On Saturday, for their first team meet of the winter season, the Binghamton track and field teams headed to Cornell for the Upstate Challenge. BU placed second in both the men’s and women’s sides out of five participating teams. Several Bearcats earned three first-place finishes, including sweeping both the men’s and women’s long jump as junior Jenna Chan earned a personal best.
“I thought it was a great first meet back,” said Binghamton head coach Mike Thompson. “I was happy with where the team was as a whole.”
Chan finished in first place in the first round of the 60-meter hurdles and achieved third in the final round of the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.63. However, she was able to bounce back by winning the long jump with a personal best of 18-10.5 feet.
“It was a really good day for [Chan] in the 60 hurdles,” Thompson said. “She’s run faster than that, but she’s pretty close to her personal best early in the season, so that’s good. She also won the long jump, and it was her personal best in the long jump, so she probably had the best day overall out of everybody.”
Additionally, sophomores Jennifer Mui and Lucciana Robertson finished second in the 3k and high jump, respectively. Rounding out the top performers in the women’s division, senior Sophia Morone qualified for the 60 meter final with a second place finish in the first round with a time of 7.84.
“The 4×400 today was really just training for everybody,” Thompson said. “It’s so early in the season. We’re gearing up for a conference in a little over a month. [Morone] especially ran very well in the 4×400, but it’s good for them and fun for them to get in some 4x400s early on in the season.”
On the men’s side, junior Marcus Johnson won the 200-meter as the Bearcat managed a time of 23.03. Senior Adrian Rippstein followed close behind his teammate, finishing third with a time of 23.48.
“Winning the 200 was cool for [Johnson],” Thompson said. “He doesn’t ever run the 200, so it was nice for him to do something different and to get the win. The 200 for [Rippstein] is really just training for the hurdles, so it was good to see him run well, but the hurdles will always be his focus.”
In the field events, the Bearcats found more gold with graduate student Jake Restivo winning the long jump with a score of 22-11.75 feet. Senior Nick Malfitano also finished in second with a jump of 22-2.5 feet, and Johnson finished sixth with a jump of 21-3.5 feet.
“I thought that it was a solid performance for [Restivo] and a good performance for [Malfitano] based on what they’ve done in the past,” Thompson said. “It was an off day for [Johnson], but he’s still getting back into the swing of the whole jumping thing. He’ll be good when it really counts.”
Both the men’s and women’s sides finished second overall at the meet, but Thompson says the team is not concerned with early-season finishes and has its eye on the America East (AE) Conference meet next month.
“The early season meets for us are just for us to put people in events to get them ready for the conference championships in February,” Thompson said. “I’m not exactly sure what events we are going to enter everyone into yet, but it’s just a progression. It’s all preparation for the conference championship. That’s what we’re looking at right now.”
BU will return to action on Friday, Jan. 27 at the River Hawk Invitational. The first event is scheduled for 5 p.m. at the New Balance Track in Boston, Massachusetts.