The men’s track and field team improved upon last weekend’s third place finish at St. Lawrence with a second place showing in their return to Canton, NY. With 160 total points, the UR men were far and away the closest challengers to the host team, which posted 186 points. Placing third was Hamilton College with 67 points. SUNY Plattsburgh was fourth with 46. SUNY Alfred finished fifth with 43 and Nazareth College was sixth with four points. “We did well both weeks. This was a very good effort,” Head Coach John Izzo said. “It sounds like a broken record, but once again we didn’t position ourselves to score the maximum number of points. We qualified a number of people for ECAC’s [Eastern College Athletic Conference], and we had a plethora of seasonal best.” Sophomore Matt Tierney continued to excel from the start, leading off the day with a third place finish in the 55-meter dash that earned the team ten points, because the leading two runners were not counted in the scoring. In the 55-meter hurdles, senior Jacob Budny ran 8.44 seconds to finish third. Also scoring in the event was freshman Tom Palma, who ran 9.10 seconds, finishing sixth. Tierney added another 10 points with a victory in the 200-meter dash, as he ran 22.79 seconds to qualify for ECAC’s. Graduate student Brian Strandberg and senior Greg Dusek added fourth and ninth place finishes in the event to combine for seven additional points. They then topped their finishes in the 200-meter by taking the top two scoring positions in the 400-meter dash, as they finished second and fourth with times of 51.00 seconds and 51.52 seconds respectively. Senior Mike Hakiel added four points in a seventh place finish by posting a time of 53.04 seconds. In the 800-meter run, sophomore Chris Clark ran 1:56.86 to place second overall and qualify for ECAC’s. Izzo called Clark’s performance “a good effort.” Junior Matt Rodems placed sixth in the 800-meter with a time of 1:58.69. “He had a great 800, he was very close to qualifying,” Izzo said. Sophomore Chris Nolan returned from an injury to post a second place finish in the 1,000-meter run, completing the event in 2:40.95. Also scoring for the men was freshman Ben Snyder, who ran 2:43.06 to finish fourth. Although he didn’t finish in the scoring, senior Alex Voetsch returned from injury to place seventh with a time of 2:45.26. “It’s good to have Nolan and Voetsch back,” Izzo said. They’re starting to run better. In the long sprints and mid-distance we’re getting good depth.” Juniors Ian Slattery and Terrence Cordner finished back-to-back with sixth and seventh place finishes in the 1,500-meter run, completing the race in 4:26.94 and 4:28.17 respectively. In the 5,000-meter run, junior Pete Nabozny ran 16:16.02 to finish fifth. He was closely followed by sophomore Andy Dylag, who ran 16:20.48, finishing seventh. “Our distance runners are starting to run really well,” Izzo said. The 4 x 200-meter relay team of sophomore Kirk Bristol, seniors Adam Smith, Budny and Hakiel ran 1:35.67, finishing third and qualifying for ECAC’s, despite having only one member of their actual ‘A’ team competing in the event. Also qualifying for ECAC’s was the victorious 4 x 400-meter relay team of Tierney, Strandberg, Dusek and Clark, who ran 3:23.24. The ‘B’ team consisting of freshman Jacob Pylman, Rodems, Voetsch and junior Ethan McKenney ran 3:37.38, finishing fourth. In the distance medley, Snyder, Jacob Pylman, Cordner and freshman Andrew Whitbeck teamed up for a second place finish, as they crossed the line in 10:55.47. Senior Andrew Wunder continued his success in the shot put with a fourth place finish, as he marked 13.66 meters. He was even better in the weight throw, in which he finished in second place, once again meeting the ECAC qualifying standard with his mark of 15.57 meters. Also scoring in the event was Senior Josh Hill, who marked 11.96 meters to finish fifth. Freshman Srinivas Boppana marked 5.61 meters in the long jump, finishing fifth, adding two points. Hakiel’s mark of 12.39 meters put him third in the triple jump. Budny and Freshman Tom Felio each marked 1.72 meters in the high jump, placing second and third to combine for an additional 14 points. Budny also placed fifth in the pole vault, which was bested by teammate Smith, who marked 4.18 meters, giving him his first college victory in the event and put him just out of reach of the ECAC qualifying mark.”We did very well. I was very pleased,” Izzo said.This weekend the team will face off against local competition, including RIT, Roberts Wesleyan and SUNY Geneseo. “I think we’ll get a few qualifying this weekend and in the following two weeks at Cornell and BU,” Izzo said. People there will have a very good opportunity to qualify. We’re very close with a bunch of people.” The strategy this weekend remains similar to the past few weeks. “This weekend will be some people who will be setting themselves up to qualify for the State meet,” Izzo said. “We’re trying to position our people in a number of different events so that people can not predict how we’re going to enter the State meet. “I think going into the State meet this year we’ll be right in the mix,” Izzo said. “It’s our best chance since I’ve been here to come out on top…we just have to continue to stay healthy and work hard.” Swidler can be reached at dswidler@campustimes.org.



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