Men Second, Women Fourth At IC4A, ECAC Championships
PRINCETON, N.J. – The University at Albany track & field program descended on Princeton University to compete in the 2015 IC4A and ECAC Outdoor Championships over the weekend. With both teams coming off America East team titles two weeks ago, these meets represented the latest championship competition on the schedule. The biggest item at stake for the UAlbany student-athletes over the three-day meet was one final opportunity to qualify for NCAA East Regional Championships in two weeks. At the conclusion of the competition, the men had placed second out of 47 teams, and the women had placed fourth out of 53 teams.
The first day of competition focused largely on the first round of competition of the men’s and women’s multi events. The Great Danes did not field anyone in the men’s decathlon, but did have two competitors in the women’s heptathlon.
The women’s heptathlon was the first overall event to be contested at the meet, with its first event starting Friday at 12:00 p.m. Paige Vadnais placed first in the 100 hurdles in 15.05. Mary Adeyeye placed seventh in 16.30. Vadnais tied for fourth in the high jump in 5’-2.5”. Adeyeye placed ninth in a personal-best 5’-1.25”. Adeyeye placed first in the shot put in a personal-best 40’-2.75”. Vadnais placed ninth in a personal-best 30’-5.75”. In the final event of the day, the 200, Vadnais placed third in 25.71, and Adeyeye placed seventh in a personal-best 27.07. Through four events, Vadnais ranks third with 2,865 points, and Adeyeye ranks fifth with 2,751 points.
Lauren Lopano competed in the only field event on Friday, the women’s discus. She placed 22nd, throwing 132’-10”.
The UAlbany men finally got in the action on Friday with the 3,000 steeplechase. Tyler Ranke placed 14th, running a personal-best time of 9:07.84. James Sommer placed 18th, also running a personal-best 9:10.51.
The Great Danes did not field another competitor until the final event of the day, the women’s 10,000. Jessica Donohue scored the UAlbany women’s first points of the meet, placing sixth in a personal-best 35:42.22. Valentina Talevi placed 13th in 36:56.93. Molly Pezzulo placed 20th in 37:46.36.
After the first day of competition, featuring four scoring events, the women ranked 17th in the team competition with three points. New Hampshire led all women’s teams with 28 points, followed by Rider with 16 points, and George Mason with 14 points. The UAlbany men did not score any points in any of Friday’s three scoring events. Georgetown leads all men’s teams with 18 points, followed by Columbia with 15 points, and UMass Lowell with 14 points.
As it did Friday, the schedule on Saturday began with the multis events, which continued from the first day. For UAlbany, that only meant the final three events of the women’s heptathlon. Vadnais placed eighth in the long jump in 16’-3.75”, and Adeyeye placed 10th in 15’-10.5”. Adeyeye placed ninth in the javelin in 78’-11”, and Vadnais placed 10th in 66’-7”. In the heptathlon’s final event, the 800, Vadnais placed fourth in 2:25.31, and Adeyeye placed seventh in a personal-best 2:31.79. At the conclusion of all seven events, Vadnais placed fifth overall, scoring 4,463 points, and Adeyeye placed ninth, scoring a personal-best 4,303 points.
After the conclusion of the multi events, the remaining schedule on Saturday largely called for the men’s events to contest during the morning session, before ceding the competition area to the women’s events in the afternoon session.
The first event on the track for the Great Danes on Saturday was the men’s 4x100 relay. The team of Mande Semon, Jaymen Teemer, Taariq Jones, and Robert Harris III qualified for finals in the sixth position, crossing the line in 41.30.
Jason Tomlinson, who won the 500 at IC4A Indoor Championships, qualified first overall in the men’s 400 in 47.03. In addition to the time being a personal-best for Tomlinson, it also ranks second all-time outdoors in UAlbany history. Jones qualified eighth in 47.69.
One women’s event was contested during the morning session. Veleisha Walker placed sixth in the women’s javelin throw, recording a mark of 141’-5”. Semon placed 10th in the men’s long jump in 22’-9”.
The next event on the track was the preliminary round of the men’s 100. Harris III qualified for semi-finals in the fifth position in 10.71. Teemer qualified in the ninth position in 10.72, tying his personal-best. Semon placed 22nd in 11.27. In the semi-finals, Teemer qualified for finals in the seventh position in 10.74. Harris III qualified eighth in 10.75.
Youness Benzaid placed 15th in a season and outdoor career open-best 1:51.39. Jeremiah Obeng-Agyapong qualified for finals in the 400 hurdles in the eighth position, running a season-best time of 52.92. Teemer placed 11th in the 200 in 21.68.
With the men’s morning session concluded, the track opened to the women’s competition. The first event of the women’s afternoon session was the hammer throw. Briana Cherry-Bronson placed with a mark of 178’-2”. Lopano placed 11th, throwing a personal-best 177’-5”. It is the fifth consecutive meet in which Lopano has improved her personal best in the hammer, marking a total improvement of nearly 20’ since the beginning of the season.
The 4x100 relay team of Kahlia Taylor, Chanel Smith, Taahira Butterfield, and Grace Claxton qualified for finals in fourth place, running a school-record time of 45.86. This group had already broken the former school record earlier this year when they ran 46.08 in victory at the America East Outdoor Championships on May 3.
Alexx Baum placed 22nd in the women’s long jump in 17’-1.25”. One men’s event was contested during the afternoon session. Jonathan Eustache placed 16th in the men’s discus in 155’-10”. Schuyler Pruyn placed 13th in the women’s 1,500 in a personal-best 4:32.48.
In the preliminary round of the 100 hurdles, Michelle Anthony qualified for finals in the fourth position in 14.06. In the semi-finals, Anthony qualified for finals in the fourth position, running a personal-best 13.81. It was Anthony’s final race of the weekend, as she would return to Albany for her commencement ceremony on Sunday.
In the women’s 400, Claxton qualified second for finals, running 53.85. Halie Snyder placed 18th in 56.93. In the preliminary round of the women’s 100, Smith qualified for semis in the 10th position in 11.98. Butterfield placed 18th in 12.22. Taylor placed 19th in 12.28. In the semi-finals, Smith qualified for finals in a tie for fifth in 11.89.
Dominique Claudio placed 15th in the women’s 800 in a personal-best 2:09.41. Aderinsola Ajala placed 11th in the women’s 400 hurdles in 1:00.48. The mark is a season-best for Ajala, and one-hundredth off her personal-best in the event. Vadnais placed 18th in 1:02.06. Taylor placed 22nd in the women’s 200 in 25.33. Smith placed 23rd in 25.92. The women’s 4x800 relay team of Nira Lovick (2:20.2), Breanna Cummings (2:13.8), Hannah Smith (2:16.9), and Pruyn (2:16.1) placed 14th in 9:07.44.
After seven men’s scoring events had concluded through the first two days of competition, the UAlbany men remained scoreless in the team standings. Manhattan led after the second day with 20.5 points, followed by Navy with 20 points, and Georgetown with 18 points. The UAlbany women ranked 12th in the team standings with 11 points after nine scoring events. New Hampshire led all women’s teams with 28 points, followed by Monmouth with 21 points, and Rider with 16 points.
Finals events on Sunday returned to the traditional alternating events, with the women competing in an event followed by the men competing in the same event. The third and final day of competition began with three men’s field events. Eric Del Vescovo placed 19th in the shot put in 49’-11.75”. Matthew Campbell placed fifth in the high jump, clearing 6’-9”. Kingsley Ogbonna placed eighth, clearing 6’-8”. Phillip Udeogu placed 18th in the javelin, throwing 177’-5”.
The men’s and women’s triple jump began at the same time. In the women’s triple jump, Baum placed sixth in 40’7.75”. Solène Bastien placed 10th in 39’-4.5”. Devon Willis won the men’s triple jump in a personal best 51’, moving into third place all-time outdoors in UAlbany history. Jordan Crump-King placed sixth in a personal best 50’. Colonel Fakarode placed 19th in 46’-5.25”. Nathan Hiett placed sixth in the men’s pole vault, clearing a height of 16’-4.75”.
Track events began at noon, starting with the 4x100 relays. The women’s team of Taylor, Smith, Butterfield, and Claxton, which set a school record on Saturday, did not finish their finals race. The men’s team of Harris III, Teemer, Jones, and Semon placed fifth in 42.02.
The final two field events to be contested were the women’s high jump and shot put. Rochelle Reid finished in an eight-way tie for sixth place in the high jump, clearing a height of 5’-5.75”. Janice Johnson placed second in the shot put, throwing 47’-4.25”.
The Great Danes did not field another competitor until the 400. Claxton won the women’s 400 in 53.07, surpassing her own school record of 53.35 she set two weeks ago at the America East Outdoor Championships. The mark is also a personal best for Claxton, surpassing her previous best of 53.10, which she ran prior to her arrival at UAlbany. In the men’s race, Jason Tomlinson placed second in 46.75, which is his second personal best in the event in as many days. He is only the second UAlbany student-athlete to run the open 400 in under 47 seconds, and remains second all-time in UAlbany history, behind Joe Greene’s 46.34. Taariq Jones also ran in the finals, placing sixth in 47.66.
In the finals of the women’s 100, Smith placed fifth in 11.97. In the men’s final, Harris IIII and Teemer placed seventh and eighth respectively, with both running 10.85. Harris III edged Teemer by seven-thousandths of a second. Jeremiah Obeng-Agyapong was the final UAlbany competitor of the weekend. He placed sixth in the men’s 400 hurdles final, running a season-best time of 52.41.
After three days of competition, the men’s team ranked second overall, having scored 41.5 points. The team title went to LIU Brooklyn, which scored 60 points. Navy placed third with 40 points. The UAlbany women placed fourth overall with 36.75 points. George Mason won the women’s team title with 53 points, followed by James Madison with 40 points, and Hampton with 37 points.
IC4A and ECAC Championships were not the only event of note for the UAlbany program this weekend. Alexander Bowen, who redshirted his senior year outdoor season, competed in the high jump at the Panamanian national championships for the second consecutive year on Sunday.
When Bowen competed in Panama nationals last year, it was his first time competing internationally for the national team. He had previously competed in the United States after receiving his dual-citizenship, setting the national record in his first meet as a legal Panamanian citizen. He placed second at nationals last year, clearing a height of 6’-8.75”.
Last week, Bowen improved upon his own national record of 7’-1”, clearing a height of 7’-3”. He used a short approach on his jump, indicating good form heading back to nationals. In the national championship meet, Bowen placed first overall, clearing a height of 7’-0.5”, becoming national champion in only his second year competing for Panama.
Panamanian National Championships kicked off a summer for Bowen last year that included six international competitions for Bowen competing for Panama’s national team. He currently has his sights set on the World Championships in Beijing in August, and the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
The UAlbany track & field roster will now shrink even more, as those who continue are only those who rank within the top-48 in the NCAA East region in their respective events. The NCAA East Preliminaries will take place at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida starting on Thursday, May 28.