Unlike their previous meet when they traveled for hours to Mary Washington College, the men’s track and field team stayed much closer to home last weekend to compete in the SUNY Brockport Invitational. The meet was non-scoring once again, as the men continued their early preparations for the postseason.In the 200-meter dash, graduate student Brian Strandberg ran 23.44 seconds, placing third overall. The outcome of the 400-meter dash was even better for Strandberg, as his time of 50.36 seconds was good for the team’s first victory of the meet. Also in the 400, freshman Jacob Plyman was second with a time of 52.50 seconds and freshman Nick Tolli was sixth, running 54.73 seconds. In the 1,500-meter run, sophomore Chris Nolan completed the race in 4:06.88 to finish in third place. Freshman Andrew Whitbeck finished the 3,000-meter steeplechase in second place with a time of 9:32.35. In the 5,000-meter run, sophomore Andrew Dylag and junior Ian Slattery completed the event back-to-back in second and third places with respective times of 16:02.03 and 16:03.67. Freshman Tom Felio posted the best high jump of his young career, as he jumped 1.82 meters to finish in second place. In the long jump, sophomore Srinivas Boppana jumped 5.41 meters, putting him sixth overall. In one of the most successful events of the day for the men, five of the top nine finishers in the shot put represented the UR team. Senior Andrew Wunder led the way with a mark of 14.27 meters, blowing away his nearest competition, teammate Zach Opsitnick, who marked 12.71 meters. With a mark of 10.91 meters, senior Brian Ecker was sixth. Finishing in eighth place was sophomore Jacob Tykzinski, who marked 10.59 meters. He edged out teammate Bryan Huntley, who marked 10.07 meters, earning ninth place.If the shot put was not the top event of the day for the men, the discus throw certainly was. Wunder posted yet another first-place finish, as he marked 41.00 meters. With a mark of 37.15 meters, sophomore Andrew Lange placed third. Joshua Hill and Opsitnick were fifth and sixth, marking 36.15 and 34.96 meters, respectively. Tykzinski and Ecker rounded out the top ten with marks of 32.64 and 31.68 meters.In the hammer throw, Wunder added to his two first-place finishes with a third-place finish, as he marked 48.95 meters. Also in the hammer, Lange and Hill were seventh and eighth, as they marked 37.79 and 37.70 meters, respectively. Lange had his best finish of the day in the javelin throw. His mark of 45.92 meters was good for second place. Ecker’s solid day continued as well, as he marked 42.48 meters to finish fifth and Brian earned seventh place with a mark of 40.40 meters.The relay teams picked up where they left off during the indoor season, posting two first-place finishes and a second-place finish. The second place finish came in the 4×100-meter relay, which the team completed in 45.83 seconds. The 4×400-meter relay team was first overall with a time of 3:28.54. Also finishing in first place was the 4×800-meter relay team, which ran 8:14.33.Also last weekend, senior Jacob Budny went to Lynchburg, Va. to compete in the decathlon at the Liberty University Invitational. He accumulated 6,454 points over the weekend to earn second place and provisionally qualify for Nationals.This Saturday at 10:00 a.m., the team will host the Alumni Invitational as they continue to prepare for the New York State Championships, Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships and possibly NCAA Championships. Although the snow still has not completely melted, their preparations will need to continue to progress very quickly, as – including the Alumni Invitational on Saturday – there are only three meets until they return to SUNY Brockport for the State Championships. Swidler can be reached at dswidler@campustimes.org.

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