Several Track Athletes Qualify for ECAC and IC4A Championships

several athletes qualify ecac ic4aThe men’s and women’s indoor track teams competed at the Bison Open at Bucknell University while some competed at the Terrier Classic at Boston University.

“At Bucknell, we had the most ECAC qualifiers ever for one meet between the men and the women,” said Head Coach Joe Compagni. 14 athletes from both the men’s and women’s team qualified for the ECAC and IC4A Championships. 10 of the qualifiers were from the women’s team, which set a record for the most qualifiers in a single weekend in school history. The Bison Invitational was held at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.

Some of the top finishers in the meet included a first-place finish in the high jump from Ali Day, who posted a mark of 1.70 m/5’7”. In the men’s high jump, Jake Bartlett came in second place with a mark of 1.99 m/6’6.5”.  Also for the men, Ed Kramer tied for third in the high jump with a mark of 1.94 m/6’4.25”. In the long jump, Stevenson Cajuste placed in third with a mark 6.60 m/21’7.75”.

In the Terrier Invitational at Boston University, the distance medley relay team of Amanda Eller, Colleen Rutecki, Emily MacEwen, and Jennifer Nelson finished in second place with a time of 11:54.02, good enough to qualify the group for the ECAC Championships.

On the men’s side, Vince Elardo came in first place in shot put with a mark of 17.61 m/57’9.5”. Errol Jeffery followed with a fifth-place finish with a mark of 15.93 m/52’3.25”. Taylor Bernstein came in eighth in the shot put with a mark of 15.62 m/51’3”, good enough to qualify him for the IC4A Championships.  Elardo came in second in the weight throw with a mark of 18.44 m/60’6”. Jeffery followed with a sixth-place finish with a mark of 16.30 m/53’5.75”, which qualified him for the IC4A’s.

“The competition has been well the last couple of weeks. It’s going to especially tough this weekend. There are going to be a lot of big name schools, including Texas and Florida,” Elardo explained.

In the 4 by 400 relay, the team of Ben Boyd, Joe DiBianca, Bayaan Oluyadi, and Jon Marques came in seventh place with a time of 3:18.55, which qualified them for the IC4A’s. In the 1,000-meter run, Ford Palmer finished in second place with a time 2:23.65. Palmer’s time was the school’s second best ever time for the 1,000-meter run.

“This will be my third year qualifying. I wasn’t really thinking about it at the time. I was just trying to win the race,” Palmer explained.

In the 500-meter dash, Oluyadi finished in seventh with a time of 1:05.36 while DiBianca finished in eighth with a time of 1:05.50.

Both the men’s and women’s team are ranked eighth according to the first edition of the U.S. Track & Field and Coaches Cross Country Association Mid-Atlantic Regional Index.

“It’s good to be at this point this early in the season. It’s also nice to be ranked in front of many of the other schools that we face,” Compagni stated.

The Hawks will participate in the Moonlight at the MAC meet today. The events will begin at 4:00 PM and is scheduled to end at around 9:00 PM. Also, this weekend, some members of the team will be head-ing to New York City to compete in the New Balance Collegiate Invitational. The meet is scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

“We’ve been performing better than our expectations,” said Laura Williams. “Starting from last year, we have become a lot faster and stronger.”

PHOTO COURTESY of MU Photography