Women’s Track Wins Seventh Consecutive Outdoor Title
ALBANY, N.Y. – For the seventh time in as many years, and for the 10th time in 11 years, the University at Albany women’s track & field program has won the America East Outdoor Championships. The women scored 227 points to win the team competition. UMBC placed second with 169 points, and New Hampshire placed third with 153.16 points.
After the first day of competition, the UAlbany women scored 49 points, ranking second in the team standings. New Hampshire ranked first with 72.16 points, and Binghamton ranked third with 40.33 points. Veleisha Walker who took the title in the javelin on Saturday, was the women’s only champion on day one, and the first Great Dane to win a title for either the women or the men at the meet.
Events kicked off at 9:30 a.m. with the continuation of the heptathlon. After the first four events, contested on Saturday, Paige Vadnais ranked third in the standings with 2,892 points, and Mary Adeyeye ranked sixth with 2,729 points. In Sunday’s first event, the long jump, Vadnais placed fifth in 16’-11.25”, and Adeyeye placed 10th in 14’-10”. In the javelin, Adeyeye placed fourth in 93’-2”, and Vadnais placed ninth in 54’-7”. In the seventh and final event of the heptathlon, the 800, Vadnais placed first in 2:24.37, and Adeyeye placed 10th in 2:33.89. In the final rankings, Vadnais placed third overall, scoring 4,487 points. Adeyeye placed fifth with 4,253 points. Both totals are personal bests.
Field events began at 10:00 a.m. with the discus and the triple jump. Zoe Doolittle won the discus in 133’-0”, a personal best by nearly 16 feet, leading a one-two-three UAlbany sweep in the event. Walker, coming off her school record victory in the javelin Saturday, placed second in the discus in 132’-2”. Lauren Lopano placed third in 131’-8”. Additionally, Janice Johnson placed eighth in 121’-2”. In the triple jump, Alexx Baum placed second with a wind-legal season-best mark of 40’-11.5”.
Track events began at 11:00 a.m. with the 4x100 relay. The team of Kahlia Taylor, Chanel Smith, Taahira Butterfield, and Grace Claxton won in a season best mark and facility record 46.08. Additionally, the mark is a school record, surpassing the previous mark of 46.27 set in 2010 by the team of Allison Rogers, Christen Griffen, Quanté Harris, and Feyisara Adaramola.
Schuyler Pruyn placed fourth in the 1,500 in a personal-best 4:32.92. Indoor 400 champion Claxton won the 400 in a collegiate-best mark of 53.35, setting a new championship meet record, outdoor school record, and facility record in the process. The previous championship record was 53.55 set in 2004 by Northeastern’s Ahndraea Allen. The previous outdoor school record was 53.92 set in 2013 by Allison Rogers. Halie Snyder placed third in 55.74, after setting a season-best mark in Saturday’s preliminary round. Kamilah Williams placed fifth in a season-best 56.44.
Michelle Anthony won the 100 hurdles in a personal-best 13.85. Dominique Claudio placed second in the 800 in 2:12.06. Smith placed fourth in the 100 in 11.86. Taylor placed sixth in 11.89. Both marks are personal-bests.
The final field event to be contested was the shot put. Johnson placed first in 48’-1.25”. The mark is a school record, surpassing the previous record of 46’-7.25” set in 2014 by Samantha Kosa. Doolittle placed sixth in a personal-best 42’-7”, and Chinwe Igwe placed seventh in a personal best 41’-8”.
Claxton earned her third overall and second individual title, winning the 400 hurdles in a championship, school, and facility record time of 58.51. The time breaks her own school record by one-hundredth of a second, and surpasses the previous championship mark of 58.71 set in 1993 by New Hampshire’s Alison Poulin. Aderinsola Ajala placed fifth in 1:02.34.
Taylor placed fourth in the 200 in 24.74. Smith placed sixth in 24.93. Anthony placed seventh in 25.03. Molly Pezzulo placed third in the 5,000 in 17:23.26. Jessica Donohue placed fifth in 17:30.25. Hannah Smith placed seventh in 17:46.11. All three times were personal bests.
The meet concluded with the 4x800 and the 4x400 relays. The 4x800 team of Nira Lovick (2:18.7), Cummings (2:18.7), Claudio (2:13.0), and Pruyn (2:13.8) placed first in 9:04.36. The 4x400 team of Ajala (57.2), Williams (55.5), Snyder (56.4), and Claxton (55.3) placed second in 3:44.46.
The women’s team won the Coaching Staff of the Year award following their victory. In total, the women claimed victory in eight events. Women’s competitors across all schools set five new championship records and 11 new facility records. UAlbany women set five new school records, and share in their title with their teammates on the men’s team, who won their 11th consecutive title.
With conference championships now over, the Great Danes look ahead to continuing deeper into the championship season. The first step will be to remain home for one more weekend, when UAlbany will host the Purple & Gold Last Chance Meet. Later in May, the team will visit Princeton for the ECAC Championships, and then North Florida for the NCAA East Regional Championships.