The Binghamton men’s and women’s track and field teams competed in a pair of meets over the weekend. The Bearcats came out of both the Cornell/Kane Invitational and the Penn State/Sykes & Sabock Challenge with several individual winners and new personal bests on the day.
“Everyone did really well today,” said Binghamton head coach Mike Thompson. “But [junior Penelope Paldino] was probably the highlight — she had a huge PR on the hurdles. [There were] some other small performances, but it was kind of a low-key meet though, so just kind of a tune-up for the conference in a couple of weeks.”
Paldino’s new personal best of 9.08 on the 60-meter hurdles was good enough to see her finish sixth in the event. Also at Cornell, a quartet of Bearcats was able to take gold, with the singular winner on the men’s side being junior Brandon Love, getting his second consecutive victory in the pole vault event with a height of 14-08.00 feet. For the women, senior Mallorie Turner took the triple jump with a leap of 36-05.50 feet, along with freshman Alyssa Armitage and sophomore Lucciana Robertson — who won the pole vault and high jump, respectively. Armitage earned a height of 11-01.75, while Robertson jumped 5-06.00 feet.
At Penn State, the winning persisted for the BU women’s team in particular — once again. In the 4×400 relay, graduate student Stephanie Cassens, senior Sophia Morone, freshman Angie Mesa-Espinosa and sophomore Hillary Abankwa combined for a winning effort. The quartet clocked in a time of 3:50.06. For the men, the sole Binghamton winner was senior Mark Scanlon, who posted a time of 1:21.30 in the 600 meter event.
“I thought the quarter-mile women ran really well,” Thompson said. “The [4×400] ran well, and they also had some good individual performances. [Cassens] in the 600, [Abankwa] in the 400.”
A standout performer for the Bearcats was junior Jenna Chan, who broke her own record in the 60-meter hurdle event twice during the meet. After grabbing a time of 8.54 in the trials — breaking her previous record of 8.55 — Chan stepped in the finals to clock in a time of 8.51, a new school and personal record.
“It was great,” Thompson said. “[Chan’s] been running consistently well all year, and with consistency comes the personal best performances. And that’s exactly what she did.”
After next weekend’s Valentine Invitational, the Binghamton men’s and women’s track and field teams will head to the long-awaited America East (AE) Conference Championships. Chan and Cassens were among five BU students to receive individual honors in last year’s championships, helping their team to a third-place finish of 10 participants.
“What I hope to see is everybody have great performances like [Paldino] did and [Cassens] and [Chan],” Thompson said. “Really I’m just hoping that the people who are doing really well now continue to do that well or better, and the people who are a little flat right now, within a couple of weeks they’ve been given time to sharpen up to where they can be.”
The Valentine Invitational is next up for BU, starting on Friday, Feb. 10. First event is scheduled for 5 p.m. in Boston, Massachusetts.