The season of broken records continued right through the last regular season meet for the men’s track and field team.

The weekend at Cornell University was highlighted with a new school record by a relay team and a very solid start to the New York State Championship meet, which officially kicked off with the pentathlon on Sunday at Ithaca College.

“We were a little flat, but the people who went down there on a mission accomplished what they set out to do,” Head Coach John Izzo said.

In the 60-meter dash, freshman Max Ehrmann ran 7.21 seconds to finish in seventh place.

Brian MacIlvain took fifth place in section one and seventh overall in the 500-meter dash with a time of 1:09.73.

The 3,200-meter relay team had been primed to break the school record for the past several weeks.

They finally accomplished their goal this weekend, running 7:53.62 to finish in first place by nearly 23 seconds.

The team of senior Matt Rodems, freshman Mark Stevens and juniors Chris Nolan and Chris Clark easily defeated the previous record, set in 1986 at 7:54.30.

Because the 3,200-meter competition is not run at Nationals, a different combination of runners will be used this weekend in order to help the team score the highest number of total points.

The 1,600-meter relay team also had a solid showing, finishing in second place with a time of 3:28.88.

In the long jump, junior Srinivas Boppana marked 5.80 meters to place fourth in flight one of the event. He also placed sixth in flight one of the triple jump with a mark of 11.62 meters.

Freshman Craig Brown was second in the same flight of the same event, as he marked 12.20 meters.

With a mark of 17.57 meters, graduate student Andrew Wunder easily won his flight and the overall weight throw.

In the shot put, freshman Eric Scheele marked 13.74 meters to finish in seventh place.

With the New York State Championships just a week away, several of the team’s top performers throughout the regular season did not compete, instead taking the opportunity to rest and prepare for the weeks ahead.

“We felt it was better for some of the guys who had already qualified for States, Eastern College Athletic Conferences and even Nationals to train through,” Izzo said.

After the Cornell meet had concluded, three members of the team stuck around Ithaca to compete in the pentathlon championships, the first event of the state meet.

Freshman Tim Horan posted 3,121 points to finish fifth.

Right behind him was teammate junior Andrew Lange, who was sixth with 3,030 points. With 2,911 points, freshman Tyler Stapleton was 10th.

“Going into the 1,000-meter run, Stapleton knew he was going to have to run the race of his life to qualify for ECAC’s and he did just that,” Izzo said.

In addition to all three qualifying for ECAC Championships, they posted the first seven points of the state meet for the team.

“All three guys did a great job,” Izzo said.

With the remaining meets all wide open, the team’s focus is clearly on the weeks ahead, not on all of their outstanding accomplishments during the regular season.

“Our goal right now is to score as many points as we can, and at the same time qualify some people for Nationals and ECAC’s,” Izzo said.

With five very solid teams competing, the title of State Champion is up for the taking.

“The team knows we’re competing to try to win,” Izzo said. “Every one of the top teams has holes, and I feel we have as good a chance as anyone else.”

The State Championship meet is hosted by Rochester Institute of Technology, and will be held between 2 and 7 p.m. on Feb. 25, and 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Feb. 26.

Swidler can be reached at dswidler@campustimes.org.



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