UAlbany Athletics

Women Second, Men Fourth At Great Dane Classic

UAlbany Sports Information   01-14-2017

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – The University at Albany track & field program hosted the 14th annual Great Dane Classic on Saturday.  For the second consecutive year, the meet was hosted at Staten Island’s new Ocean Breeze facility, after spending the previous 12 iterations at the Armory.  The women’s team placed second behind Princeton in the team standings, scoring 90.33 points, and the men placed fourth behind Connecticut, George Mason, and Buffalo, with 60.5 points.

Princeton’s women scored 151.5 points to take a clear victory over the field, while St. John’s placed third with 69 points.  On the men’s side, Connecticut scored 144.5 points in first place, followed by George Mason’s 112, and Buffalo’s 99.

The athletes of the meet were Dayleen Santana Rodriguez, Tara Belinsky, Kyle Gronostaj, and Kingsley Ogbonna.

Rodriguez won the 60m in 7.52, which is a new school record, surpassing the previous mark of 7.55 set first in 1998 by Ellakisha Williamson and then matched in 2010 by Feyisara Adaramola.  Belinsky placed third in the shot put with a personal-best 44-04.25, which satisfies the ECAC qualifying standard and currently leads the America East.  Gronostaj ran a personal best of 8:23.46 in the 3,000m, placing third in the meet and satisfying the IC4A standard.  Finally, Ogbonna tied for first in the high jump with former teammate Alexander Bowen.  Both Ogbonna and Bowen cleared 7-00.25, which is an indoor season personal-best for Ogbonna.

Elsewhere on the track, Sidney Gibbons placed second in the men’s 60m hurdles in 8.15.  Niamani Morrison placed fourth in the women’s 60m hurdles in 8.80.  Rodriguez was joined in the women’s 60m finals by Taahira Butterfield and Stephanie Osuji, who placed fifth in 7.76 and sixth in 7.77 respectively.  Lamine Gueye placed 10th overall in the men’s 60m finals in 7.04, matching his time from the preliminary round.

Johanna Smith placed sixth in the women’s 5,000m in 18:05.77.  Hannah Reinhardt placed eighth in the women’s mile in 5:04.63.  Grace Claxton won the women’s 400m in 54.61.  Halie Snyder placed 10th in 58.39.  Matthew LeLiever placed sixth in the men’s 400m in 48.65, followed by Jason Tomlinson in eighth place in 49.45.

The women’s 500m was won by Olympian Ajee Wilson in 1:09.63, while the men’s was won by Olympian Luguelin Santos in 1:01.76.  Lea Simonini placed ninth in the women’s 800m in 2:19.94.  In the men’s 800m, Austin Sperl placed eighth in 1:57.58 and Evan DeGraw placed ninth in 1:57.72. 

Osuji placed second in the women’s 200m in 24.62.  Rodriguez placed eighth in 25.08.  Cara Sherman placed fifth in the women’s 3,000m in 10:01.62.  Ryan Udvadia placed just behind Gronostaj in the men’s 3,000m, placing sixth in 8:24.37.

The only relay contested on Saturday was the 4x400m, in which the UAlbany women’s A team of Jonel Lacey, Akua Williams, Snyder, and Claxton placed second behind Princeton, whose women made their first-ever appearance at the Great Dane Classic, running a time of 3:52.86.  Princeton’s team finished in 3:48.18.

Moving to the field events, Anika Hibbard tied for third place in the women’s high jump, clearing a height of 5-05.00.  Stefan Buechele placed seventh in the men’s pole vault, clearing 15-03.00.  Morrison placed fourth in the women’s long jump, recording a mark of 17-11.75.  David Henry Jr. placed ninth in the men’s triple jump in 45-05.25.

Placing behind Belinsky in the women’s shot put were Zoe Doolittle, who finished seventh in 41-05.25, followed by Chinwe Igwe in eighth, who also had a throw of 41-05.25, but was displaced in the final standings by Doolittle due to Doolitte’s further second-best throw of the afternoon.  Mary Adeyeye placed 10th in the same event in 39-11.50.  Igwe placed third in the women’s weight throw in 60-00.25, and Jonathan Eustache won the men’s weight throw in 60-06.75.  Also placing in the men’s weight throw was David Carlson, who placed third with a mark of 53-03.00.

Next, the Great Danes will split up to attend two meets next weekend.  The bulk of the team will visit Middlebury College on Saturday to participate in the four-team Waterfall Meet for the first time in program history.  The multis athletes, meanwhile, will travel to Cornell for the Upstate Challenge starting on Friday.

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