Indoor Track Finishes Season At ECAC, IC4A Championships
ALBANY, N.Y.—In the final meet of the 2016 indoor season, the University at Albany track and field program will travel to Boston University’s Track and Tennis Center to compete in the ECAC and IC4A Indoor Championships, which will start Friday and conclude on Sunday.
Similar to the set-up of the America East Championships, the men’s preliminary events will be held in their entirety on Saturday, the first full day of competition, and will be followed by the women’s preliminary events in Saturday’s afternoon session. On Sunday, the men’s and women’s finals will alternate by event. The women’s pentathlon and men’s heptathlon will begin on Friday, with the heptathlon finishing on Saturday.
“This is the culmination of the indoor season,” said Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Roberto Vives. “Last year the women were second, which is our best-ever finish in the ECAC, and our men were third. It’s a meet that’s hard to predict because you don’t know which teams are entering, but we like to consistently be in the top three.”
Last season, the men placed third overall, scoring 44 points. The women placed a program high of second with 48 points. Monmouth earned the men’s title, scoring 58 points, while defending women’s champion Connecticut scored 53 points.
“A meet like this takes about 50 points to win, so it’s more individual,” explains Coach Vives. “If the student-athletes do what they’re capable of—making finals and scoring points—the team score takes care of itself. On the women’s side, there’s probably over 80 teams that are members, and on the men’s side there are over 100 team, with schools from North Carolina all the way up to Maine.”
Forty-nine Great Danes have qualified for IC4A or ECAC Championships, including relays. Both the men and women have qualified relay teams in the 4x400, 4x800, and Distance Medley Relay (DMR).
A total of nine student-athletes, seven men and two women, have performances that are ranked top-10 in the IC4A or ECAC for their events. Matthew Campbell is fourth in the high jump with a mark of 7' 0.25". Chinwe Igwe ranks fifth in the women’s weight throw with a mark of 63’4”. Jordan Crump-King is seventh in the triple jump with a mark of 50' 6". Jonathan Eustache is eighth in the men’s weight throw at 66' 11.5". The men’s 4x400 relay of Taariq Jones, Myles Banfield, Matthew LeLiever, and Jason Tomlinson is eighth at 3:11.26. Solène Bastien ranks ninth in the women’s triple jump at 40' 10.25". Taariq Jones also ranks ninth in the men’s 400-meter race at 47.25.
The rankings may not accurately reflect final seeding for the field, as not everyone will compete in all of the events for which they qualified, or some teams may choose to not make the trip at all.
“We always want to be in the top three,” said Vives “We want to finish the indoor season on a positive note because that sets the tone for outdoors,” Coach Vives said. “The first meet of the outdoor season is important, so we want to ride the performances from this weekend to have a strong start for the next season. We want to get the NCAA qualifying marks done early. In April, they’ll be able to work and maintain their fitness. April could be a good training time and get them prepared for Championship time, which for us is America East, IC4A/ECAC, and NCAA Regionals.”
“I look at this meet as a platform for outdoor,” Vives said. “It’s going to set us up and keep us fit and sharp. If we didn’t have this weekend, for some of the athletes it could have been a month about a month before they competed again.”
The championship begins on Friday, March 4 at 3:00 P.M. with the multi-events. The women’s pentathlon begins first, followed by the men’s heptathlon at 3:30 p.m. On Saturday, March 5, events will begin at 9:45 A.M. with the final two events of the men’s heptathlon. At 10:00 A.M., the men’s trial events begin with the 60 hurdles, long jump, and weight throw. The women’s trial events are scheduled to begin at 3:00 P.M. on Saturday, with the 60 hurdles, long jump, weight throw, and pole vault. Final events contested on Saturday include the long jump, weight throw, high jump, 5,000-meter race, and the women’s pole vault. Sunday’s finals begin at 9:30 A.M. with the men’s triple jump and women’s shot put. Track events begin at 10:00 A.M. with the women’s unseeded 3,000.