After an underwhelming performance at the Penn Relays, the Binghamton University men’s and women’s track and field teams capped off the weekend with four individual winners at the Cornell Big Red Invitational in preparation for the America East (AE) Championships next weekend.
Junior Matt Baker was the Bearcats’ top finisher at the Penn Relays, posting a seventh overall finish in the college division of the triple jump. Baker’s best jump was 45-6 ¼.
The Bearcats have previously struggled to find success in the oldest and largest meet in the nation, having not recorded team scoring in the last three times they attended the Penn Relays. BU head coach Mike Thompson did not seem to think the Penn Relays went particularly well, but said there were still quality performances later in the weekend even with the poor weather conditions.
“I thought [freshman Jake] Restivo’s performance was probably the best that we had at the meet,” Thompson said. “It was a personal best for him by about four inches, so that was nice to see. He was the standout performer.”
The team found much more success at the Cornell Big Red Invitational in Ithaca, New York, as three Bearcats finished in first. Freshman Madison Krochina placed first in the women’s hammer (152-00) and discus (127-3). Restivo earned top honors in the men’s long jump (22-3 ½), and freshman Maximo Olavarria placed first in the men’s 110 hurdles (15.67).
Though Thompson said Olavarria still has not fully adjusted to the college level, he believes he has a bright future ahead.
“He has a lot of talent, but the hurdles get taller in college from high school, so he’s still adjusting to the higher height of the hurdles,” Thompson said. “But it was a good race for him and his quest to run what he’s capable of.”
With four of the individual titles from the weekend being captured by freshmen, the new Bearcat class proved to be successful as the season is nearing its finish.
“It’s a solid freshman class,” Thompson said. “If you were to rate them on how serious they are about the sport, then I would say it probably is one of the best classes we’ve ever had.”
In addition to the top finishers, there were a few other notable performances from the weekend. Senior Jessica Wiede finished second in the hammer throw (136-6). On the men’s side, sophomore Evan Tuthill placed third in the discus throw (128-8), and freshman Dylan DelConte also placed third in the pole vault (14-9).
Reviewing the weekend overall, Thompson said it accomplished its task in composing the team for next weekend.
“There’s definitely room for improvement,” Thompson said. “We really looked at this past weekend as just trying to set ourselves up for the conference meet.”
In preparation for the championships, Thompson said the athletes will be focusing on rest so they can recover. The Bearcats are looking to build upon their showing from last year, where they placed fifth of nine, led by Keishorea Armstrong, ‘18, who was named the Women’s Most Outstanding Field Athlete.
The AE Championships will be hosted by the University at Albany next week as a two-day meet. The event begins on Saturday, May 4 in Albany, New York.