The men’s track and field team continued their postseason preparations when they hosted the widely attended UR Alumni Invitational on April 8.
It was another strong meet for UR, although the exact outcome is unknown since the meet was just an exhibition match.
“I think it was great that the meet was highly contested,” Head Coach John Izzo said. “It gave everyone a feel for what the postseason is going to be like.”
Graduate student Andrew Wunder made a smooth transition from the indoor weight throw to the outdoor hammer throw. Although he finished more than 10 meters behind the first place finisher, his mark of 50.99 meters put him solidly in second place in the event.
Wunder fell just short of a provisional qualifying mark for the NCAA Championship and will look to achieve that goal in the weeks ahead.
Also performing well in the hammer throw was senior Chris Skeehan, who marked 43.89 meters to finish seventh. In the javelin throw, Skeehan was fourth with a mark of 45.54 meters.
In addition to his success in the hammer, Wunder also had a very solid finish in the shot put, as he marked 14.31 meters to finish fourth.
Freshman Eric Scheele was eighth, with a mark of 13.68 meters. In the discus throw, Zach Opsitnick marked 38.15 meters to finish in fifth place.
In the 400-meter dash, three Yellowjackets placed in the top eight. With a time of 49.56 seconds, junior Chris Clark was third. Junior Kirk Bristol was right behind him, finishing fourth in a time of 50.16. Sophomore Jacob Pylman was eighth, with a time of 50.99 seconds.
In the 800-meter run, Brian MacIlvain was third with a time of 1:59.15. Junior Matt Tierney was eighth in the event, finishing in 2:01.08.
Freshman Mark Stevens placed fourth in the 1,500-meter run, with a time of 3:59.81.
The best event of the day was the 5,000-meter run. Senior Dan Duett was first with a time of 15:26.32. Sophomore Andrew Whitbeck ran 15:29.16 to finish third. With a time of 15:55.82, freshman Joe Lust was eighth. In the 10,000-meter run, Kevin McGettrick ran 33:30.99 to finish eighth.
The relay teams were dominant as usual, with the men winning both events they entered. In the 1,600-meter relay, the team ran 43.09 seconds to finish first by just two-hundredths of a second. The 1,600-meter relay was not nearly as hotly contested, as the men finished in 3:20.87, more than eight seconds ahead of their closest competition.
“We took advantage of the good weather, had a lot of people in different events and got a lot of people qualified for States and the Eastern College Athletic Conference,” Izzo said. “Things are shaping up pretty well.”
The men will stay close to home this weekend when they head to Roberts Wesleyan College. After Saturday’s meet, they will have just two meets left before the postseason begins.
“We’re hoping in the next two weeks to have a number of National qualifiers,” Izzo said. “If the weather holds up this weekend, I’m expecting big things.”
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