The Binghamton men and women’s track and field teams competed at Penn State this weekend in the Sykes & Sabock Challenge where both teams finished in sixth place — the men in a field of seven teams and the women in a field of eight teams.
Six Binghamton competitors broke school records during the meet, including junior Keishorea Armstrong — shattering her previous 60-meter record set in 2014 of 7.48 seconds, with a time of 7.43 seconds.
Armstrong also came out on top in the 200-meter with a time of 24.11 seconds. She was the only athlete on the women’s side to place first in her events.
Sophomore Brooke Bonney also broke her own record in the weight throw competition, throwing a distance of 58-5 ¾ feet, almost six feet further than her 2014 record distance (52-10 ¾).
Senior Alexis Hatcher claimed Binghamton’s record for the mile on the women’s side, placing seventh with a time of 4:58.49.
Coming off a stellar first place performance at the Cornell/Robert Kane Invitational last weekend, senior Nina Sarmiento broke the school record for the 600-meter race, placing ninth and finishing with a time of 1:34.96.
Junior Alana MacDonald was the fifth Binghamton woman to break a school record at the meet, running the 800-meter in 2:14.40.
Senior Kierra Arthur finished an impressive third place in the 60-meter hurdles, running a time of 8.77 seconds.
For the men’s team, it was the duo of star senior pole vaulters Joe Miceli and Peter Fagan who took the top two spots in their event, both reaching a height of 16-9 ½ feet.
Senior Pat Heikklia was the only men’s team member to break a Binghamton school record, finishing second in the shot put with a throw of 55-0 feet, breaking former Bearcat Brandon Bordeau’s mark of 55-2 ¾ feet set in 2015.
Junior Eric Holt and sophomore Thad Okon both had high finishes in their events. Holt ran a time of 1:50.24 in the 800-meter, placing second, while Okon finished fourth in the high jump, hitting a mark of 6-8 ¼ feet.
With the America East (AE) Conference Indoor Championships in less than two weeks, BU Head Coach Mike Thompson is confident in his team’s ability to compete with the rest of the conference.
“This was definitely our best meet of the year,” Thompson said. “In all the years that we’ve been traveling to Penn State to compete, I would say that this was the best we’ve done as a team across the board.”
Thompson also commended his team’s ability to conquer Penn State’s intimidating atmosphere.
“A lot of times, because Penn State is such a big athletic school, sometimes it’s intimidating for a smaller school like Binghamton to go in there,” Thompson said. “But we went in there this weekend and acted like it was just another meet, stepped up and did extremely well. I couldn’t have hoped for any better.”
Although satisfied with the discipline and intensity of his team during practice and in meets, Thompson did say that the best is still yet to come — specifically on the women’s side.
“My women’s long jump group is capable of doing really well, and I think they’re just about ready to break through.”
The Bearcats are set to return to action again on Sunday in the Sunday Invitational at Cornell University. The time of the first event has yet to be announced.