The women’s track team rebounded from a poor showing last year to break three school records at the New York State Collegiate Track Conference Championships last weekend at St. Lawrence University’s Newell Field-house.
UR earned 40 points and posted a strong sixth-place finish in the 15-team field.
The Ithaca College women’s team edged St. Law-rence 131-128, successfully defending its state title.
With last year’s underachieving 12-point showing looming in the shadows, expectations for UR were unclear this year.
Would they have another weak showing, or would they rebound and prove that they earned their places in the championships?
Those questions were answered very early, as the team had as many points by the end of the first day as they received all weekend last year.
The first record was shattered on the first day of the meet, when the 4×200-meter relay team finished in 1:49.65, knocking nearly a second off the old record. The team of juniors Liz Conway and Angela Burges, senior Sue Mayo and freshman Katie O’Brien broke the 19-year-old record of 1:50.60.
A big weekend for Conway continued the following day as she placed second overall with a time of 1:20.21 in the 500-meter run, breaking the UR school record, which was set by Gail Woolston in 1985, by .01 seconds.
The records continued to fall when senior Robin Metcalf broke her own pole vault record, which she set just two weeks ago at MIT.
Placing second overall, Metcalf vaulted 3.05 meters, beating her 2.97 meter performance of two weeks ago.
Coach Barbara Hartwig knows her team performed well, but it cannot relax yet.
“I was very excited. They set their sights on breaking these records and did so quite easily,” she said. “I believe they can break them again this weekend.”
This weekend the team heads to the ECAC Championships, where Hartwig said the qualifying standards are tougher and the competition will be tougher as well.
By removing last year’s weak results, however, the team is able to focus on its goal to set personal records, school records and possibly qualify for nationals.
Injuries hamper men
The men’s team didn’t have quite the same success as the women. Although they were in the top half, finishing fifth out of 14 teams, they had set their goals higher coming off a second-place finish last year.
“Without making excuses, injuries played a role in the outcome of the meet,” men’s coach John Izzo said.
He attributed the less-than-stellar performance to the team “possibly trying too hard” and “wanting it too much,” even going as far as saying “maybe the coach didn’t do his job.”
This weekend, the team looks to rebound and perform well at the ECAC Championships, which coach Izzo said will be difficult because so many more teams compete.
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