.
In the finals of the 55-meter dash, freshman Max Ehrmann ran 6.72 seconds to finish third. Junior Kirk Bristol, who also qualified for the finals of the 55-meter by finishing eighth, posted a fourth-place finish in the 200-meter dash with a time of 23.66 seconds.
Junior Matt Tierney excelled in the 500-meter dash once again, finishing nearly four seconds ahead of the second-place finisher from Geneseo. His time of 65.14 seconds shattered the UR record in the 500-meter, previously set by Brian Strandberg in 2003 at 66.58 seconds.
Sophomore Jacob Pylman was third in the 500-meter with a time of 69.64 seconds. Freshman Will Cheseboro was fifth, finishing in 70.74 seconds. The 800-meter run came down to the wire, with junior Chris Clark prevailing. His time of 1:59.40 earned him first place, just 3/100th of a second ahead of the second-place finisher from Roberts.
In the 1,000-meter run, seniors Matt Rodems and Dan Duett finished back-to-back in fifth and sixth places. Their times were 2:38.81 and 2:40.93, respectively. Duett also earned sixth place in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 4:09.84.
Freshman Mark Stevens won the 5,000-meter run, finishing the race in 15:36.97. Finishing fifth in the event with a time of 16:10.04 was junior Kevin McGettrick.
There were only two relays on the day instead of the usual four, but the Yellowjackets came through in both. The 1,600-meter relay team ran 3:30.64 to take first place. In the 800-meter relay, the Yellowjacket team ran 1:33.96, finishing second. Freshman Tyler Stapleton marked 1.67 meters in the high jump, tying him for fifth place.
The three other jump events of the day failed to produce any top-five finishes, although there were several notable performances.
Freshman Dan Gloekler marked 3.50 meters in the pole vault, finishing tied for sixth. In the long jump, freshman Tim Horan also finished tied for sixth with a mark of 6.24 meters. Freshman Craig Brown placed sixth in the triple jump with a mark of 12.56 meters.
Graduate student Andrew Wunder led the way in the throwing events once again, as the team put together solid showings in both the weight throw and the shot put.
Wunder won the weight throw with a mark of 15.83 meters. Senior Zach Opsitnick was fifth with a mark of 12.74 meters. Also finishing in the top 10 in the weight throw were freshmen Mike Burgstrom and Chris Batdorf and junior Jake Tyskinski.
In the shot put, Wunder was third with a mark of 14.82 meters. Freshman Eric Scheele marked 13.88 meters to finish fifth. Juniors Andrew Lange and Tyskinski were eighth and ninth, respectively.
The team’s next competition is on Jan. 29 at St. Lawrence University.
Swidler can be reached at email@example.com.