In its first competition of the indoor season, the Binghamton men’s and women’s track and field teams broke three school records at the Greg Pace Indoor Relays, hosted by Cornell.
While Saturday’s meet did not feature team scoring, BU displayed its off-season preparation, taking first place in eight events in addition to the trio of new school records. Nine athletes hit their respective ECAC/IC4A standard, qualifying themselves for that championship meet later this season.
“We look to see how the freshmen are going to handle competition,” BU head coach Mike Thompson said of his focus at the event. “We look to see what kind of shape everyone’s in. But really it’s just something fun after three months of training.”
Junior sprinter Keishorea Armstrong broke her own school record in the 60-meter dash, finishing the race in 7.48 seconds before winning the event in 7.53 seconds. Armstrong also went on to win the long jump (20-1) and the triple jump (41-1 ½).
Last spring, Armstrong was named an honorable mention All-American for her 24th place finish in the long jump at the NCAA championships.
Sophomore thrower Brooke Bonney broke her own school record at the meet as well, recording a distance of 54-4 ¾ in the weight throw. This result was good enough for second at the meet and broke her previous school record by over a foot.
“Even though she didn’t win, it was a school record and a good throw for her,” Thompson said.
Recording a first-place finish on the women’s side was senior hurdler Kierra Arthur, who won the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.85. The 4×400-meter relay team of Arthur, junior pole vaulter Sarah Haley, junior sprinter Sarah Osaheni and junior sprinter Ana Herbert won its race as well, working together towards a 3:56.75 performance.
On the men’s side, junior sprinter Jon Alkins took home a pair of wins in the 60-meter dash (6.87) and the 300-meter dash (34.88). His time in the 60-meter dash broke the previous school record which he set last season.
The only other winner on the men’s side was graduate student thrower Pat Heikkila, who won the shot-put event with an IC4A-qualifying distance of 52- 1/4, out-throwing the rest of the field by over two feet.
Graduate student mid-distance runner Josh Miller and senior pole vaulter Joe Miceli finished second in their respective events, Miller in the 500-meter dash (1:04.21) and Miceli in the pole vault (15-9).
Thompson was happy with how the first meet of the season turned out.
“It was a great first meet,” Thompson said. “It was one of the better December meets that I can remember.”
With this meet behind them, the Bearcats have a month to prepare for the rest of their season and to begin gearing up for the America East Championships in late February.
“Our goal — indoor and outdoors —every year is to be top three in the conference,” Thompson said. “We also like to qualify as many people as possible for the ECAC / IC4A Championship. I think this year we can have over 20.”
The Bearcats are set to return to Cornell for their next meet, the Southern Tier Collegiate Open, on January 8 at Barton Hall in Ithaca, New York. The time of the first race has yet to be announced.