The Binghamton men’s and women’s track and field teams competed on Sunday at the Cornell Sunday Invitational, winning 11 individual events in the non-scoring meet. In their final meet before the America East (AE) Championships, the squads used the opportunity to prepare for the upcoming weekend, where the teams will compete for a first-place finish.
“It was a tune-up for a few people,” BU head coach Mike Thompson said. “It was a chance to sharpen up before the conference meet this weekend.”
The women had seven of the first-place finishes on the day with five qualifying for the ECAC standard.
Senior Kierra Arthur won the 60-meter hurdles (8.75), while junior Keishorea Armstrong won the long jump and triple jump, hitting marks of 19-6¾ and 40-10¼, respectively.
Thompson called Arthur’s performance in the 60-meter hurdles exceptional and listed Armstrong’s performances in the jumps as one of the day’s standouts.
Sophomore Brooke Bonney also finished first in the weight throw, throwing 56-9¼ and getting her second win in that event for the season, the last coming at the Southern Tier Collegiate Open last month.
The Bearcats went on to sweep the pole vault at the meet, as senior Christy DiMichele hit a mark of 12-5½ and senior Joe Miceli recorded a vault of of 16-4¾. At last year’s AE Championships, DiMichele finished fourth in the pole vault while Miceli finished second in the heptathlon.
For the men, graduate student Pat Heikklia won the shot put, throwing 51-9. He finished third in this event at the AE Championships last year. Sophomore Nate Howe won the 800-meter with a time of 1:55.68, earning himself a nod from Thompson.
“Nate Howe was a nice surprise for us in the 800,” Thompson said. “He earned a trip to the conference meet with that performance.”
The head coach is also confident in the performance of the rest of his team as the team’s focus now shifts to the AE Indoor Finals this weekend.
“I think overall we’re in very good shape,” he said. “We’re probably about the same as last year on both sides.”
Last year at the AE Championships, the Bearcat men finished second while the women took third, both out of nine teams. This year, they hope to find the same success. But, despite Sunday’s individual triumphs, Thompson isn’t looking to specific people to step up on Friday and Saturday. Instead, he’s looking for each member of his team to do his or her job, individually.
“Really, we just look for everybody to do as well or better than their ranking,” Thompson said. “We want to see everybody compete to the best of their abilities and I want to see everybody compete to their potential.”
The Bearcats are set to compete at the America East Championships in Staten Island, New York on Friday. The start time for the meet has yet to be announced.