Outdoor Track Heads to Princeton for ECAC and IC4A Championships

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ALBANY, N.Y.—Fresh off a sweep of the 2016 Outdoor America East Conference Championships, the University at Albany track & field program will continue their championship season this weekend at the 140th ECAC and IC4A meet, taking place at Princeton University from Friday, May 13 to Sunday, May 15.

“This is the time of year where the student-athletes are ready for great performances,” said Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Roberto Vives. “We’re looking for them to improve for the regional meet next weekend and for some of them to qualify for regionals.”

Last year, the men placed second overall out of 47 teams with 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 out of 53 teams 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.

GREAT DANES IN THE REGIONAL RANKINGS

UAlbany’s competition roster features 14 women and 19 men, who have qualified in either individual events or relays. Of those competitors, the Great Dane’s regionally-ranked performances in 16 events. The men’s 4x400 relay team of Momodou JobeJason TomlinsonMyles Banfield, and Jaymen Teemer are second with a time of 3:09.00.Robert Harris III is third in the 100 (10.42). Kingsley Ogbonna and Matthew Campbell, both tied for third, jumping 7’-1”. Myles Banfield is third in the 400 (46.93).  Jonathan Eustache is fourth in the discus (175-10 ).Devon Willis is sixth in the triple jump (50-4). Jaymen Teemer is eighth in the 200 (21.25). Jason Tomlinson is eighth in the 400 (47.41). Grace Claxton is first in the Northeast in the women’s 400 (52.81). Anika Hibbard is second in the women’s high jump (5’9.25”). Grace Claxton is fourth in the 400 hurdles (56.69. The women’s 4x100 relay of Stephanie OsujiChanel SmithGrace Claxton, and Taahira Butterfield is sixth (45.80). Grace Claxton is eighth in the 200 (24.12).

2015 CHAMPIONSHIP REVIEW

Returning competitors include:

· Grace Claxton placed first in the women’s 400 in 53.07.

· Jason Tomlinson placed second in the 400m in 46.75.

· Matthew Campbell placed fifth in the high jump, clearing 6’-9”.  

·The 4x100 men’s team of Robert Harris III, Jaymen Teemer, Taariq Jones, and Mande Semon placed fifth in 42.02.

·In the finals of the women’s 100, Chanel Smith placed fifth in 11.97. 

· Jessica Donohue scored the UAlbany women’s first points of the meet, placing sixth in a personal-best 35:42.22. 

·Jeremiah Obeng-Agyapong was the final placed sixth in the men’s 400 hurdles final, running a 52.41. 

·In the men’s 100 final, Robert Harris IIII and Jaymen Teemer placed seventh and eighth respectively, with both running 10.85

·Kingsley Ogbonna placed eighth in high jump, clearing 6’-8”. 

·Mande Semone placed 10th in the men’s long jump in 22’-9”.

·Jonathan Eustache placed 16th in the men’s discus in 155’-10”.

GREAT DANES AT THE CHAMPIONSHP

“Both 4x100 relays have a good chance to qualify for regionals,” explains Vives. “It’s an opportunity to get a great mark in. Grace Claxton is close to hitting the Olympic standard in the 400m. Our 10k runners, Cara Sherman and Jessica Donohue can run well, so can the 3,000m steeplechase. Our throws group is very strong. Jonathan Eustache has a great opportunity in discus.”

Newcomers, Sidney Gibbons and Chibugo Ike are looking for junior nationals marks in the 110 hurdles and 100/400 hurdles, respectively. 

“All 3 high jumpers are ready to do well,” said Vives. “Matthew Campbell and Kinglsey Ogbonna are capable of 7’2” marks. Freshman Anika Hibbard can go 5’10”. She’s had an amazing season.”

“We have three multi-event athletes entered,” said Vives. “They’re excited to be travelling and competing all together. We could see a school record from Paige in her final competition for UAlbany.”

Earlier in the season, Senior Paige Vadnais placed scored 4,825 points—just off the school record of 5,009. Junior Mary Adeyeye and Freshmen Letti Hibbard join her in the multis. 

Some student-athletes who have qualified for the championship will be absent due to UAlbany’s commencement ceremony simultaneously taking place over the weekend.

“We’re not overloading anyone, they’re focusing on their own event,” Vives said. “We want to give them a chance to run fresh after a tough weekend.”

At Conference Championships last week, the coaching staff and athletes were focused on team scoring and performances. Many athletes took on multiple events to contribute to the overall place of the team. At ECAC & IC4A, the focus is individual. The athletes will work on their sole event and qualifying for regionals.

“We’re not team-focused, but more individual this weekend,” It’s an opportunity to compete against strong competition, in a great facility, and hopefully go onto the next level. A lot of out student-athletes have the chance to be champions.”

Events begin on Friday, May 13 at 12:00 p.m. with the women’s heptathlon, followed by the men’s decathlon at 12:30 p.m. at the William Weaver Track & Field Stadium. Any student-athletes who have qualified for regionals will continue their season after this weekend at the NCAA East Preliminary Championships in Jacksonville, Fla.

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