Women’s Track Defends Conference Title
NEW YORK – The University at Albany women’s indoor track team finds itself in the same position it was one year ago as America East champions. Today’s victory sealed a successful defense of their title, and represented not only a consecutive championship, but a fourth team victory in the last five years. The women scored 198.50 points in the team competition, distancing themselves from runner-up Binghamton, which scored 125.83 points. Vermont finished third, scoring 109.33 points.
The women were tied with Vermont at the conclusion of the first day of competition, with each team accumulating 45 points. But in day two, UAlbany gapped the field, ultimately claiming a decisive victory. Samantha Kosa kicked off proceedings for the women Monday morning, placing second in the shot put with a throw of 45’-2.25”. She was immediately followed by Janice Johnson in third place, with a throw of 43’-6”. Veleisha Walker placed fifth in the event, throwing 41’-4.25”.
Kathryn Fanning placed third in the mile with a time of 4:50.73, after running a 4:47 1600 leg of the distance medley relay the night before. Michelle Anthony backed up her first place qualifying mark by winning the 60 hurdles in 8.64. Tynelle Taylor-Chase placed third in 8.76, and CiCi Simon placed fifth in 8.94. Taylor-Chase followed her hurdles result with a second place finish in the 500, running 1:13.09. Dominique Claudio followed in fifth with a time of 1:14.87.
In the 400 finals, Aderinsola Ajala and Kamilah Williams placed second and third, running 56.59 and 58.02 respectively. Ajala finished just behind champion Alexis Kitsakos from UMass Lowell, who finished with a time of 56.56.
Jillian Haynes and Kahlia Taylor went 3-4 in the 60, running 7.66 and 7.68 respectively. Ashlee Maduro placed seventh with a 7.84. Brianne Bellon placed third in the 800 with a 2:13.01. Breanna Cummings placed sixth with a 2:17.82, and Mackenzie Carter placed eighth in 2:20.75. Fanning, in her third event of the meet, placed second in the 1,000, running 2:52.88.
In the 200, UAlbany placed runners 4-6 and eighth. Haynes led the way in fourth with a 24.67. Taylor placed fifth in 24.69. Anthony placed sixth in 24.88. And Aiyanna James rounded out the group in eighth with a time of 25.38.
Silvia Del Fava, already a winner in last night’s 5,000 in dominating fashion, again claimed victory in the 3,000 in 9:40.20. She defeated second place by over 11 seconds. Valentina Talevi, sharing the same double as Del Fava, placed fifth in 10:00.08.
Solène Bastien placed third in the triple jump with a mark of 38’-8.75”, and Pony Sokiri placed eighth with a jump of 37’-9.25”. In the high jump, Min Pacella tied for fifth with a fellow freshman in Binghamton’s Jackie Crunden. Both athletes jumped 5’-5.25”. UAlbany’s Rochelle Reid and Ashley Grant tied for seventh, jumping 5’-3.75”.
UAlbany’s 4x800 placed fifth, with the team of Carter, Claudio, Cummings, and Bellon running 9:26.65. The Danes capped off their championship effort with a second place finish in the 4x400. The team of Ajala, Maduro, Williams, and Taylor-Chase finished just behind conference newcomer UMass Lowell, running a time of 3:48.61.
At the conclusion of the meet, UAlbany had claimed victory in four events, two of which came from Del Fava. They shared in victory with the men’s team, which won their ninth consecutive title, also defeating Binghamton by a team score of 219 to 139.20. Individual awards will be announced at a later date following a coaches’ vote.
Two weeks from now, those with qualifying marks will travel to Boston University to compete at ECAC Championships.