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Off the starting blocks: Outdoor track enters spring season

by Shelby Toth - News Editor
Tue, Apr 17th 2018 08:00 pm
Senior jump specialist Damian Fender (left) gets prepared to take off for his run up to the incoming jump. Senior distance specialist Lauren Bates (right) completes another lap of her routine.
Senior jump specialist Damian Fender (left) gets prepared to take off for his run up to the incoming jump. Senior distance specialist Lauren Bates (right) completes another lap of her routine.

The past week, for The College at Brockport’s Track and Field team, has been a bit out of the ordinary. After the cancellation of the April 7 meet, the team suffered from two more cancellations, on April 13 and April 14. The team managed to enter into three other competitions, splitting their team to maximize their time.

The first of these competitions was the Messiah Multi, taking place April 12 and 13. There, four Golden Eagles made names for themselves in the heptathlon and decathlon.

Freshman Tess Klossner and sophomore Jessica Martin both competed in the heptathlon. Klossner finished seventh overall and Martin finished eighth.

On the men’s side, both freshman Sam Prentiss and freshman Michael Panzarino competed in the decathlon. While Prentiss did not place, as he was not able to attend the second day of competition, Panzarino finished in third place. 

The next meet took place at SUNY Delhi on April 14 in weather conditions that, according to sophomore Alex Burg, were ideal.

“To me, I thought the conditions were perfect for running,” Burg said. “It wasn’t too warm, it wasn’t too cold and there was almost no wind. That, along with plenty of hard work, led to lots of solid performances from my teammates.”

The women found themselves placing well during the competition in both the track and field events. Sophomore Megan McIntyre and freshman Makenna Bleier both placed in the top three for the 3000-meter steeplechase as well. For women’s field events, sophomore Kelcey Watson placed first in the pole vault, and junior Claire Fisher placed second in the same event with an almost identical height. Sophomore Maya Reina took fourth in the pole vault as well. In the hammer throw, freshman Olivia George took second and freshman Carly Antonucci tied for fourth.

For the men of the Delhi meet, freshman Brandon Leiter took third and senior Chris Carlson took fifth in the 110-meter hurdles. Freshman Sharif Jarvis, sophomore Alex Burg and junior Joe Northrup placed in the top six for the 3000-meter steeplechase. Sophomore Christopher Weiner took third in the pole vault with a height of 4.00m. Leiter and freshman Raphael Abel tied for forth in the long jump, and sophomore Taj Shaw recorded a triple jump distance of 13.45m, earning him first place.

The final meet of the week, the Bison Classic at Bucknell University, the Golden Eagles competed against many Division 1 teams, including West Virginia University and the University of Pittsburgh. On the first day of competition, April 14, top 10 finishers were few and far between for Brockport. Senior Audrey Miller finished in fifth place in the javelin throw, while freshman Chanyce Powell took eighth in the triple jump. On the second day of competition, senior Taryn Prutsman earned eighth place in the 100-meter dash, while senior Victoire Kothor continued to shine in the shot put, placing third.

Splitting up the team isn’t something the track and field team commonly finds themselves doing. However, many members of the team agree that it benefits them all as a whole. 

“Having the team split in my opinion is a pretty good thing,” said Miller, who competed in the Bison Classic. “It doesn’t happen too often but sometimes our team has the opportunity to travel to a [Division 1 school] or super competitive meet. Since our team is made up of so many different talent levels, this gives our top athletes the chance to see some really good competition.”

This elevated level of competition is one of the biggest benefits of traveling to bigger meets. It also helps the athletes competing push themselves and set new personal records (PR), a point brought up by Jarvis, who competed in the Delhi meet.

“There is a lot of competition at Bucknell University,” Jarvis said. “Not only are there athletes from our conference, [but] also a lot of Division 1 presence. I’m looking forward to seeing all of the personal records returning on Monday.”

While dividing the team could cause the athletes to feel some tension, that isn’t the case at Brockport. All of the members of the team make sure to support each other, even if they’re not at the meets.

“The team as a whole was very supportive of one another, especially the people who went to an invitational,” Reina, who competed in the Delhi meet, said. “We have a very good team atmosphere. There are people walking around to each event group lining up on the track, cheering on the runners.”

The strong team bond was a point of emphasis brought up by many athletes, including Miller.

“We check in on each other and congratulate each other on successes over text, Snapchat and phone calls,” Miller said. “Even though we are seperated, we care about each other so we [are] still invested in what our teammates are up to.”

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