The men’s and women’s track teams continued to impress last weekend when they travelled to SUNY Fredonia. After finishing second and third respectively, at the St. Lawrence Invitational on Jan. 25, both teams responded with first place finishes at Fredonia.

With 149 total points, the UR men easily defeated Edinoboro University, the second place team with 90 points. Penn State Behrend was third with 68 points, followed by the hosts, Fredonia State, with 55 points.

Rochester Institute of Technology came in fifth, earning 36 points, SUNY Brockport’s 26 points were good enough for sixth place and Alfred University was seventh with 7 points. Coach John Izzo said that “on the whole, the meet wasn’t quite as competitive [as the previous week].” But a first place finish is still a first place finish, and he said that his team “got the job done.”

The men started well right off the bat, as freshmen Matt Tierney and Kirk Bristol took home first and second place finishes in the 55-meter dash. In the next event, the 200 the men were simply dominant, as junior Greg Dusek, Matt Tierney, Kirk Bristol, junior Michael Hakiel and freshman Tommy Hainsworth finished first through fifth. The dominance continued into the 400, in which freshmen Scott Bambrick and Christopher Clark were first and second overall and Michael Hakiel added a fifth place finish.

In the 800, senior Brian Strandberg and sophomore Matthew Rodems were third and fourth. Freshman Chris Nolan continued his strong running over the past several weeks by posting a third place finish in the 1,500. In the 55-meter high hurdles, Jacob Budny was third overall.

Once again, the men were outstanding in the relays, with a first place finish in the 400-meter relay and a second place finish in the 800 relay. The 800 relay team’s second place finish was fast enough to qualify for ECACs, which Izzo said “was our goal.” He added “they ran really well.”Jacob Budny added to his third place finish in the 55- meter high hurdles with another third place finish, this time in the high jump. Also scoring for the men in the high jump was senior Jonathan Kaiser, who contributed a fifth place finish. In the pole vault, senior Giancarlo Rondash’s second place result qualified him for ECACs. In that event, junior Adam Smith added a fourth place finish. The long jump had a couple more scorers for the UR team, with Greg Dusek placing second and Jacob Budny sixth. Michael Hakiel’s strong day didn’t stop with the 200 and 400, as he also finished fifth in the triple jump.

The throwing events also resulted in some solid scores, as junior Zachary Opsitnick was fourth in the shot put competition. Senior Dan Quinn’s first place performance in the weight throw qualified him for ECAC’s, and junior Andrew Wunder and freshman Andrew Lange added third and sixth place throws, respectively.

On the whole, Izzo said “we seemed a little tired, but we had some really outstanding performances.” “We had a number of athletes experimenting in events they don’t normally do.”

He said that the most exciting aspect of the meet was that “we have people willing to compete over a wide range of events, which gives us a lot more flexibility. We’re definitely going to continue our experimentation, hopefully giving ourselves more options.”

This Saturday at 10 a.m., UR will play the role of host, as they are visited by Roberts Wesleyan, Brockport, SUNY Geneseo, Alfred State, RIT, and SUNY Oswego. Coach Izzo said he expects to see “very good competition, with everyone getting close to conference championships.”

Women’s resultsFor the third week in a row, the women’s track team put up a very solid performance. After finishing first overall at the UR Snowflake Invitational on Jan. 18, and third against the tough competition of the St. Lawrence Invitational on Jan. 25, the women responded by winning the meet hosted by Fredonia State University last weekend. Coach Barbara Hartwig said of the meet “it’s obviously very nice to get a win. There were some really good performances.”

With 123 total points, the UR women handily defeated their closest competitor, the Fredonia team, which posted 94 points. There was a tie for third place between Edinboro University and SUNY Brockport, both of which scored a total of 67 points.

In the very first event of the day, the 55, the UR women had three of the top six finishers, as junior Denise Brown and senior Angela Burgess finished just one hundredth of a second apart for second and third places, and freshman Lia Boland added a fifth place finish. The outcome of the 200 was even better, as Burgess topped her third place finish in the previous race with a first place finish this time around, Boland improved upon her fifth place finish in the 55 coming in third, and sophomore Katie O’Brien contributed a fourth place finish. The 400 was another successful race, as O’Brien, junior Gabriele, and senior Elizabeth Conway held the top three spots. In the 1,500, junior Elizabeth Canfield ran what Coach Hartwig called “a very gutsy performance,” earning her a second place finish. Hartwig was impressed that Canfield “dropped her time significantly.” The strong day continued in the 3,000, when senior Lisa Johns and junior Mary LeBrun finished third and fifth respectively.

Brown and sophomore Anna Barbi both ran well in the 55-meter hurdles, finishing in fourth and sixth place, respectively. The 400 and 800 relay teams had excellent performances also, as the 400 team fined in first by more than 10 seconds while the 800 team clinched a second place finish.

Later, sophomore Anna Barbi tied for first in the high jump. Freshman Kate Pohlman also performed well in the high jump, finishing in a three-way tie for sixth. Gabriele stayed hot, placing second in the long jump. She’s steadily getting better,” Hartwig said of Gabriele. She also praised her high jumpers for “doing a nice job despite the slippery surface,” saying it’s “the mark of a mature team not to let it affect us.”

Hartwig was also impressed by her team’s consistency, saying “you can’t expect to set a personal record every meet, but that consistency was nice to see.” She added that “every member of the team can contribute.”Next weekend, the women will host the meet, which Hartwig said “will be a very big meet,” and that “the competition will be similar to what we faced at the St. Lawrence meet. It should be very competitive.” But despite the expected increase in competition, as long as the women to be at the top of their games, there’s no reason the team can’t continue to do very well.

Swidler can be reached at

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