The Binghamton men’s and women’s track and field teams came out strong at the America East Indoor Track and Field Championships. The Bearcats set both conference and school records in multiple events at the two-day championship held at Boston University’s Track and Tennis Center. The men’s team rallied to a third-place finish, while the women’s team cracked the top five with a fourth-place finish overall.
“It was a fantastic meet, the effort was as good as I’ve seen in a very long time,” said BU head coach Mike Thompson. “And I couldn’t be happier with how they did.”
On the women’s side, senior Allison Davis continued to shine on the indoor track for BU. The distance runner broke her third school record of the season on the first day, setting a program best for the women’s 5,000-meter race with a time of 16:56.35.
“The ladies got the ball rolling early and just took off from there, Thompson said. “Everybody stepped up.”
Binghamton men’s distance runners also performed well on the first day. Sophomore Mitch Halpern, junior Thomas Cooper, senior Nate Howe and graduate student Eric Holt took first place in the distance medley relay. They collaborated for a victory after finishing second in the event last year, turning in a time of 9:59.86.
“I definitely wanted retribution for last year,” Holt said. “It’s all coming together and it feels good, it feels good to finally win this race after all those years.”
These two performances were just two of the Bearcats’ five first-place finishes from the first day.
Another graduate student who shined in her final indoor championship was Binghamton’s long jumper Keishorea Armstrong. She broke the meet record for the long jump with a jump of 20-4 1/2, which gave her a chance to qualify for nationals.
“The team really came out and gave it their all,” Armstrong said. “I was really pumped up and excited by everyone’s energy. Everyone brought their A-game and I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
BU snagged another first-place finish in a field event on the first day, this time in the pole vault. Sophomore Samantha Beyar tied the meet record of BU alumna Sarah Haley with a jump of 12-5 1/2.
The two Binghamton teams carried their momentum into the second day of competition. The success of the women’s team was highlighted by a few breakout performances. Armstrong recorded a second-place finish in the triple jump and a fourth-place finish in the 60-meter race. This gave Armstrong a meet best of 23 points, which earned her the Women’s Coaches Award for the meet, marking Armstrong’s fourth Women’s Coaches Award win.
Another senior turned up the intensity in her last AE Indoor Championships. After winning the weight throw on the first day, Oyin Adewale rode the momentum to win the shot put and the Woman’s Field Athlete of the Meet for her performance, with 48-7 1/4 in the shot put and 56-9 1/2 in the weight throw.
“Honestly, I’m still in la-la land, it hasn’t hit me yet,” Adewale said. “I definitely could not have done this without my team.”
Holt also maintained a strong start from the first day, adding a first-place finish in the 1,000-meter race to his decorated career. Davis also continued to impress, breaking another school record in the second day. Her time of 9:53.06 in the 3,000-meter race was enough to break her own record of 9:54.23 that she set just last month.
Freshman Brittany Korsah put up some noteworthy numbers in her first AE Indoor Championships. The short-distance runner came up just short of gold in the 400-meter race with a time of 55.21. The winner of the event, Albany sophomore Kiyah Owens, turned in a time of 54.78. Korsah’s fifth-place finish in the 200-meter race would earn her the Women’s Most Outstanding Rookie award.
Binghamton is set to return to the indoor track next weekend. BU is scheduled to return to Boston for the Eastern College Athletic Conference/Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America Championships, beginning Friday, March 2 and ending Sunday, March 4.