Women's Track Wins Fifth Straight Indoor Championship
BOSTON, N.Y. – For the fifth straight season, the University at Albany women’s track & field team has won the America East Indoor Championships. The women scored 212 points to take first place, ahead of runner-up Stony Brook with 114.5 points, and third place New Hampshire with 100.5 points. It is the women’s seventh indoor title in the last eight years.
The women held a 14-point lead after the first day of the championship meet over Binghamton, and a 23 point lead over UMass Lowell. Chinwe Igwe highlighted the first day for the women, breaking her own championship meet record in the weight throw to claim victory for the second consecutive season.
Saturday’s track events began with the mile. Laura Nolan won her heat in 5:12.41 but finished ninth overall, just one place out of a scoring position. Niamani Morrison placed second in the 60m hurdles in 8.63, followed by Chibugo Ike in third in 8.86. Nichole Anderson placed eighth in 9.04.
After breaking her own championship record in the 400m in yesterday’s preliminary round, Grace Claxton improved on the record once more in the finals, winning the event in 53.05. Claxton, who is in her final season as a Great Dane, has never lost an open 400m at indoor or outdoor conference championships. Kiyah Owens placed fourth in the 400m in 56.46, and Jonel Lacey placed fifth in 56.67.
Halie Snyder won the 500m for her first-ever individual conference championship, in 1:13.83. Osayi Owi placed eighth in 1:16.70.
Five Great Danes qualified for the eight-person final in the 60m in Friday’s preliminary round. Dayleen Santana Rodriguez won the final in 7.58, followed by Stephanie Osuji in 7.66. Taahira Butterfield placed fourth in 7.72, Nicole Dodrill placed sixth in 7.75, and Chanel Smith placed seventh in 7.84. The five women accounted for 28 points in the 60m alone, and no other school scored more than six points in the event.
Osuji, who set an indoor school record in the preliminary round of the 200m, won the finals in 24.19, followed by Santana Rodriguez in second in 24.46, Butterfield in 24.87, and Smith in 24.96.
Tara Belinsky won the shot put in 45-07.00. Zoe Doolittle placed third in 42-02.00. Mary Adeyeye placed fourth in 42-00.00. Lundy Spinner placed seventh in 40-08.25. The quartet accounted for 23 points in the shot put alone.
Anika Hibbard won the high jump, matching her indoor-best 5-08.75. She cleared the same height as Maine’s Grace MacLean, who won Friday’s pentathlon, but was awarded the victory based on few failed attempts. Victoria Stoffel placed fourth, clearing 5-07.00.
In total, the women won seven events over the two-day meet. The coaches were honored with the Coaching Staff of the Year award. They share in victory with the men’s team for the fifth-straight year, who scored 205 points to win their 12th-consecutive title, defeating UMass Lowell’s 129.5, and Binghamton’s 123.
Next, the Great Danes will return to Boston University’s Track and Tennis Center for ECAC Indoor Championships starting Friday, March 3.