Women Third, Men Eighth At ECAC/IC4A Championships
PRINCETON, N.J. – Less than one week after sweeping the America East Outdoor Championships, the University at Albany men’s and women’s track & field teams traveled to Princeton University for their next championship meet, IC4A and ECAC Outdoor Championships. Last year, the men finished second overall and the women finished fourth. Indoors, the men and women both finished second.
The three-day meet began on Friday, May 13. However, the meet, as it did this year, usually conflicts with the UAlbany graduation ceremony. The coaching staff leaves it up to each individual to choose which event they will attend. Such a conflict leaves the team potentially short-handed for the meet, as the seniors either stay behind entirely or leave early to celebrate the conclusion of their academic careers with their families.
The multi events dominated the slate on the first day of competition, during which three Great Danes, Paige Vadnais, Mary Adeyeye, and Letti Hibbard, competed in the women’s heptathlon. In the first event, the 100m hurdles, Vadnais placed second in 14.79, Adeyeye placed fifth in 15.07, and Hibbard placed ninth in 15.75. Next, in the high jump, Vadnais placed fourth, clearing 5’-03”, Hibbard tied with three other women for fifth, clearing 5’-01.75”, and Adeyeye tied for eighth with one other competitor, clearing 5’-0.5”. In the heptathlon’s third event, the shot put, Adeyeye placed first with a mark of 42’-4.5”, Hibbard placed eighth, throwing 27’-10”, and Vadnais placed ninth, throwing 27’-4.75”. In the fourth and final heptathlon event of the day, the 200m, Vadnais placed first in 25.52, Adeyeye placed eighth in 26.99, and Hibbard placed ninth in 27.37. After the first day of competition, Adeyeye ranked third with 2,932 points, Vadnais ranked fourth with 2,868 points, and Hibbard ranked ninth, with 2,557 points. Coppin State’s Khemani Roberts ranked first with 2,951 points, and 2016 America East Outdoor Champion Grace MacLean from Maine ranked second with 2,934 points.
The first event on the track for the Great Danes was the men’s 3,000m steeplechase. Jordan Johnson placed 23rd overall in 9:22.04. Next, UAlbany’s final two competitors for the day raced in the women’s 10,000m. Jessica Donohue placed fourth overall in 36:00.98, and Cara Sherman placed ninth in 36:48.61.
After the first full day of competition, the men had been held scoreless while the women scored five points, tied for 11th in the team standings with William and Mary, Vermont, and Stony Brook. Iona paced the men’s team standings with 35 points, well ahead of second-place Princeton’s 15. For the women, Cornell led the way with 25 points, ahead of New Hampshire’s 16 and Princeton’s 14.
The continuation of the multi events kicked off proceedings on Saturday. In the fifth event of the heptathlon, the long jump, Vadnais placed sixth with a mark of 17’-7.5”, Adeyeye placed seventh, jumping 16’-10”, and Hibbard placed in a tie for eighth with Duquesne’s Gabriella Benninger, with both athletes jumping 16’-9.75”. The next event was the javelin, where Adeyeye placed third with a mark of 88’-6”, Hibbard placed fifth, throwing 86’-4”, and Vadnais placed sixth, throwing 70’-2”. In the heptathlon’s final event, the 800m, Vadnais placed first in 2:23.80, Adeyeye placed sixth in 2:29.12, and Hibbard placed 11th in 2:36.30. After all seven events had been contested, Adeyeye placed third overall with 4,650 points, Vadnais placed fourth with 4,619 points, and Hibbard placed sixth with 4,172 points.
The remainder of Saturday’s events were divided into two sessions which saw the women competing entirely in the morning and the men following in the afternoon. The first event on the track was the 4x100m relay, where the team of Stephanie Osuji, Chanel Smith, Grace Claxton, and Taahira Butterfield qualified for finals in fourth place with a time of 46.12. UAlbany’s next event was the 100m hurdles. Niamani Morrison qualified for semifinals in fifth place with a wind-aided time of 14.18, and Chibugo Ike qualified 12th in 14.48.
In the 100m, Osuji qualified for semifinals in fifth with a time of 12.02. Butterfield qualified 11th in 12.12, and Smith placed 20th overall in 12.61. Moving back to the 100m hurdles, Morrison and Ike both qualified for Sunday’s finals, with Morrison placing fourth in 14.08 and Ike placing eighth in 14.31. In the 100m semifinals, Osuji qualified fourth for finals in 11.98, and Butterfield placed 10th in 12.05.
In the women’s final track event of the day, Claxton qualified for finals in the 400m hurdles in second place with a time of 57.79. Ike placed 21st in 1:02.99. UAlbany had only one field event contestant for the women on Saturday. Chinwe Igwe placed ninth in the hammer throw, recording a mark of 170’ to place ninth overall. After the second day of competition, the UAlbany women had scored 19 points, and stood in a tie for fourth place with Princeton in the team standings, behind Cornell, James Madison, and Bucknell.
The afternoon session exclusively featured the men’s events, which followed the same schedule as the women’s morning session, except for some variation in the field events. The first event on the track for the men was the 4x100m relay, where the team of Osiris Nicholson, Robert Harris III, Jaymen Teemer, and Everett Elliot placed ninth overall in 41.22. In the 110m hurdles, Sidney Gibbons qualified for semifinals 16th in 14.80. In the 100m, Teemer qualified for semifinals third with a wind-aided 10.65. Elliot placed 34th in 11.09.
The men’s 400m featured the highest number of UAlbany athletes at the meet. Myles Banfield qualified for Sunday’s final in third place with a time of 47.28. Momodou Jobe qualified eighth in 47.98. Jason Tomlinson placed 19th in 48.60, and Matthew LeLiever placed 32nd in 49.40.
The final track event for the men on Saturday was the 200m, where Teemer placed 14th in 21.75, Everett placed 27th in 22.23, and Nicholson placed 34th in 22.78.
The men had two field event competitors on Saturday. Mande Sémôn ended the day as the only men’s Great Dane to score points, placing sixth in the long jump with a mark of 23’-3.25”. Jonathan Eustache placed 13th in the discus throw in 158’-5”.
After the second day of competition, the men had scored three points and sat in a tie for 27th place with Bates College. Princeton and pulled into a tie with Iona to lead the team standings with 35 points, followed by William and Mary in third with 26.
The women’s 4x100m finals started the final day of competition on the track. UAlbany’s team finished fourth overall in 46.64. In the 100m hurdles, Morrison placed sixth in 14.22, and Ike placed eighth in 14.40.
Banfield placed third in the men’s 400 in 46.98. Jobe placed fifth in 47.71. Claxton won the women’s 400m hurdles in 57.58, UAlbany’s final track event of the meet.
In the field events, Anika Hibbard tied for ninth in the women’s high jump, clearing a height of 5’-5.75”. Phillip Udeogu placed eighth in the men’s javelin with a throw of 199’. In the men’s triple jump, Colonel Fakarode placed fourth with a mark of 48’-8.75”, Jordan Crump-King placed sixth in 48’-4.75”, and Matthew Campbell placed 12th in 47-4.5”. Eric DelVescovo placed 12th in the men’s shot put with a throw of 51’-1”. Finally, in the men’s high jump, Kingsley Ogbonna placed second, clearing a height of 6’-10.25”, and Campbell placed fourth with a mark of 6’-9”.
The women concluded the meet in a tie with Bucknell for third place in the team standings with 38 points, behind Cornell with 57.5, and James Madison with 54. The men finished in a tie with Iona for eighth with 35 points. Morgan State won the men’s team title with 68 points, followed by LIU Brooklyn with 55 and Cornell with 51.
The next event on the calendar for the Great Danes is the NCAA East Preliminary Championships starting on May 26 in Jacksonville, Florida. Only those who rank in the top 48 in their event in the East Region are eligible to compete.