Binghamton University’s men’s and women’s track and field teams are set to take a trip to Boston University this weekend for the America East Indoor Championships.
Boston, University at Albany and Binghamton are the front-runners for the men’s events. Boston University took first place in both the indoor and outdoor championships last season, just ahead of Binghamton each time. Although the Bearcats took first place in cross country in 2009, they came in second once again to Boston this past October.
Cazal Arnett, a senior at Binghamton, has stood out for the Bearcats at the tournament the past few seasons. He has crossed the finish line first in both the 200-meter and 400-meter for the past three years in a row at the America East Indoor Championships. He also anchored the 4×400 relay team last season, helping it to a first-place finish. Arnett boasts the title of Most Outstanding Track Performer in both 2009 and 2010, as well as Rookie of the Meet in 2008. Seniors Christian Smith and Andy Haupt, junior Karl Schnabl and sophomores Dustin Ross, Casey Gilbert, Zach Keefer and Devinn Askew add to Binghamton’s arsenal of sprinters going into the Championships as well.
Coming off possibly one of the best meets of his career, senior Erik van Ingen will return to Boston to compete in the 1,000 and 5,000. Van Ingen ran a 3:57.11 mile at the Boston University Valentine Invitational on Saturday. He will be accompanied by sophomore Jeff Martinez, who placed second in the 5,000 at both the America East indoor and outdoor meets last season. He also took third place in the indoor 3,000 and was named the Most Outstanding Rookie at the outdoor championships. Binghamton’s remaining top runners heading into the weekend are seniors Adam Quinn, Casey Quaglia and Andrew Ugolino, as well as sophomore Brendan Connell and freshman Chris Fernandez. These distance runners will play a large role in the success of the team.
It comes as no surprise that the pole vault is the event that the men’s team has the best shot to win. Binghamton’s pole vaulters are dominating the conference with junior Robb Quiller, sophomore Adam Helman and junior Eric VanAernam ranked as the top three, respectively.
In other events, senior Jesse Fuca looks to take first in the hurdles, junior Chris Veney is the top hope in both the long and triple jump and junior Colin Anderson and freshman Dan Zukich look to succeed in the throwing events.
On the women’s side, sophomore Jessica Hennig hopes to defend her America East Indoor title in the 400, while freshmen Kathleen Klein and Erika Kisel have a chance to score in the 400 and 500, respectively. Rounding off the sprints, junior Jess Conter is Binghamton’s top runner looking to place in the 60 and 200.
In the pole vault, sophomore Jenna Marrione and freshman Camille Ginyard are respectively ranked second and third in the conference going into this weekend. Last season, Marrione finished second in both the America East Indoor and Outdoor Championships with heights of 10-10 each time.
In the 60 hurdles, junior Kaitlin Sullivan, sophomore Ashley AuPont and freshman Jessica Goldberg have a good chance of making the finals. Sullivan placed seventh in the event as a freshman. Freshmen Sara Wickes and Goldberg also have a shot at scoring in the pentathlon.
Another area that the Bearcat women excel in is the jump events. Freshmen Paige Ware and Alexis Murray, along with junior Michelle Eberhart, are all a threat in the long jump and triple jump.
Finishing off the women’s events, freshman Caitlin Jelinek is Binghamton’s top distance runner fighting for a top finish in the 3,000 and junior Abigail Oakes, fresh off a school-record throw, is a contender in the shot put.
The two-day event is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. today in Boston.