The Binghamton women’s and men’s track and field teams competed at the America East Indoor Track and Field Championships this past weekend, earning third and fifth place finishes, respectively. Despite the added stress that comes with the conference championships, several members of the men’s and women’s teams earned all-conference honors.
“I think the championship environment drove our team to better performances for most people,” said BU head coach Mike Thompson. “We tell the team to stay in the present and use the increased adrenaline that comes with a championship environment to their advantage.”
The Bearcat women got off to a strong start on Friday, as graduate student Brooke Bonney’s solid season continued. Bonney came out on top in the women’s weight throw with a distance of 65-0, marking her first career conference title in the women’s weight throw. Fresh off of being named the America East Women’s Field Athlete of the Week for the second straight week, she has now captured this event five times this year.
“Brooke has been consistently good all year,” Thompson said. “She leads by example on the field and will graduate as one of the top track and field athletes in school history.”
Binghamton’s pole vaulters also excelled on Friday, as sophomore Mallory Prelewicz and freshman Casey Gribben took individual titles for the women’s and men’s teams, respectively. After finishing in third place last year, Prelewicz’s height of 11-11 ¾ was best among all competitors in the women’s pole vault. Gribben was victorious on the men’s side with a height of 14-9, and was later named the Men’s Most Outstanding Rookie.
Prelewicz and Gribben have been successful early in their careers, and Thompson appears to see the potential for future growth in their abilities.
“Youth is good, and both Mallory and Casey have tremendous room for improvement,” Thompson said. “They both have the talent to be exceptional vaulters in the future.”
BU has a history of success in pole vaulting since joining the America East in 2001. Including this past weekend’s results, Binghamton owns seven men’s indoor pole vault conference titles and six on the women’s side. Prelewicz and Gribben’s victories, however, mark the first time that a BU man and woman each won the pole vault title in the same indoor meet.
On Saturday, three more Bearcats turned in first-place performances. Sophomore Brittany Korsah earned top honors in the women’s 400 with a time of 54.78. Her showing denoted the second time Korsah achieved the America East 400 title; she was previously victorious in the event at last season’s outdoor championships.
In the men’s 60, junior Greg Matzelle’s time of 6.87 allowed him to capture his first America East title. Similar to Bonney, Matzelle recorded his second career America East Men’s Track Athlete of the Week award right before this weekend’s conference meet. Junior Jack Fitzgerald also earned a victory on Saturday, breaking his own school record in the process. Last year, Fitzgerald set the BU men’s high jump record with a height of 6-11 ½. This year, he set the record once more with a height of 7-0 ¼, earning him his second America East high jump title. Junior Matt Baker also broke his own school record; his 49-5 ¾ result in the triple jump placed him in third and broke the record he set in 2018 (48-11 ½).
“It was a great season, definitely better than we expected at the start of the year,” Thompson said.
Binghamton will be back in action next weekend in Boston, Massachusetts, as the team partakes in the ECAC/IC4A Indoor Championships from March 1 to March 3.