Coming off of a pair of third-place finishes at the America East (AE) Championships two weeks ago, the Binghamton track and field teams looked for more of the same at the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference/ICA4 Championships over the weekend. Despite redshirt senior Aziza Chigatayeva being the only competitor to come away with an individual victory, the Bearcats posted a 10th place finish out of 43rd on the women’s side and 26th out of 42 teams on the men’s side.
“Overall it was a decent weekend,” wrote Binghamton head coach Mike Thompson. “[Chigatayeva] was the standout performance for sure. She ran great. And we had a lot of solid performances, but we put everything into the conference meet and sometimes it is hard to follow that up.”
BU started its competition on day two of the meet. Sophomore Jaston Ormsby followed up his performance at the AE Championships with a toss of 52-07.50 feet in the weight throw, placing 15th. Graduate student Jake Restivo placed fifth in the long jump with a leap of 23-00.00 feet.
On the women’s side, graduate student Juliana Tobin participated in the weight throw, tossing 51-00.00 feet, and sophomore Lucciana Robertson placed sixth in the high jump with a 5-05.00 foot leap. After winning the pole vault at the AEs, freshman Alyssa Armitage earned a tied second-place finish in the pole vault at 12-00.00 feet. Furthermore, junior Jenna Chan qualified for the 60-meter hurdles finals with back-to-back times of 8.59 and 8.57 seconds in the prelims and semis, respectively.
“[Chan] has had an excellent season,” Thompson wrote. “Her final today wasn’t her best race, but we couldn’t be happier with the way she has run all year.”
The Bearcats had continued success in both the men’s and women’s 5Ks. Junior Josh Stone earned a fifth-place finish, clocking in at 14:10.30, while freshman Sydney Leitner followed Stone’s performance in the women’s 5K, crossing the finish line in fifth place as well at 17:05.60.
“[Stone] and [Leitner] ran well, just as they have all indoor season and during cross country,” Thompson wrote. “I’m looking forward to seeing them continue to improve outdoors.”
On Sunday, the final day of competition, junior Brandon Love placed sixth in the pole vault with a final measure of 15-07.00 feet. Graduate student Casey Gribben also participated in this event with a leap of 15-01.00 feet. After winning the conference title two weeks ago, Chan competed in the 60-meter hurdles finals and placed seventh, clocking in at 8.68 seconds.
“The vaulters have had a great year as well,” Thompson wrote. “[Armitage] and [Love] were a little off today, and yet still found ways to place in the meet. If they can get their technical skills to match their competitive intensity, they could become exceptional jumpers in the future.”
Highlighting the weekend was Chigatayeva earning gold in the 3000 meter with a program record, breaking the previous time with a 9:18.08 performance. Senior Carolyn Burnell competed in the same event and placed 20th, crossing the finish line at 9:56.68.
“[Chigatayeva] ran a perfect race,” Thompson wrote. “I think she could’ve run a little faster had the race gone out a little faster, but she looked strong and won with ease. It’s great to see her running the way she is right now.”
Binghamton ends its indoor season with the highlight coming from third place finishes for both the men and women’s teams at the AE conference championships. BU will now shift its focus over to the outdoor season starting in three weeks.
“The team gets a little break from competition the next few weeks,” Thompson wrote. “We will focus on training during this time. Then we get back into competition in late March, and do it all over again!”
The Bearcats are scheduled to kick off their spring competition at the Raleigh Relays from Friday, March 24 to Saturday, March 25 at the Paul Derr Track Facility in Raleigh, North Carolina.