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School records on the Track highlight Olympic weekend

It’s two in two weeks for Gali, and a big one for Kemp

Photo courtesy UB Athletics

I was originally going to write this with a focus on senior Barrett Kemp, and then throw some tennis results in the end. But Track and Field somehow had a better Saturday than Friday, when Kemp broke a 13-year old school record by nine seconds. Josh Gali took down his second sprint mark in a week, and UB found a new relay record, as well.

The Tennis weekend was shortened by inclement weather, but both the Men and the Women got wins, with the Women also dropping a tight 4-3 match to West Virginia.

Swimming and Diving is at Ohio State, but in the last meet before MAC Championships I doubt there’s much to be learned there.

Let’s start with Kemp and Gali, who each broke longtime program marks this weekend. Kemp’s 14:20 5,000 broke Jerimie Slick’s 13-year-old record by nine seconds, and dropped Kemp’s best from last season by eighteen. On the heels of a senior cross country season that saw him step right in as UB’s top runner despite missing more than half the schedule, Barrett looks like he’s going to ride his hot streak through the full 2016-17 season. And as I said on Twitter over the weekend, he’s shown up since Day One at UB and deserves it as much as anyone.

On the sprint side of things, Josh Gali refused to rest on the laurels of his new 200m school record from last weekend, and added his name to the top of the 400 list with a blistering 46.92. For some context, that’s a third of a second faster than Tyler Brown’s (EMU) MAC Championship-winning run in 2016, and dropped Joe Clark’s UB record, set in 2001, by over a tenth of a second.

Gali also joined in for a new UB mark — 3:10.62 — in the 4x400 relay, where he, Gyasi Morris, Craig Kaiser, and Mitchell Moore put up the best time in the MAC so far and beating the old program record by three full seconds.

On the tennis courts, the UB Men were held to one match on the weekend, missing out on a chance at UConn due to inclement weather, but did get a 6-1 drubbing of Army in on Saturday. No huge surprises here — Vidit Vaghela and Hawo Sheng Koay moved up to #1 Doubles, where they fell 6-3, and Vaghela was the lone loser in singles, falling at #1 in a third-set breaker. Otherwise, the lineup was consistent with the first four matches we’ve seen this year, and everyone else swept their singles matches in two sets.

The Women had a mixed weekend, but the type that will prove useful come MAC play and high-pressure matches, as they split a pair of 4-3 decisions against Detroit Mercy and West Virginia.

In the first, the Bulls got an early lead with the doubles point thanks to Chantal Martinez Blanco and Anna Savchenko at first doubles and Laura Holterbosch and Niagara transfer Haley Hollins at third, but shortly after needed Martinez Blanco to close out a straight-set win at first singles to even the team score at 3-3 as Emel Abibula (#3), Laura Holterbosch (#4), and Hollins (#6) all went down in straight sets. Savchenko at #5 singles was the only match to go to a third set, where she won 6-4 to give UB the lead.

I was somewhat surprised to see neither Tanja Stojanosvka nor Margarita Kotok make an appearance Friday, but again, quality experience for the whole team that will prove useful later in the spring.

Both Stojanovska and Kotok hit the lineup against West Virginia, where UB again took the doubles point, but went just 1-3 in four two-set matches, losing at 3, 4, and 5 to fall behind the eight ball. Savchenko got a win at #6 when her opponent retired from the match, but Stojanovska couldn’t finish the comeback, falling in a tiebreaker in her own three-set match. UB now has a three-year losing streak to the Mountaineers, but was on the fringe of winning this one.

Men’s Tennis hosts Quinnipiac this Sunday, while the Women will travel to Syracuse Saturday before also hosting the Bobcats on the 19th.