Competing at the Lehigh Happy Easter Races, the Binghamton men’s and women’s track and field teams witnessed another broken BU program record for the second meet in a row. Redshirt senior Emily Mackay won the 800-meter event with a time of 2:08.53, cracking the previous record by almost three seconds.
“[Mackay] ran how we thought she would run and she’s on pace to have a really great season,” said Binghamton head coach Mike Thompson.
Mackay, who finished her 2021 cross country season with All-American honors after placing 14th in the NCAA Cross Country Championships, had also cemented herself as a school record holder in three events following her performance in the 800-meter race. She earned 10 points for her team at the event, which finished third overall.
Along with Mackay, two other Bearcats on the women’s team won events. One of those finishers was junior Aziza Chigatayeva, who won the 1500-meter with a time of 4:41.46 among 26 other competitors. Senior Brittany Korsah capped off the women’s performances by winning the triple jump with a distance of 38-5 feet.
“The individual performances were what we were happiest about,” Thompson said. “To get a good team score in track and field, you need a bunch of good individual performances, so really that’s the focus.”
While the women’s team finished third with 81.5 points, far behind Bucknell’s 224.5, the men’s side won the meet with 131 points overall.
Spearheading the men’s team was redshirt junior Dan Schaffer, who ran a time of 3:53.08 in the 1500-meter to claim first place, followed by sophomores Matt Cavaliere (3:54.23) and Cian Galligan (3:57.19) who added another seven points to the total.
“For their first track race in a long time, I thought [the distance team] looked solid,” Thompson said. “They’re capable of running faster, and [this race] was really just a primer of what’s to come.”
In the sprinting and field events, the Bearcats recorded three additional first places. In the 100-meter dash, graduate student Greg Matzelle clocked in at 10.78 to win the race. Matzelle was also part of the Binghamton 4×100 relay team that ran a time of 42.18 and beat out the Bucknell lineup by 0.05 seconds to take the gold. Finally, sophomore Marcrene Jeannot jumped 46-5.25 feet to place first in the triple jump.
With the AE conference meet fast approaching, Thompson seemed optimistic about both teams based on their performances at Lehigh.
“I think we’re in a pretty good spot,” Thompson said. “I think we’ll do well at the conference meet, but this year will depend on avoiding positive COVID-19 tests and staying healthy. It’s totally up in the air.”
The Bearcats are set to continue their outdoor season on Friday, April 9 at Mount St. Mary’s. The meet is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. in Emmitsburg, Maryland.