Track and Field got a jump on the other spring sports last week when they opened 2016 at Cornell's Southern Tier Invitational. Today they traveled a bit further, to Staten Island, which - get this - is where Albany contests their home meets, for the Great Dane Classic.
It's easy to poke fun at Albany, but the Classic is a large, large event, with over 60 schools and clubs represented. So early in the season, it was unclear beforehand how much we'd see of everyone, but UB put together a number of surprisingly strong performances that led to third-place team finishes from both the Men (behind Connecticut and NAvy) and Women (Maryland and Villanova).
UB put three sprinters among the top ten collegiate finishers, but none advanced to the final of the 60 thanks to faster unaffiliated and club runners. It's nice to see Malayah White, Camaria Long, and Tyra Forbes bunched together (separated by only .04s) as I think ahead to evenly-built 4x100 relay quartets.
White and Long each also finished top-15 overall in the 200, with White earning a couple of team points. Kyla Kenyon was well out of the scorers in the 400, and Christine Lyttle was the top collegiate (third overall) finisher in the 60 hurdles, where UB had a deep group all finish in the top 25.
UB took seventh in the 4x400 relay with a group of Long, Kenyon, and 400 runners Asher Beasley and Amy Villarini.
Freshman Jill Decker was UB's only entry in the 800, and the Bulls had no one in the 1000 and only freshman Caroline Rusch in the mile. Confusing. Amy Shaw and Corinne Birchard did go 2-4 in the 3000, earning 18 team points as the top finisher wasn't competing with a team. Shaw qualified for the MAC Championships with her time of 9:45.15. Meagan Hopkins and Morgan Mahoney eked out a few more points for UB in the 5000.
No one in the high jump or pole vault, but Mikayla Pearce was the top collegiate finisher in the long jump and Crystal Henderon was among the scorers in the triple jump.
Meg Patterson won and Joanna Hallisy and McKenzie Kuehlewind took 8th and 9th in the shot put for some more team points. Patterson's throw is the top in the MAC so far by nearly a quarter meter, and she was joined also by Miranda Daucher and Jess Dhaliwall in earning points in the weight throw.
Darien Johnson is starting his senior year big with a second place finish (top collegian) in the 60*, though he was well down the pack in the 200. Josh Gali quietly put together a strong year as a sophomore and took seventh in the 400, while Mitch Moore was also top-15. Freshman JerMichael Bunch made the finals of the 60 hurdles while Christian Doherty just missed advancing by .02 of a second.
*and school record! I missed that last night! Woo school records
Gali, Moore, Brian Cummiskey, and Treyvon Mask combined to take sixth in the 4x400.
Brian Crimmins took second in the 800, sandwiched between a pair of Villanova freshman, while Tom Meehan was UB's only other entry. Derek Palafox was the only entry in the 1000 and well behind the scorers, while in the mile Craig Kaiser finished seventh and Tyler Scheving, Jack Jibb, and Justin Van Epps each found the top 20.
Barrett Kemp found fifth in the 3000 and UB had no entries in the 5000.
Laurent Dure tied for fourth in the high jump at 1.99m, Daniel Normoyle failed to register a height in the pole vault, and Alex Siracusa just missed a point in the long jump, but Kaishaun Cathey continued to impress, taking fourth in the triple jump.
Throws are fun. Ryan Cribbin and Devon Patterson AGAIN went 1-2 in the shot put, with Cribbin well out in front of the pack. Cribbin also managed some points in the weight throw.
I put more stock in this weekend's competition than last, and it looks like UB, while not the deepest team, is starting to build the type of program that can score a top-four finish in nearly every event at the MAC Championships. That's good. Next weekend the Bulls head back to Cornell for the "Upstate" Challenge. Emphasis mine.