While track may not often be thought of as a team sport in the vein of basketball and football, it is still by and large a team effort. Even when individuals may shine, it takes a deep and well-rounded team to compete and finish strong in meets.
And at last weekend’s season opener, at Hamilton College, the women’s team did just that. Putting forth a true team effort, the women swept all three of the relay events.
The women took first place in the 4×100 meter relay, the 4×400 relay and the 4×800 relay. The 4×100 relay’s time of 50.57 seconds qualifies them for the Eastern College Athletic Conference meet later in the season.
‘It was great to see our women’s team go in there and sweep all three relays, which I think is a testament to the depth and overall strength of our team,” Director of Track and Field Sam Albert said.
For the individual competitors, junior Jacqueline Cinella took first place in the 400-meter hurdles, with her time qualifying her for the ECACs as well. Freshman Carina Luck came out strong on the field side of the track, winning the triple jump, while also finishing fourth in the long jump and fifth in the 100-meter hurdles.
‘I think for being our first meet of the outdoor season I was pleasantly surprised with the performances of my teammates,” Luck said. ‘Everyone came out ready to shine and we had a great overall showing. A lot of people placed high and qualified for States and ECACs, so it was definitely a good first meet of the year.”
For the men’s team, the opening meet brought UR three ECAC qualifying times, two individual event wins and a team victory in the 4×800 relay.
Junior Brian Lang won the 3000-meter steeplechase, qualifying for the ECACs with a time of 9 minutes 29.10 seconds. Junior A.J. Lee also brought home a first-place win in the 400-meter, with his time securing him a sport in the ECAC meet. Lee also was the leading leg of the winning 4×800 relay team.
‘Brian Lang looked great in the steeplechase, running four seconds short of the NCAA Provisional standards in his first race … I was also really proud of team captains A.J. Lee and Ceylon Mitchell, who set personal records and qualified for ECACs in their first outdoor meet, Albert said. ‘These guys have provided great leadership all year, and I know these strong early season performances will motivate their teammates as we continue with the outdoor season.”
Sophomore Ceylon Mitchell was the third team member to qualify for the ECACs, finishing the 400 hurdles with a time of 56.2 seconds. Mitchell finished third overall in the event.
Both teams had a tough indoor season, which has prepared them for the grueling year ahead.
‘I honestly surprised myself to discover I was already capable of qualifying for ECACs in the 400 hurdles,” Mitchell said. ‘I loved seeing many of my teammates start the season off with strong performances and seize the opportunity to hit some qualifying marks. I’m certain that more great performances are in store at our home meet this weekend and the rest of the season as well.”
Clark is a member of the class of 2012.