Building up momentum to take on the America East Championships later this month, the Binghamton men’s and women’s track and field teams competed at the Kane Invitational in Ithaca, New York and the Penn State National Open in University Park, Pennsylvania on Saturday.

“This time of year in the middle of the season we’re backing off of our training and letting them recover a little bit better,” said Binghamton head coach Mike Thompson. “I think for the middle of the season we’re in excellent shape.”

Both meets focused on developing better individual performances for the men’s and women’s teams, with Penn State the more competitive of the two. Senior Greg Matzelle was one of the competing athletes on the men’s side at Penn State, running a solid 22.04 against a competitive roster in the 200-meter. Sophomore Jake Restivo achieved a personal best in the long jump, smashing his old record of 22-3 ½ feet by almost a whole foot. He jumped 23-3 ¼ feet to take sixth place at University Park.

On the women’s side, senior Emily Mackay took second in the women’s 800-meter, clocking in at 2:11.51 to finish less than a second off of the Binghamton school record. Junior Brittany Korsah and sophomore Stephanie Cassens both took on the 400-meter and finished with times of 56.86 and 57.70, respectively.

“Korsah is starting to look like herself again in the [400-meter],” Thompson said. “ It was nice to see her back to her old self.”

Although the meet at Cornell was less competitive, the Bearcats performed well. Sophomore Madison Krochina threw a personal best of 16.56 in the women’s weight throw. In the 60-meter dash final, senior Janelle Williams and junior Nia Joyner ran their best races of the year, clocking in at 7.99 and 8.02, respectively. Joyner also competed in the 200-meter, finishing second with a time of 26.04. On the distance side, sophomore Elisabeth Van Tassell led a 5K sweep with a time of 19:06.45, followed by freshmen Carolyn Burnell, Kaitlyn DeYulio and Kyra Guerci.

“I thought as a whole, the sprinters had a good meet at Cornell,” Thomspon said. “Nia Joyner and Janelle Williams ran really well. They ran the best they’ve run this year.”

Freshman Colin Tower was one of the sprinters on the men’s side at Cornell, running a season’s best of 22.93 in the 200-meter. Four Bearcats also ran in the 60-meter hurdles final. Senior Troy Zanger finished third, followed by freshman Adrian Rippstein, sophomore Maximo Olavarria and freshman Nick Malfitano. Zanger and Malfitano were also part of a winning 4×400 team, finishing with a time of 3:31.27.

Sophomore Daniel Gahagan had the best performance on the distance team, running 8:47.89 in the 3K for an easy first place over the 15 competing athletes.

Most of the Binghamton track and field team traveled to Penn State; however, junior Evan Tuthill competed at Cornell to set a personal best in the shot put, throwing 47.01 feet and taking third overall.

Senior Dan Schaffer did not compete at either meet, nor did sophomore Aziza Chigatayeva, who picked up an injury earlier in the season.

“We won’t do as well as a team without [Chigatayeva] in there,” Thompson said. “She’s our best distance runner and probably our best athlete overall.”

The Bearcats will return to University Park, Pennsylvania at 10 a.m. next Saturday, Feb. 8 to compete at the Skyes & Sabock Invitational, hosted by Penn State University.