For the third year in a row, the Binghamton University men’s track team took second place at the America East Outdoor Championship, hosted by the University of Maine over the weekend.
Although the men were missing several key athletes due to injuries, they found themselves in the lead at the end of the first day with 66 points. But their 147 points at the championship’s conclusion fell 34 shy of University at Albany’s 181. Boston University trailed Binghamton with a score of 145.5.
Albany’s women’s team also finished first, giving the Great Danes their fourth-consecutive sweep of the event.
By the end of the meet, 11 Bearcats garnered all-conference honors, which were earned by placing in the top three of their event or by being a member of a top-three relay team. Fifth-year seniors Erik van Ingen and Adam Quinn, seniors Jesse McCormick, Jesse Fuca, Robb Quiller, Chris Veney and Eric VanAernam, sophomore Chris Fernandez, and freshmen Jesse Garn, Pat Heikkila and Cal Michaels all took home the honors.
Head coach Michael Thompson and assistant coaches Annette Acuff, Natilee Dawkins and Gabe Fletcher were named the America East Men’s Coaching Staff of the Year. The staff was also honored with this title during the 2011 indoor season.
The men’s team’s strongest performances of the weekend came in pole vault, the 3000m Steeplechase and the 10,000. Four Binghamton pole vaulters placed in the top six and three athletes took spots in the top six in the 3000m Steeplechase. Binghamton had three men place in the top seven of the 10,000, including junior Vasili Papastrat, who took fourth with a time of 30:59.70 and qualified for the IC4A meet next weekend.
In addition to Papastrat, four other Bearcats qualified for the IC4A meet, which will begin this upcoming Friday at Princeton University. Quiller, who placed second in pole vault with a height of 16-2 3/4 feet, and VanAernam, who took third, cleared the qualifying height of 15-9 feet. In the 3000m Steeplechase, Quinn and Michaels broke the qualifying time of 9:15:00.
The Binghamton men claimed two individual titles and a relay title. Van Ingen took first in the 800 with a time of 1:50.50, and the 4×800 relay team consisting of van Ingen, Garn, Fernandez and McCormick also won first place with a time of 7:36.61. This is the third year that Binghamton has taken the title in the 4×800 race. Fuca also earned a first-place finish, completing the 110 hurdles in 14.51.
By the end of the second day another group of five more athletes made the cut for the IC4A meet coming up this weekend. Fuca, van Ingen, Garn, Heikkila and junior Casey Gilbert all qualified.
The ECAC/IC4A is scheduled for May 11-13 at Princeton University.