Men’s Track Wins 10th Consecutive Indoor Conference Title
NEW YORK – For the 10th consecutive season, the University at Albany men’s indoor track & field team has won the America East Indoor Championships. The men scored 191 points to claim victory, after leading through the first day with 44 points. Binghamton was runner-up for the second consecutive year, scoring 133.33 points. New Hampshire was third, scoring 115.33 points. In addition to 10 consecutive, this championship is also the men’s 12th in their last 13.
The men had no entries in the first track event of the day, the mile. Devon Willis was the first UAlbany scorer on the track Saturday, placing third in the 60 hurdles with a time of 8.37, just off the personal best of 8.35 he set in the trials last night.
Taariq Jones successfully defended his title in the 400, crossing the line in 48.37 to take first place. Youssef Benzamia placed second in 48.52. Jason Tomlinson won the 500 in 1:04.04. Robert Harris III placed second in the 60 in 6.94. His time was six-thousandths of a second behind the winner, Daryian Miles from UMBC. Jaymen Teemer placed fourth in 7.00. Winston McCormack Jr. was sixth in 7.09.
Youness Benzaid placed second in the 800, with an open personal best of 1:51.92. John DeLallo won in the 1,000 in 2:25.76 after original winner Jesse Garn from Binghamton was disqualified for cutting in too early. Harris III earned his second second-place finish in the 200, finishing with a time of 22.08. McCormack Jr. placed fourth in 22.26. Cherron Royal placed eighth with a time of 22.61. Christopher Buchanan placed eighth in the 3,000, running a season best 8:31.56.
In the field events, Alexander Bowen and Matthew Campbell swept the top two spots in the high jump, each clearing 6’-10.75”. The finishing order was determined by a jump-off. Bowen and Campbell both cleared 6’-10.75”, before passing the next height of 6’-11.75”. Both missed all three attempts at 7’-1”, and both had the same number of misses from earlier heights. Bowen won the jump-off, clearing 7’-1”, while Campbell placed second after missing the height in the jump-off. It was Bowen’s fourth consecutive indoor high jump title.
Eric Del Vescovo placed fourth in the shot put in a new personal best of 49’-6.25”. UAlbany swept the top four places in the triple jump. Bowen claimed his second victory, winning the event with a mark of 48’-6.25”. Willis was second in 48’-4.75”. Jordan Crump-King was third in 48’-2.75”. And Colonel Fakarode was fourth in 47’-3”.
The final three events of the heptathlon were contested on Saturday, with the day’s events beginning with the heptathlon 60 hurdles. Stefan Buechele, who was in 11th place with 2,359 points after the first four events, placed 10th in the hurdles in 9.43. Phillip Blanda, who was sixth with 2,598 points after the first day, placed 11th in the hurdles in 9.65. Buechele placed third in the pole vault, clearing a height of 13’-9”. Blanda placed 10th, clearing 10’-10”. Buechele placed second in the 1,000 in 2:44.66. Blanda placed 10th in 3:11.54. Ultimately, Buechele placed seventh overall, scoring 4,508 points, and Blanda placed ninth, scoring 4,194 points.
UAlbany placed seventh in the 4x800 relay with a time of 8:06.96. Chad Barker led off, splitting 2:01.9. Raymond Farinella ran second, splitting 1:57.6. Simon Niwana ran third, splitting 2:01.4. And Harold Lamour anchored in 2:05.8. The men placed second in the 4x400 to close the meet, running a season best time of 3:15.34. Jones led off in 49.2, followed by Benzamia in 48.3, Ryan Small in 50.0, and finally Tomlinson in 47.6.
In total, the men won six events over the two-day meet. They shared in victory with the UAlbany women, who won their third consecutive title, and fifth in six years. The women scored 197.66 points to defeat runner-up UMBC, who scored 153 points. The UAlbany coaching staff won the Coaching Staff of the Year Award, and Bowen won Most Outstanding Men’s Field Performer.
With conference championships now concluded, the Great Danes will visit Boston for the next two weeks for the Boston University Last Chance Meet next weekend, followed by the IC4A Championships in two weeks, also at Boston University.