The 113th-annual New York Road Runners Millrose Games, held at The Armory in New York City last weekend, is consistently one of the most prestigious meets across both high school and collegiate athletics, drawing in upper echelon athletes from across the globe. Among the runners competing on Saturday was Binghamton redshirt junior Dan Schaffer, who represented the Bearcats among one of the most competitive pool of athletes in the world.
The Allen Steinfield Men’s Mile proved challenging for Schaffer, as the lone Bearcat was pushed off of the starting line, causing his first race at the Millrose Games to be restarted. The competition was equally as threatening, with New Balance athlete Julian Oakley taking first overall with a time of 3:58.86. He was the only athlete to break the four-minute barrier in the race. Schaffer came in 10th, running 4:11.51 — 10 seconds behind his personal best and school record of 4:01.51. Although he started off his race at a respectable pace, his closing 400-meter split lacked the typical kick that would put him above his competition.
“This was a great honor for [Schaffer] to be in this race,” said head cross country coach and assistant track and field coach Annette Acuff, per bubearcats.com. “It was tough for him with the restart today, but this was a good experience for him to move forward.”
Out of the 11 competing runners, Schaffer was accompanied by Eric Holt, ‘18, who clocked in at 4:05.46. Holt and Schaffer, along with graduates Jesse Garn, ‘16, and Erik van Ingen, ‘10, in 2014, were the only four Binghamton athletes invited to the prestigious Millrose Games.
Going forward, Schaffer looks to build momentum on his strong start to the indoor season. Despite his performance at The Armory, he currently sits in 30th in the mile in overall NCAA Division I rankings, along with his current 12th-place standing in the 3K and his season-opening 14:03.06 5K time, the latter of which still holds up in 20th approaching the twilight of the indoor season.
The rest of the Bearcats found themselves at Penn State last weekend, testing their fitness at the Sykes & Sabock Invitational as they await the upcoming conference championships. Senior Greg Matzelle delivered a promising performance, finishing fourth overall in the 200-meter dash at 21.84, less than two-tenths of a second off his personal best of 21.67. Senior Matt Baker placed third in the long jump, covering a distance of 22-6 ½ feet. Junior Brittany Korsah headlined the women’s performances, flying into third place in the triple jump with 38-11 feet, while sophomore Madison Krochina threw 55-2 ¾ feet to cap off the women’s events for the Bearcats.
Next week, the Bearcats will compete at the David Hemery Valentine’s Invitational at 10 a.m. from Friday, Feb. 14 to Saturday, Feb. 15 at Boston University. Then, they will return to Ithaca, New York at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 16 to compete at the Sunday Invitational.