Outdoor Track Splits at Penn Relays and Capital District Classic
Capital District Classic: Schedule
ALBANY, N.Y.—In their final weekend of competition before the 2016 America East Championships, the University at Albany’s outdoor track & field program will split the team between the 122nd Annual Penn Relays Carnival from April 28-30, and RPI’s Capital District Classic on April 30.
“We’re looking to put our best foot forward in our relays and have season-best performances in the open events,” said Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Roberto Vives. “The student-athletes are fresh and ready to do their best.”
The prestigious Penn Relays is the first and oldest relay meet in the country, featuring athletes from all over the world. Last year, the three-day total attendance hit over 110,000. The meet is held at Franklin Field, which recently finished renovations, expanding the track to nine lanes, improving jumping areas, and adding a plaza for fans and athletes to use.
"Our men's and women's 4x100 relays are both have realistic opportunities to run a regional mark," Vives said. "The women's shuttle hurdle relay is ranked fifth and I believe they could break the school record."
The women’s 4x400 relay of Aderinsola Ajala, Akua Williams, Stephanie Osuji, Grace Claxton,and Dominique Claudio will compete in Thursday’s heat. The quartet of Nira Lovick, Breanna Cummings, Tiguida Toure, and Dominique Claudio are set to compete in Saturday’s 4x800 Championship of America Inviational. Chibugo Ike, Niamani Morrison, Nichole Anderson, Paige Vadnais, and Aderinsola Ajala will compete on Friday in the Shuttle Hurdles 4x100m Championship of America Invitational.
The men will also send three relay teams. Robert Harris III, Jaymen Teemer, Osiris Nicholson,Taariq Jones, Elliott Everet, and Mande Semon will compete in the 4x100 (Heats) on Friday. The 4x200 (Heats) of Jaymen Teemer, Robert Harris III, Elliot Everett, Jason Tomlinson, and Osiris Nicholson will also race on Friday. Finally, the 4x400 relay team of Jason Tomlinson, Momodou Jobe, Myles Banfield, Taariq Jones, and Matthew LeLiever are entered in Friday’s heat.
Though focus stays mainly on the relay events, Penn Relays also features many open track and field events. UAlbany will be sending 40 athletes with many of them competing in open events.
"Tomorrow in the distance events, we think Jordan Johnson has a good chance of qualifying for IC4A," said Vives. "Cara Sherman will be running the 5,000, which is a great experience for her. The sprinters can do well and further improve their marks. Our throwers are also ready to excel in competition as well as the other field events. The high jumpers have all been on a roll."
Anika HIbbard, Letti Hibbard, and Solene Bastien will compete in the women's high jump with Alexander Bowen, Matthew Campbell, and Kingsley Ogbonna representing the men. Solene Bastien will also compete in the women's triple jump and Colonel Fakarode for the men. Mande Semon is entered in the men's long jump.Stefan Buechele will compete in the men's pole vault.
Tara Belinsky is the sole competitor for women's shot put and Eric Del Vescovo for the men. Chinwe Igwe and Lauren Lopano will compete in the women's hammer throw. Lopano will also compete in the discus. Jonathan Eustache will compete in both the hammer throw and discus. Phillip Udeogu is entered for the men's javelin.
"Grace is ranked at #2," said Vives."She could break the 400 hurdles record and be our first individual champion ranked. Aderinsola Ajala can also get a regional mark."
A majority of the Great Danes will stay within the Capital District for the second consecutive week when they visit RPI for the Capital District Classic. This meet will allow the team one more competition before the conference championships.
“We’re excited about the meet this weekend,” said Vives. “This is a good experience. We want the student-athletes to have a good time. They’re ready to go and this is the time of year for great performances.”
UAlbany’s first event at Penn Relays is women’s discus scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 28. The meet will be broadcast on NBCSN on Saturday, April 30 from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Capital District Classic is scheduled to begin Saturday at 11:00 a.m. with the field events and the women’s 3,000-steeplechase.