New York State Championships at St. Lawrence University several weeks ago, the women’s track and field team had one last challenge before they begin their outdoor season when they traveled to the Boston area to compete in the ECAC Championships hosted by Tufts on March 7th and 8th. With 11 total points, the women’s team finished in a three-way tie for 26th place, along with the University of Southern Maine and Trinity College.
The weekend got off to a good start when sophomore Anna Barbi finished sixth in the pentathlon with 2,729 points, just one point behind the fifth place finisher from Williams College. Coach Barbara Hartwig said of her performance, “Anna was very consistent with the points that she scored [at State Pentathlon Championships.]” Barbi followed up her sixth place finish in the pentathlon with a tie for sixteenth in the high jump, marking 1.51 meters. Among the other athletes representing the UR women at ECAC’s in individual events were seniors Lisa Johns, Erin Bank and Elizabeth Conway, juniors Michelle Gabriele and Mary LeBrun, sophomores Katie O’Brien and Grace Kraay.
Gabrielle finished in 12th place in the long jump with a mark of 4.98 meters. In the shotput, Kraay earned a 14th place finish with a mark 11.50 meters. Johns finished the 5,000-meter run in a time of 19:17.34, coming in 22nd overall. O’Brien finished the 400 meter dash in 1:00.11, earning 14th place. Rounding out the individual events was LeBrun, who ran the 3,000 in 10:56.46 to finish 19th.
On top of individual efforts, the relay squads put in strong performances as well. The 1,600-meter relay team, although disappointed not to qualify for National Championships, ran a strong race to finish ninth overall with a time of 4:04.01. The distance medley relay team finished 19th with a time of 12:56.77. The 3,200 relay team finished 13th with a time of 10:16.22.
One of the highlights of the weekend came in Bank’s pole vault performance. With a mark of 3.25 meters, she finished seventh overall and set a new school record. Coach Barbara Hartwig said she was “very excited for Erin,” continuing, “she smashed the school record and provisionally qualified for Nationals. She looked terrific all the way through all of her vaults, it was a very exciting competition for her.”
Another high point of the weekend occurred in the 500 meter dash, when Conway finished third overall with a time of 1:19.81, earning the team six of its eleven points. Hartwig said of the performance, “Liz looked really good.”
Although there were a number of strong performances on the weekend, Hartwig said “It is difficult to go two consecutive weeks of intense competition.” She continued, “In some areas we were not nearly as sharp as we were the weekend before.” But she was quick to point out that the season should hardly be considered a letdown because of one less than perfect performance. With seven school indoor records set during the season Hartwig said, “Now we are recognized as a really good team, capable of big things.”
Men’s ResultsFor the second week in a row, a freak incident cost men’s indoor track and field team valuable points, this time at the East Coast Athletic Conference Championships hosted by Tufts University.
In the distance medley, one of the UR athletes had his foot stepped on, causing the baton to fall to the ground and preventing the team from scoring in that event. With 25 total points, even the two points earned for a seventh place finish would have been enough to put the team in the top ten overall.
Despite the unfortunate circumstances, the men still battled hard and earned twelfth place out of the 70-plus teams represented at the ECAC’s. Coach John Izzo said he was “very pleased” with the results, but added that “There are still areas for improvement,” and that “We’re definitely not satisfied yet.”
Junior Jacob Budny followed up his victory in the New York State Pentathlon Championships several weeks ago with a fourth place finish, accounting for five of the team’s 25 cumulative points. With a seventh place mark of 16.20 meters in the weight throw, senior Dan Quinn set a new personal record, in addition to meeting the preliminary qualifying standard for National Championships. Junior Andy Wunder also competed in the weight throw, finishing eleventh with a mark of 15.50 meters.
Senior Giancarlo Rondash rebounded from breaking the pole at State Championships with a tenth place mark of 4.40 meters in what Izzo called “His best day pole vaulting in his collegiate career.”
As has been the case all season, the relay teams were the backbone of the men’s team, contributing top five finishes in the 800-meter relay, the 1,600 relay, and the 3,200 relay. The 800 relay team — consisting of freshmen Matt Tierney, Kirk Bristol and Tommy Hainsworth and senior Brian Strandberg — finished second overall with a time of 1:31.27, in what Izzo called “a very good job.”
Finishing in fifth place, the 1,600 relay team of Tierney, Strandberg, Budny, and freshman Scott Bambrik crossed the line in 3:24.08. Also coming in fifth, the 3,200 relay team of freshmen Chris Nolan and Chris Clark, sophomore Matt R
Overall, Izzo said, “It was a very very good meet.” He continued, “Not having Greg Dusek healthy hurt us, [but] we performed at a very high level, which is what you would expect in the premier meet of our season.”
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