Women’s Track Wraps Competition At Collegiate
NEW YORK – Making the trip south to New York City for the second consecutive week, the University at Albany women’s indoor track team competed in the biggest event on their schedule to date, the Armory Collegiate Invitational. Named as the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Division I National Meet of the Week, Collegiate traditionally draws dozens of teams from across the country, and this year was no different, with athletes from 100 teams competing on the weekend.
Collegiate is the first meet on the UAlbany schedule that takes place over two days, and consequently the first to mimic the format of the America East Championships. Each of the four meets UAlbany has competed in so far this year have taken place in one day. In transitioning to this format, from the single-day meets in which they had competed exclusively so far this season, the Danes were able to acclimate themselves to having to compete hard on consecutive days, and the differences in effective recovery that come with it.
The Danes faced their toughest competition of the year, and competed across three different divisions during the meet: eastern, college, and championship. Senior Silvia Del Fava won the championship section of the 3,000 in 9:33.50. The time set a new UAlbany indoor record, surpassing the old mark set last year by teammate Brittney Lane by eight seconds.
Although Del Fava was the only individual victor for the women, she was far from the only athlete to perform well at the meet. Senior Kathryn Fanning placed third in the championship section of the 1,000 with a time of 2:48.43. In the college 60, sophomore Kahlia Taylor qualified second in the preliminary round with a time of 7.67. She returned in the finals with a fifth place finish in 7.65. Junior Michelle Anthony qualified sixth in the preliminary round of the college 200 with a 25.09, and finished fifth overall in the finals in 25.24. Anthony qualified for finals after having her time calculated to the thousandths place, breaking a tie in her favor.
Senior Rochelle Reid tied for eighth place in the college section of the high jump with a mark of 5’-6.5. In the championship section of the 60, senior Jillian Haynes qualified for semi-finals in 26th place with a time of 7.61, and placed 19th in semis with a 7.63.
UAlbany’s relays performed strongly as well. The 4x400 team of Aderinsola Ajala, Kamilah Williams, Haynes, and Ashlee Maduro won the New Jersey/New York section in 3:45.73. The team set a new school record, with splits of 57.0 for Ajala, 56.7 for Williams, 55.1 for Haynes, and 56.5 for Maduro. The old record was set in 2012, when a team of Elia Francis, Williams, Tenica Roberts, and Allison Rogers ran 3:46.26. The UAlbany 4x800 team of Brianne Bellon, Fanning, Mackenzie Carter, and Schuyler Pruyn, also competing in the New Jersey/New York section, placed fifth with a time of 9:07.36.
Additional performances for the women include Haynes in the championship section of the 200, placing 31st with a time of 25.00. Sophomore Lauren Lopano placed 29th championship weight throw with a mark of 47’-6.5”. Anthony placed 49th in the championship section of the 60 hurdles with an 8.97. Williams and Ajala finished consecutively in 26th and 27th respectively in the college 400, running 57.46 and 57.50. Junior Molly Pezzulo placed 11th in the eastern 3,000 in 10:14.15. Bellon placed 17th in the championship section of the 1,000 in 2:53.38. Junior Valentina Talevi placed 14th in the college section of the 5,000 in 17:39.97. In total, across all events, the women recorded 10 ECAC qualifying marks over the meet’s two days.
Next weekend, the Danes will either compete at the two-day NCAA Division I Invitational on the oversized track at the Spire Institute in Geneva, Ohio, or a select few will return to the Armory for the third consecutive week to compete in the Millrose Games. Two weeks from now, the Armory will host the America East Indoor Championships.