On Saturday, three Bearcats from the Binghamton track and field teams competed at the Toledo Rocket Invitational. Two BU athletes broke school records at the meet and one, redshirt junior Dan Schaffer, broke the four-minute barrier in the mile, marking him the fourth Bearcat in history to accomplish the feat.
“It feels incredible to break the four-minute barrier in the mile,” Schaffer said, per bubearcats.com. “Going sub-four is something I have dreamed about since I first started running. To be able to now call myself a sub-four-minute miler is unreal.”
Schaffer’s performance at Toledo earned him first place in the event. He crossed the line with a time of 3:58.44 and bested his previous performance of 4:00.38 in the event.
Redshirt senior Emily Mackay also competed at Toledo, racing in the 5000-meter event. She finished first against seven other finishing athletes and ran a time of 15:48.15, breaking the previous school record of 16:56.35. She beat out the second-place finisher in the 5000-meters by over 55 seconds.
“[My time] definitely gives me confidence that I have untapped potential and make me feel like I have a lot of room to improve,” Mackay said. “It motivates me because I know that if I continue to work that I could probably continue to improve. It makes me very excited for what’s to come for the rest of the season.”
Capping off BU’s performances at that event, redshirt sophomore Aziza Chigatayeva broke the school record in the 3000-meter steeplechase, clocking in at 10:15.85 to take second place overall. However, she was first among collegiate athletes and was beat out by an unattached runner who ran a time of 10:12.41.
In addition to competing at Toledo, the Bearcats also traveled to the ECAC/IC4A meet over the weekend. However, the Bearcats only recorded one first-place finisher at the meet. The sole gold medalist, junior Jake Restivo, recorded a performance of 24-2.25 feet in the long jump over 10 other starting competitors in the event.
While she did not take first in the 100-meter hurdles, graduate student Elly Scherer ran a time of 13.86 for a third-place finish, nearly matching her personal best and school record in the event of 13.84 that she ran earlier in the season. Sophomore Ryan Guerci rounded out the Bearcats’ top ECAC/IC4A finishers after taking fourth in the men’s 5000-meter event, clocking in at 14:31.44.
Before taking on its weekend meets, BU sent athletes to the TCNJ Last Chance Meet on Thursday. Scherer competed in the 100-meter hurdles and finished second in the event with a time of 14.17. In the 200-meter dash, graduate student Thomas Cooper finished fifth with a time of 21.93, followed by graduate student Greg Matzelle who took sixth in 21.95.
The Bearcats, who qualified for the NCAA East Regional Meet, will compete from Thursday, May 27 to Saturday, May 29. The first day of the meet is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. in Jacksonville, Florida.