Courtesy of Connie Mistler-Ferguson

The men’s and women’s track and field teams had a gala day on Saturday, April 14, defeating fifteen other teams and earning 18 berths to the ECAC Championships at the UR Alumni Invitational. The men edged out crosstown and conference rival Rochester Institute of Technology by fifteen points (159 to 144.5), while the women pummeled the competition, scoring 169 points to second place SUNY Brockport’s 108.5. The multitude of ECAC qualifiers and meet victories on both teams support the high scores from UR’s track and field teams.

On the men’s side, the showcase event was the 3,000-meter steeplechase, in which seniors Andrew Fleisher and Jason Zayac and junior Justin Roncaioli took the top three spots and qualified for the ECAC Championships. Fleisher’s winning time of 9:29.21 places him at 27th in the nation, just seven spots away from qualifying for the NCAA Championship meet. Take 5 Scholar Frank Ramirez had one of the more impressive individual performances of the meet, finishing first in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:53.59 and anchoring the winning 4×400-meter relay team to an ECAC qualifying time of 3:21.99. Ramirez’s time in the 800 places him at 22nd in the nation.

Accompanying Ramirez on the 4×400 meter relay was senior Nick Chisholm, who also qualified for the ECACs individually in the 400-meter dash (49.57) and led the 4×100 meter relay to a time of 43.66, good for an ECAC qualification.

Other ECAC qualifiers included the 4×800 meter relay team, featuring Fleisher,
(7:55.79) and sophomore Adam Pacheck, who took second in the event at a time of 31:58.84. Strong performances came in the field events as well from junior Jeff Benton, second in the javelin (48.40m) and junior Jon Richardson, sixth in the high jump (1.83m).

Not to be outdone, the women’s team had nine ECAC qualifiers of their own. Like the men, all three relay teams qualified for the ECACs, finishing first in 4×100 (50.91), first in the 4×400 (4:05.80) and second in the 4×800 (10:00.80). Two runners from the 4×400, sophomore Becky Galasso and junior Claire Crowther, qualified for the ECACs in the 400-meter dash, finishing first and third respectively. Galasso’s time of 58.77 seconds places her at 47th in the nation. Junior Breanna Eng won the 100-meter hurdles for the second week in a row, in an ECAC time of 16.05 seconds and junior Carina Luck repeated a second place finish in the triple jump with an ECAC jump of 11.02 meters. The final two qualifiers came from the distance events. Senior Lauren Norton dominated the 5,000-meter run, leading from gun to tape (17:57.47), while junior Meg Ogle had a strong finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (11:59.50). The UR women also had a strong throwing day, with sophomore Emersyn Pullan winning the javelin with a throw of 35.28 meters and junior Ashanna Lynch placing second in the hammer throw, second in the shot put and fifth in the discus.

Even the UR track alumni had an impressive showing. Megan O’Connor ’11 finished second in the 10,000-meter run while Brian Lang ’11 finished third in that event. The alumni also had finishers in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, the 5,000-meter run, and were able to field a 4×800-meter relay team that qualified for the Connecticut High School State meet.

“Saturday was a tremendous day for both teams,” Coach Sam Albert remarked. “We were thrilled to have so many ECAC qualifiers and event winners in front of our home crowd.”

 Both teams travel to SUNY Cortland this Friday, April 20 and Saturday, April 21 to compete in the Cortland Classic.

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