Courtesy of UR Athletics

The men’s and women’s track teams performed well again this past Friday, April 20, and Saturday, April 21, at the Cortland Classic, hosted by SUNY Cortland. Both teams were able to post some impressive marks while battling wind on Friday and cold rain on Saturday, and ultimately preparing them for the upcoming New York State College Track Conference (NYSCTC) Outdoor Championship and Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Outdoor Championship meets.

“Cortland served as a great opportunity for some our key athletes to compete on back-to-back days, which is valuable experience as we go into the two day championship meets,” coach Sam Albert commented.

The men’s team had a number of stand-out  performances. Take Five Scholar Frank Ramirez won the 1,500 and 800-meter runs (3:57.68 and 1:53.59 respectively) and anchored 3rd place, finishing 4×400-meter relay (3:20.33).

“Frank showed that he’s one of the top athletes in our region and the country,” Albert remarked.  “We’re looking forward to seeing him post some NCAA qualifying marks as we go into the next few weeks.”

Ramirez led the Yellowjackets through one of the best team performances UR has ever seen in the 800-meter event. Six Yellowjackets broke 1:58 and another hit the provisional qualifying standard for the NYSCTC championship. Senior Andrew Fleisher repeated his victory in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in a time of 9:42.55. The 110-meter hurdles was also a strong event for UR, with junior Jon Richardson taking fourth and senior Erik Van Houten placing sixth with times of 16.19 and 16.46 seconds, respectively.

The featured event on the women’s side was the 4×400-meter relay of freshman Allison Patrick, junior Claire Crowther and sophomores Abby Zabrodsky and Becky Galasso.  The team posted a blazing 3:57.29, the second fastest time in school history.
“They were outstanding and they sent a signal that they are real contenders to qualify for the NCAA Championships next month,” Albert commented.

Galasso returned on Saturday to a second place finish in the 400-meter dash (59.67), while Crowther took second in the 800-meter run (2:19.08).  Junior Lauren Norton won the 1,500-meter run in 4:44.68 and took fourth in the 800-meter run in 2:20.64. Junior Breanna Eng won the 100-meter hurdles for the third weekend in a row (16.17 seconds). Another strong finisher was freshman Odelia Ryan, who took sixth in the 100-meter dash (13.64 seconds).

In the field events, junior Carina Luck won the triple jump and was the runner up in the long jump (10.70 and 5.16 meters respectively) while sophomore Emersyn Pullan won the javelin with a throw of 30.59 meters.

Both teams are currently focusing on making final preparations and qualifications for the NYSCTC Championship meet in two weeks.

Albert said the team has “trained really hard this season” and that he is “excited to see what they will accomplish as the weather and the competition start to heat up.”

The majority of the team will compete at the Raider Invitational on Saturday, April 28, hosted by Roberts Wesleyan College. Norton and senior Jamie Vavra will travel to Philadelphia, Pa. to compete in the prestigious Penn Relays on Thursday, April 26 and attempt to earn NCAA qualifying times in the 10,000-meter and 1,500-meter runs, respectively, while junior Jon Richardson and senior Marissa Eccleston will travel to Troy, N.Y. to kick off the NYSCTC Championship in the decathlon and heptathlon respectively.

The men’s and women’s  teams next meets are on Thursday, April 26, at 8:40 p.m. in Philadelphia, Pa. at the Penn Relays and on Saturday, April 28, when the teams return to Rochester to compete in the Roberts Wesleyan College Raider Open.

Lane is a Take Five Scholar.

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