The men’s track and field team split up this weekend, as most of the team went to Cornell University, but most of the weekend’s highlights came at Boston University. Competing on one of the fastest tracks in the country against some top level Division I competition, the men certainly held their own in the non-scoring meet, breaking school records in two events and provisionally qualifying for National Championships in one of those.The team of 4×400-meter relay team of sophomore Matt Tierney, graduate student Brian Strandberg, senior Greg Dusek and sophomore Chris Clark ran 3:17.80 in the event and obliterated the previous school record by more than four seconds. “It was a pretty special performance,” Head Coach John Izzo said. “We knew if we were gonna break the school record that we would probably provisionally qualify for Nationals.”Less than 30 minutes later, Matt Tierney achieved some personal accolades to go along with his contributions to the 4 x 400-meter relay team. In the 400-meter dash, Tierney ran 49.70, becoming the first UR runner ever to break the 50 second plateau during indoor competition and putting him very close to the National qualifying mark. “He’ll go after it again in the upcoming meets,” Izzo said.Senior Jacob Budny had a big day as well, qualifying for ECAC Championships in the 500-meter dash with a time of 1:07.39. Furthermore, Budny ran 8.38 in the 55-meter high hurdles, his best finish of the season. Also at BU on Saturday, Dusek qualified for Eastern College Athletic Conference championships in the 200-meter dash, completing the race in 22.53 seconds. In the same event, sophomore Kirk Bristol qualified for the State meet, running 23.18. Finally fully recovered from injuries, senior Alex Voetsch and sophomore Chris Nolan both brought their ‘A’ games to the table. Voetsch qualified for the State meet in the 800-meter dash, and is close to meeting the ECAC qualifying time. The same goes for Nolan in the 1,500-meter run. He ran 4:05.36 in the 1,500-meter conversion, qualifying for States and narrowly missing the ECAC standard.In the 1,000-meter run, junior Matt Rodems ran what Izzo called “a greatly improved time” of 2:34.02 as he qualified for ECAC’s. Andrew Whitbeck ran 8:49.14 in the 3,000-meter run, qualifying for both States and ECAC’s in the process. “He’ll be in the hunt with the top people in the state,” Izzo said.”It was a very successful weekend. We have a number of people who still have the opportunity to qualify, and they’re gonna do it this weekend as we continue to position ourselves for the postseason,” izzo said. “It is imperative that our people position themselves properly for postseason prosperity.” Swidler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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