After crossing the finish line of the 200-meter at the America East Indoor Track and Field Championships, senior sprinter Jon Alkins glanced at the clock overhead, realized what he had accomplished and continued running — across the field and into the arms of a teammate. He had just set a new meet record in the 200-meter, becoming the only athlete to win the same event for four consecutive years.
Alkins’ performance was one of the Bearcats’ highlights at the meet, where the men’s and women’s track and field teams exceeded expectations, finishing in third and fourth place overall, respectively.
“I thought they did very well; I thought both teams overachieved to do as well as they did,” said BU head coach Mike Thompson.
The meet took place at the Boston University Track and Tennis Center in Boston, Massachusetts. Albany took home both the men’s and women’s overall team titles for the fifth straight season.
Alkins was named Most Outstanding Men’s Track Athlete and received the Men’s Coaches’ Award at the meet for the second straight year. The award is given to the athlete who records the most points over the course of the meet. In addition to setting a new meet record in the 200-meter with a time of 21.17, he also finished first in the 60-meter (6.841), breaking yet another meet record.
“Jon had never won the 60-meter at the conference meet, and going into the championship, his season had been his worst season since he had been in college,” Thompson said. “For him to go to the championship meet and really shatter both the conference records in both the 60-meter and the 200-meter, it was really a surprise.”
According to Thompson, Alkins will not race in next weekend’s ECAC/IC4A Indoor Track and Field Championships, as he has chosen to end his season with his outstanding showing at the championships.
Senior distance runner Eric Holt also excelled at this weekend’s meet, finishing first in the mile with a time of 4:14.86. In the 3,000-meter race, he secured third place with a time of 8:24.98.
On the women’s side, senior Sarah Haley gave an impressive performance in the women’s pole vault, finishing first. Previously, she had earned this recognition at the same meet in 2014, but the title had eluded her the past two years. In 2015, she finished in third place, and in 2016, she finished second.
“[Sarah Haley] was one of the top jumpers there; she definitely stepped up and got that done,” Thompson said.
The pole vault finals came down to a jump-off, which was used to break a tie between four athletes who had passed the same height.
“At that point, you’ve already been in competition with a bunch of other girls and then you’re going back and forth for first place,” Haley said. “It’s just about being aggressive and trying to get over the bar.”
Junior Sunja Joseph was also an integral part of the women’s fourth-place finish, recording a second-place finish and jump of 38-0 1/4 feet.
In the weight throw, junior Oyin Adewale also had a standout performance this weekend, finishing second with a distance of 56-6 3/4 feet. Junior Brooke Bonney finished behind Adewale in third with a distance of 54-11 1/4.
Five BU men and six women were awarded all-conference honors at the meet, including Alkins, Haley, Holt and Joseph.
The Bearcats will continue competition at the ECAC/IC4A Indoor Track and Field Championships on Friday. The meet is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. at the Boston University Track and Tennis Center in Boston, Massachusetts.