Teach and field want the last team to wrap up their weekend, but they are the last we're getting to at Bull Run after a busy few days. My sincerest apologies.
But for the excitement of Friday night, they'd a strong case to be made that we've saved the best for last. Split across two meets in a pair of states, Bulls knocked down six automatic qualifiers for the MAC Championships later this winter and even set a school record.
In the current era of track and field, it's pretty rare for records - school, conference, or larger-reaching - to last longer than ten years. Only five of UB's women's indoor records are older than 2005, and this weekend, Melinda Wheeler broke one that was approaching that benchmark. Wheeler's 4:49.28 mile is 13 seconds than yours truly ever managed, and nearly a full second faster than the previous indoor UB best, set by Jen Jezorski in 2006.
With the time, good for seventh in the event, Wheeler qualified for the MAC Indoor Championships. She was joined in that regard by Kelly Truppo, who cleared 3.77 meters in the pole vault to finish fourth and likewise qualify for the conference meet.
Wheeler and Trupo's marks came at the PSU National Meet, where a handful of Bulls were also in competition in distance events and the high jump. The bulk of UB's success on the weekend came from the SPIRE Midwest Open in Ohio. There, a larger UB contingent put forth their best shots and notched four further MAC automatic qualifying marks as part of total haul that included 24 top-five finishes.
The MAC auto-qualifiers came from Kailyn Arcury (60m hurdles), Josh Gali (400m dash), and Brian Cummiskey and Jalen Law (200m dash). I was concerned at the beginning of the season about UB's sprinting depth, but it seems there's a number of Bulls in all events finishing high; Christine Lyttle, Kyla Kenyon, Tyra Forbes all finished top-five in their events, and the men had two top-five finishers in each of the 60m, 200m, and 400m dashes.
As usual, we also got standout performances from the thrower's ring. I keep telling you to learn Devon Patterson's name, and I hope you're listening. This weekend he claimed victory in the shot with a 16.71-meter throw, while fellow freshman McKenzie Kuehlewind placed second in the shot and added a fourth-place finish in the weight throw.
Next week the Bulls are again in Penn State, though this time with the full team, at the Sykes & Sabock Challenge Cup. Last season Buffalo finished second (women) and third (men) in the meet.