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A portion of the UR men’s and women’s track and field teams traveled to New York City last weekend, while the remaining members stayed  here in Rochester. Make no mistake though — all the Yellowjackets were involved in heated competition over the weekend.

The teams were split between the RIT Tiger Invitational, held on Friday, Feb. 17, and the NYU Team Challenge, which took place on Saturday, Feb. 18. The latter competition was held at the Armory in NYC, which will be the site of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championships on March 3 and 4.

With the culmination of their season looming less than two weeks away, athletes on both the men’s and women’s side are looking to post ECAC qualifying times, distances and jumps, allowing them to sneak into the prestigious competition in the final hour. Over the weekend, one member of the women’s squad and one men’s relay team were able to accomplish just that.

At the Tiger Invitational, junior Carina Luck posted an ECAC qualifying distance in the triple jump, leaping an impressive 10.91m. The jump was good enough to land Luck fifth out of 22 competitors in the event.

The women’s team also had a strong showing in the 60m hurdles, with three Yellowjackets posting top ten times. Junior Breanna Eng finished third with a time of 9.57 seconds, freshman Connie Mistler-Ferguson took seventh (10.11) and sophomore Lauren Gabriel finished close behind, taking eighth place (10.26).

Sophomore Holly Weldon also had a successful day in the pole vault, capturing fifth with a jump of 2.90m.

Perhaps the strongest performance on the men’s side at the invitational came in the 5000m run. Freshman Mark Rollfs took second overall in the event, finishing with a time of 15:48:29, and sophomore Brian Barkers was the next runner to cross the line, taking third with a personal best of 16:07:33.

Other strong finishers on the men’s side were junior Jon Richardson, who posted a time of 8.79 in the 60m hurdles — good enough to land him fourth place — and senior Travis Bevington, who took sixth in the 500m dash with a time of 1:11:21.

The other ECAC qualifiers on the weekend came from the men’s side during the NYU Team Challenge. The men’s distance medley team, comprised of seniors Nick Chisholm, Andrew Fleisher and Greg Hartnett and sophomore Yuji Wakimoto, finished second overall with a near UR record-setting time of 10:12:04.

Chisholm had a very strong meet overall, as he took second in the 400m run (50.80) in addition to his ECAC qualifying performance as a member of the distance medley relay. Greg Scott made another impressive display when he took sixth in the 400m.

Other strong finishes came in the 500m dash, in which sophomore Andrew Keene (1.08.13) and freshman Ethan Pacheck (1.08.66) finished second and fourth, respectively, and the 4x400m relay, which saw UR’s team of Keene, Pacheck, senior James Meyers and freshman Max Sims take third, clocking in at 3.29.31.

While the women’s team finished second out of nine teams at the event, the men’s team wound up further back in the pack at seventh.

Don’t be fooled by this result though — the team was likely not at full strength due to the Tiger Invitational the day before.

The Yellowjackets’ next challenge comes in the form of the NYSCTC Indoor Championships this Friday and Saturday. The Championships represent the final event before the ECACs, where Luck, Chisholm, Fleisher, Hartmett and Wakimoto will look to join other UR ECAC qualifiers in finishing the season strong.

Fleming is a member of
the class of 2013.

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