Over the weekend, the Binghamton track teams traveled to Boston, Massachusetts to participate in the America East (AE) Championships. After winning nine individual titles — five on the men’s side and four on the women’s — both Bearcat teams earned third-place finishes.
“This might be the best overall performance we’ve had at this meet,” said Binghamton head coach Mike Thompson. “We’ve had more talented teams, but I don’t think we’ve ever had two teams overachieve like this group did this weekend.”
Among the winners on day one was sophomore Jaston Ormsby, who took the gold in the weight throw. Ormsby registered a throw of 58-10.00 feet, a personal best, and is the first Bearcat to win the event since 2008. Junior Brandon Love and graduate student Casey Gribben swept first and second place in the pole vault, respectively. Love earned first with a 15-07.00 foot leap, while Gribben followed him up with a 15-01.00 foot jump. At the end of the meet, Love was named Most Outstanding Men’s Field Athlete.
Graduate student Jake Restivo had a silver finish in the long jump, with a leap of 23-10.75 feet. Furthermore, junior Josh Stone placed second in the 5000 meter, clocking in at 14:28.97.
On the women’s side, freshman Alyssa Armitage won the pole vault, her first career title — with a leap of 12-04.00 feet — besting last year’s championship score. The quartet of sophomores, Jennifer Mui, Jessica Prentice, Zoe Rose and redshirt senior Aziza Chigatayeva, earned a second-place finish in the 4000-distance medley relay. They crossed the line at 11:57.44. In addition, junior Jenna Chan won the 60 hurdles prelim with a time of 8.49, breaking her own personal record.
At the end of day one of competition, the men’s team found itself in first place while the women held third.
“I think on the men’s side we outperformed our projected score by 10 or 15 points, which was super awesome,” said senior Matthew Cavaliere. “I think the main thing that helped us was the energy our team brought to the meet. We have a super small roster compared to other teams, but you could hear BU chants from across the track while competing. It was awesome because I think we had like 10 podium finishes in the throws, jumps [and] sprints and distance as a team of [about] 30.”
On Sunday, Cavaliere took gold in the one mile, clocking in at 4:08.46, and senior Marcrene Jeannot came out on top in the triple jump, with a 49-00.75 foot leap. Jeannot is the first Bearcat in program history to win the event. Highlighting day two, senior Nick Malfitano came out with first place in the heptathlon, winning the long jump, 60 hurdles, pole vault and 1000-meter in the process.
“Individually, it was a great race,” Cavaliere said. “I was confident that if I put myself in the right position, I had a good shot at the win! I haven’t had the best season leading up to today, so grabbing the win was very rewarding!”
Following up on her personal record-breaking performance the day before, Chan secured the title in the 60 hurdles for the second straight year with a time of 8.56. Senior Sophia Morone followed her performance up with a first-place victory of her own in the 400 meter, crossing the finish line in 55.31. Additionally, graduate student Stephanie Cassens registered a runner-up finish in the 500 meter at 1:13.43.
Sophomore Lucciana Robertson won the high jump event with a winning height of 5-08.00 feet. Chigatayeva competed again on day two, this time defending her title in the 3000 meter. Despite winning the event a season ago, Chigatayeva came in second place this time around, with a time of 9:40.58.
“Overall, I think that both the men and women’s team left everything we had on the track and deserved the success many had this weekend,” Robertson said. “Our team puts a tremendous amount of hard work on and off the track, and it clearly shows when conferences comes around.”
Binghamton will compete again at the ECAC/IC4A Championships starting on Friday, March 3. First event is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. in Boston, Massachusetts.