The Binghamton University men’s and women’s track and field teams returned to the America East Outdoor Championships this past weekend, hosted by University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
For the second consecutive season, the men’s team posted a runner-up finish, while the women finished in sixth place in the nine-team meet. University at Albany swept the meet, capturing its seventh consecutive men’s title and third consecutive women’s title.
Last season’s second-place finish by the men’s team was the best in program history, as the squad was led by AE Championship Most Outstanding Performer and then-junior Cazal Arnett. Then-freshman Jeff Martinez also stood out for the Bearcats last time around, earning Outstanding Men’s Rookie of the Meet honors.
This year, the Binghamton men posted first-place finishes in four separate events, highlighted by indoor All-American senior Erik van Ingen’s performance in the 1,500. With a 3:52.55 finish, van Ingen narrowly beat fellow senior teammate Casey Quaglia, who finished the race just .29 seconds out of first place.
Van Ingen also anchored the men’s 4×800 relay team, which captured a first-place finish with a school-record time of 7:34.32. Freshman Chris Fernandez, sophomore Mike Jennings and Quaglia rounded out the team.
Martinez also ran to another first-place finish for the Bearcats, capturing the 5,000 by outrunning Boston University sophomore Robert Gibson, who captured the America East title in the event last season. With a finish time of 14:32.39, Martinez earned his third total individual America East title.
The Bearcat men also posted a victory in the 4×400. The team, composed of sophomore Casey Gilbert, junior Karl Schnabl and seniors Christian Smith and Arnett, posted a time of 3:11.68 for the victory.
In addition to Quaglia’s performance in the 1,500, the men’s team also finished second in four other events.
Arnett posted runner-up finishes in the both the 400 and 200, while Gilbert finished second in the 400 hurdles. Junior Robb Quiller, brother of former Binghamton All-American pole vaulter Rory Quiller, took second in the pole vault. Quiller entered the meet as the two-time defending conference champion in the pole vault and had won the event in three of the team’s last four meets.
On the women’s side, the Bearcats failed to have a first-place finisher, but junior Jessica Hennig took second in the 400 behind Allison Rogers of Albany. Hennig had previously won America East Track Athlete of the Week after a first-place finish at the Cornell Invitational, an event which saw her break her own program record in the 400 with a finish time of 55.43.
Sophomore Jenna Marrione also posted a second-place finish for Binghamton in the pole vault, her second consecutive runner-up finish at the Championships.
Junior Kaitlin Sullivan finished fifth in the 100 hurdles and junior Abigail Oakes finished sixth in both discus and shot put. Freshman Jessica Goldberg finished seventh in the heptathlon and junior Jessica Conter posted an eighth-place finish in the 100.
With its second-place finish, the men’s team matched preseason expectations as it was predicted to finish second in the conference preseason coaches’ poll. The women were predicted to finish eighth out of nine teams.