Neither the Men nor the Women are going to claim a team championships at this year's MAC Indoor Track and Field Championships, but if today's first wave of competition is any indication, there's plenty more PRs and finals appearances on the way for the Bulls.
The fallen record today came in the Distance Medley Relay, a quartet that benefits from having two of UB's best-ever mid-distance guys in Brian Crimmins and Tyler Scheving. With Craig Kaiser and Treyvon Mask opening the relay, Scheving and Crimmins brought it home to within just a few hundredths of a second from the MAC record, only losing to Akron as the Zips broke the previous record by over two seconds.
The big surprise for me, though, was Daniel Normoyle's personal best in the pole vault. He cleared 4.75m in fewer attempts than Kent State's Kyle Schlumbohn to take fourth after entering the competition with the seventh-highest seed vault.
Barrett Kemp and Andrew Berge earned points, finishing fifth and sixth, in the 5000, but the highlights on the day came in the sprinting preliminaries before tomorrow's finals. Darien Johnson has lowered the UB record in the 60 a few times this season, and will go into tomorrow's final as the top qualifier, but also impressed in the 200, where he ran a big collegiate PR of 21.77s to make it into the finals there, as well. UB also has another finalist in the 60 in Brian Cummiskey.
In the 400, Josh Gali continues to move towards the UB record - just a hair above 47 seconds - running a PR himself to qualify for the final in that event. Both Christian Doherty and JerMichael Bunch earned spots in the final of the 60 hurdles, Bunch by thousandths of a second.
In field events, Austin Ashby jumped a big 7.52m in the long jump to take third in addition to Normoyle's vault. Shot put, high jump, and triple jump are all tomorrow on Day 2.
The women found their school record in the shortest race, where Malayah White ran 7.49 in the 60 to claim the second qualifying spot. She stands a great chance of a title tomorrow. Chrissy Lyttle also advanced to the final in the 60 hurdles.
Getting into longer events, Camaria Long qualified for the 200 without too much issue despite spending much of her time at 400 this winter. No one qualified for UB at that distance for tomorrow's events.
After White, the story on the track for the women was Amy Shaw, who just isn't slowing down. She took third in the 5000. just three seconds off the champion. The Eagles change, but anytime a MAC distance runner is that close to EMU, it's a solid, solid showing. In other distance events, Corinne Birchard qualified for the 800m final and the Bulls took seventh in the distance medley relay.
In the field events, Buffalo's young throwing depth is starting to mature into MAC contenders, as Meghan Patterson took third in the weight throw with an 18.10m toss. She cut it plenty close, only qualifying for the finals with her third throw, and jumping from fifth to third on her last attempt. In the long jump, Makayla Pearce took seventh.
Tomorrow will see the shot put, high and long jumps, and pole vault in the field events, along with all the sprinting finals, the mile, 3000, and 4x400 relay.