Indoor Track Wraps Penn State National Invitational
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The University at Albany competed at the Penn State National Invitational in the Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track on Friday and Saturday. The two-day invite featured 38 teams, including nationally ranked schools, and is recognized as one of the top collegiate indoor track and field meets in the country.
The opening day of the Penn State National held some fierce competitions for the University at Albany. The Great Danes excelled at the meet and left with four new ECAC and IC4A qualifiers.
In the 60-meter dash, Dayleen Santana Rodriguez ran a 7.74 to finish in eighth place. Taahira Butterfield and Stephanie Osuji both earned personal bests and qualified for ECAC running a 7.66 and 7.67, respectively.
In the men’s 5,000-meter, Kyle Gronostaj’s personal best time of 14:38.71 in the invitational section earned him eighth place, and an IC4A qualifying mark. Molly Pezzulo was fifth overall in the women’s invitational section. Her 17:12.16 improved the ECAC mark she previously set.
Both the men and women’s distance medley relay hit the qualifying marks for IC4A and ECAC, respectively. The men’s team of Ryan Udvadia, Momodou Jobe, Austin Sperl, and Jordan Johnson ran a 10:17.81 for eighth place. The quartet of Schuyler Pruyn, Osayi Owie, Dominique Claudio, and Hannah Smith placed fourth, running an 11:55.90.
Saturday kicked off on the track with the women’s 400-meter. Sophomore Halie Snyder came in eighth overall, running a time of 56.89 to qualify for ECAC. Akua Williams placed fifth in the women’s 500-meter with a time of 1:16.42. Osayi Owie was just behind in seventh, running a 1:16.76. Dominique Claudio placed fifth in the 800-meter with a time of 2:11.77.
In the 1,000-meter, sophomore Nira Lovick placed eighth overall for women in 2:57.10. For the men, Zachary Cook ran a 2:31.25 for sixth place. Ryan Udvadia was third in the men’s mile, running a time of 4:15.51.
In the invitational section of the meet, Senior Grace Claxton ran a 55.26 in the women’s 400-meter for eighth place. Her time meets the ECAC standard. Taariq Jones was second in collegiate and third overall, running a 48.06. Freshman Matthew LeLiever ran a 48.58 for ninth place, followed by Jason Tomlinson in tenth place with a time of 48.59.
Freshman Myles Banfield ran in the men’s 500-meter dash in 1:03.36 for third place. Schulyer Pruyn ran a personal best of 5:00.20 in the women’s mile.
Both the men and women’s 4x400-meter relay teams ran the fastest program times in January. The women’s relay team of Halie Snyder, Aderinsola Ajala, Akua Williams, and Grace Claxton ran a 3:46.06 for third place. Earning second in the men’s 4x400-meter was the team of Taariq Jones, Myles Banfield, Matthew LeLiever, and Jason Tomlinson. They ran a collective time of 3:11.26 and are currently ranked at 23rd in the country.
In the field events, the day began with men and women’s high jump. Matthew Campbell placed seventh overall for men with a mark of 6’9”. On the women’s side, freshman Anika Hibbard tied for seventh place with a mark of 5’8”, improving upon her ECAC mark.
Solène Bastien tied for fourth place in the women’s triple jump. Her mark of 40’-10.25” satisfies the ECAC standard. Jordan Crump-King was ninth for the men, with a mark of 48’-09”. Chinwe Igwe placed 11th in the women’s weight throw with a mark of 55' 3.5".
The women’s track athlete of the meet was Molly Pezzulo for her performance in the 5,000-meter race. Anika Hibbard earned field performer with her seventh place finish, and a mark just off the school record. For the men, Myles Banfield earned track performer of the meet after his 500-meter race and 47.6 split on the men’s 4x400 relay. Jordan Crump-King was the men’s field performer of the meet for his ninth place finish in the triple jump. This week also featured a Most Improved Athlete, which was received by Jordan Johnson for his eight-second improvement in the 3,000-meter.
Next up, the Great Danes will return to the Ocean Breeze Complex in Staten Island for the Villanova Invitational. The meet is scheduled for Saturday, February 6.