For both the men’s and the women’s track and field teams, last weekend’s Syracuse Invitational added to the number of athletes qualifying for the end-of-season championship meets.

‘I thought the team did really well performing against the tough competition from Syracuse,” senior Melissa Skevington said. ‘It’s tough going against DI athletes, but I thought everyone really took advantage of the opportunity.”

Skevington, who spent the first few weeks of the season recovering from an injury, came out strong for UR with a sixth-place finish in the triple jump, qualifying her for the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships on March 5.

Junior Yaneve Fonge took two first-place victories, winning both the shot put and the 20-pound weight throw. Both performances were past the ECAC qualifying standards, further securing Fonge’s appearance at the championships.

‘It’s hard to be disappointed with two individual wins at a meet like this one, but I know Yaneve has her sights set on the NCAA qualifying marks in the weight throw and the shot put,” Director of Track and Field Sam Albert said. ‘I have a feeling we’re on the verge of seeing some really big performances from her over the next few weeks.”

The men’s team also found success, with two athletes reaching the ECAC Championship standard. Both junior A.J. Lee and sophomore Will McMunigal had season-best performances that led to their qualifying marks.
McMungial, who had previously qualified for the New York State Championships in both the long and high jump, finally qualified for the ECACs with his third-and fourth-place finishes in long and high jump, respectively.

‘Will has just been so solid for us in the jumps all season long,” Albert said. ‘He’s been flirting with the ECAC marks in both the long and high jump over the past few weeks, so it was great to see him finally get those out of the way. He has emerged as one of the top jumpers in our conference, and we’re excited to see what he’ll accomplish when we get to the championship meets in a few weeks.”

Lee was the first college runner across the tape in the 800 meter, taking second place. His race qualified him for the ECACs, before he came back out again to anchor the 4×400 meter relay team, which took sixth place.

This weekend both teams travel to the Lafayette/Rider Winter Games in New York City, and Albert is optimistic about the performances to come.

‘We will be taking a number of our top runners and jumpers to the Armory in New York City, which is one of the top indoor track facilities in the country,” Albert said. ‘With the mix of the really fast track and some top-flight competition, I expect to see a lot of fast times and great jumps coming out of this weekend.”

Clark is a member of the class of 2012.

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