The UR outdoor track and field teams started the season with a bang at the Battleground Relays last weekend. Although the meet was non-scoring, both teams took home a number of first place finishes and strong performances that proved that they are on their way to becoming a force this season.

Men’s ResultsMen’s coach John Izzo was proud of his team’s performance. “It was an outstanding opening meet, we performed very well,” he said. “We’re definitely ahead of where we were last year at this time.”

The men started strong right off the bat, taking four of the top six spots in the 10,000-meter run. Finishing first overall with a time of 33:35.00 was sophomore Ian Slattery. Freshman Kevin McGettrick was third, crossing the line in 33:46.70. Both qualified for States.

In their first opportunity to get outside this year, the throwing squad put together what Izzo called “a good first effort.” In the hammer throw, senior Dan Quinn finished fourth with a mark of 142 feet 1 inch.

Freshman Andrew Lange was the top finisher for the men in the discus, marking 125 feet 3 inches for seventh place. Junior Andrew Wunder was fifth in the shot put with a mark of 43 feet 10.5 inches. In the javelin throw, senior Steve Duszlak marked 165 feet 4 inches, good enough for fifth place.

As was the case throughout the indoor season, the relay teams continued to excel. The men’s 3200-meter relay team finished in first place. The success continued the following day, as the 400-meter relay team finished second with a time of 43.41 seconds.

The 800-meter relay team finished first with a time of 1:30.34. Also placing first was the sprint medley relay team, crossing the line in 3:32. “Both the distance and sprint oriented relay teams did very well,” Izzo said.

In the 110-meter hurdles, junior Jacob Budny finished seventh overall with a time of 16.57 seconds. He later topped that with a sixth place finish in the 400-meter hurdles. Freshman Matt Tierney brought his success from the indoor season outside, finishing fourth in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.25 seconds.

In the 1,500-meter run, sophomore Dan Duett ran 4:08.90 to finish first overall. “He ran two great races, but strained a hamstring in the distance medley. I expect he’ll be back by the time the meets get important,” Izzo said.

The 3,000-meter steeplechase was highlighted by third and sixth place finishes from sophomore Terence Cordner and senior Justin Panarese, who finished in 10:27.40 and 10:39.30, respectively.

With jumps of 5 feet 8 inches, senior Jonathan Kaiser and sophomore Liam Rafferty were fifth and sixth in the high jump. Junior Greg Dusek’s mark of 19 feet 10.75 inches put him in seventh place in the long jump. Marking 13 feet, senior Giancarlo Rondash finished fourth in the pole vault.

“Everybody contributed – it was a real good weekend,” Izzo said.This Sunday, the men will host another non-scoring meet in an attempt to get more people qualified for States and ECAC’s. “They have to be ready to make the effort when the opportunity reveals itself,” Izzo said.

Women’s ResultsWomen’s coach Barbara Hartwig said the warm weather was a factor in her team’s success. “When you get on the bus and it’s 35 to 40 degrees and you get off and it’s 65, it provides a big psychological boost,” she said.

The women took advantage of the nice weather early on, winning all three of the running finals on Friday afternoon. In the 10,000-meter run, senior Lisa Johns finished in 40:50.70. “She wanted to hit the qualifying mark for States, and did that very easily, leading wire to wire,” Hartwig said.

In the 3,000-meter run, junior Erika Wasserstein ran a time of 10:43.70. “[It was] a very competitive race that she really controlled the whole way,” Hartwig said. Also on Friday, the 3,200-meter relay team finished first with a time of 9:48.80.

The women also had a pair of sixth place finishes on Friday. With a mark of 31 feet 1.25 inches, junior Katrina Nowak was sixth in the triple jump. In the javelin throw, sophomore Anna Barbi marked 84 feet 9 inches to finish sixth. “I expect to see her continue to improve, she looks very good with a limited amount of practice,” Hartwig said.

Although there were no first place finishes on Saturday, the strong weekend for the women continued. In the 100-meter hurdles, senior Elizabeth Conway crossed the line in 16.99 seconds to finish sixth. Her 400-meter hurdle race was even better, as she finished third with a time of 1:07.01.

“She’s only had limited practice time on the hurdles, once she gets her strides down she’s very easily going to break those times,” Hartwig said. With a time of 12.85 seconds, senior Angela Burgess finished third in the 100-meter dash. Wasserstein followed with a third place finish in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 5:04.30. Finishing just one second ahead of her, junior Elizabeth Canfield was second with a time of 5:03.30.

In the 3,000-meter steeplechase, junior Katherine McKenzie was sixth with a time of 14:13.50. With a time of 19:50.30, junior Mary LeBrun finished third in the 5,000-meter run. The sprint medley relay team was also third, finishing in 1:57.70.

Barbi posted a fourth place finish in the high jump, marking 4 feet 10 inches. Nowak added another sixth place finish on Saturday, marking 15 feet .25 inches in the long jump.

Finishing sixth in the discus throw, sophomore Grace Kraay marked 106 feet 10 inches and continued with a mark of 36 feet 8.5 inches in the shot put, finishing third and setting a school record. “I know she’s going to break it again. She hasn’t had a lot of practice outdoors yet,” Hartwig said.

She was pleased with the performance of all the throwers. “I’m very proud of them – they did very well,” she said.

Hartwig was pleased with the entire meet. “It was a real successful weekend,” she said. “We probably would have been first or second overall had it been scored – it was a good meet for us.”

This weekend the team will host their meet, provided the weather holds up. “It’s still up in the air,” Hartwig said. “We’d like to have a meet but we’re not going to do it at any cost.” If the meet goes on as scheduled, it will be on Sunday at 10 a.m. in Fauver Stadium.

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