Alyssa Arre - Staff Photographer

UR’s track and field team collectively put up a solid performance at the Rochester Spring Invitational this past Saturday, April 7. The women’s team had two ECAC qualifiers while the men won several events in their first home meet of the season.

Beginning with the women, freshman Yvette Igbok took second place in the 100-meter dash against a strong field of Division 1 competitors. Her outdoor debut time of 12.65 seconds also qualified her for the ECAC championships in May.

“[Igbokwe] looked sharp in her outdoor debut,” Sam Albert noted. “She has been a tremendous addition for us in the sprints.”

Senior Lauren Norton also had an impressive day, finishing with a pair of second places in the 1500- and 800-meter runs (4:45.54 and 2:23.67, respectively). The 1500-meter race qualifies Norton for the ECAC championships. Junior Claire Crowther won the 800-meter run in 2:20.91 through a strong wind, leading the race from gun to tape. Junior Carina Luck had a strong day as well, finishing second in the long jump (4.91 meters) and third in the triple jump (10.63 meters).
On the men’s side, the performance of the day went to junior Jeff Benton, who won the javelin throw with a toss of 50.51 meters.

“I was really proud of Jeff,” Albert said. “He has been looking great in practice and it was nice to see it come together for him in the meet.”

The men’s middle distance races were where the team showed its strength, with three of the top ten finishers in the 800-meter run and five in the 1500-meter run. Take 5 Scholar Frank Ramirez won the 1500-meter in a time of 4:01.14 while freshman Ethan Pacheck took second in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:58.19. Senior Andrew Fleisher had a breakout performance in the 3,000 steeplechase. Fleisher clocked a 9:40.71 in his first steeple, less than a second away from ECAC qualifying time.

It appears that the track team has truly been coming into form in their early season meets.
“I thought both teams looked really sharp and really rose to the occasion against some great competition,” Albert said.

The successes in the middle distance races and short sprints may foreshadow strong finishes at later championship meets. The team races at home again this weekend at the UR Alumni Invitational on Saturday, April 14 at 9 a.m.

Lane is a member of the class of 2012.

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