Four program records fell over the weekend after the Binghamton men’s and women’s track and field teams took on both the Bucknell Team Challenge and the Virginia Challenge. At Bucknell, the men’s team finished fourth overall and the women took fifth.
Redshirt seniors Dan Schaffer and Emily Mackay brought down the first two BU records at Virginia. Schaffer beat out his previous time of 13:45.20 in the 5K after clocking in at 13:36.23 to finish in the silver-medal position, only losing the race by less than one second. Mackay took on the 1500-meter race and finish third overall, registering a time of 4:13.57. Her time was almost four seconds better than the mark she set last year.
“[Schaffer and Mackay] are both very fit,” said Binghamton head coach Mike Thompson. ”But it’s more about getting sharp and racing. They ran how we would’ve expected them to run if they were feeling good.”
Redshirt junior Aziza Chigatayeva continued Binghamton’s historic performance at Virginia. In the 3K steeplechase, Chigatayeva recorded a time of 10:14.31 to take fifth in the event and post another program record for BU.
“I think [Chigatayeva] is right where we hope she would be,” Thompson said. “It was a very solid race for her, so honestly I think [Schaffer, Mackay and Chigatayeva] are on track to have a great season.”
While three BU records were set in the distance events, the fourth and final mark of the Virginia meet was set in the women’s 4×400-meter relay. The fourth-placed team registered a time of 3:41.88 that eclipsed the previous record which had stood for nearly a decade.
“There’s a lot of talent on that relay — some of the best long sprinters we’ve ever had,” Thompson said. “I wasn’t surprised to see them shatter the record. I’m hoping they can run faster. Not only are they really talented, but they’re disciplined, focused and they train hard. All four of them. They really are the total package.”
Although junior Marty Dolan was unable to set a record in the men’s 3K steeplechase, he still registered a time of 9:08.10 that landed him a third-place spot in Virginia. Junior Marcrene Jeannot also represented Binghamton at the meet with a 49-07.25-foot performance in the triple jump that rivaled but didn’t surpass his previous best in the event. Jeannot finished seventh in the event.
“It is good to see [Jeannot] have another really solid competition,” Thompson said. ”With consistency comes personal bests, [and] he has been very consistent this year so I’m looking forward to how he does at the conference meet.”
At Bucknell, only one Bearcat walked away in a gold-medal position. In the 400-meter hurdles, graduate student Andriy Prokopiv earned Binghamton’s lone first-place finish, clocking in at 55.06 to win the event and net 10 points for his team at the competition.
On the men’s side, juniors Cian Galligan and Nick Malfitano also recorded strong performances for BU at Bucknell. Galligan took second overall in the men’s 1500-meter event with a time of 3:50.41, and Malfitano also took silver in the 110-meter hurdles, clocking in at 14.98 to finish just ahead of his teammate, junior Adrian Rippstein. The Binghamton men earned 74 points while Mount St. Mary’s posted 106 to win the meet.
Senior Madison Krochina was the only BU woman to take second place on Saturday. Krochina earned eight points for Binghamton after posting a distance of 157-02 feet in the hammer throw. She helped contribute to the overall Bearcat point tally of 32 to push her side into fifth. Bucknell dominated the women’s competition, earning 200.5 points for a decisive first-place team finish.
“As a whole, the team is in a pretty good place heading into a couple weeks out from the conference tournament,” Thompson said. “I think we’re in a good spot.”
The Bearcats are set to resume competition next weekend at the Penn Relays taking place from Thursday, April 28 to Saturday, April 30. The first race is set to start at 9 a.m. at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.