Over the weekend, the Binghamton track and field teams traveled to Baltimore, Maryland for the America East (AE) Outdoor Championships. The women’s and men’s teams finished second and sixth overall, respectively, with six individual titles earned between the two squads, alongside 13 all-conference performances.

“[We were] in less than ideal conditions, in wet conditions and not being where you think you’re going to break [school] records and yet they still did,” said Binghamton head coach Mike Thompson.

In her first outdoor conference meet as Binghamton’s No. 1 steeplechase option, junior Jennifer Mui delivered a gold medal performance in the 3,000-meter steeplechase on day one with a time of 10:52.04. This was the fifth straight victory for the Bearcats in this event, with former All-American honorable mention Aziza Chigatayeva winning the title four times from 2019-2023. Mui’s efforts headlined a strong first day for the Bearcat women, which concluded with two additional podium performances. In the pole vault, freshman Tatum Norris put in a career-best height of 12-1.5 to finish second overall while sophomore Sydney Leitner brought home her second straight bronze medal in the 10,000-meter race with a time of 36:09.94.

“[Mui] was the top seed going in and she basically ran the race that she normally runs and and won,” Thompson said. “She was the best one there and she ran like she was the best one there and won pretty comfortably. So it was a nice performance for [Mui].”

Over on the men’s side, redshirt freshman Brian Luciano continued his strong rookie campaign by securing the bronze with a 191-00 in the hammer throw. The Bearcat men also punched in two all-conference efforts apiece in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and the long jump. Graduate student Marty Dolan led the way in the 3,000 steeplechase for Binghamton with a time of 9:11.92 to place fourth, and behind him in seventh with a 9:28.96 was sophomore Andrew Rosenblatt. Meanwhile, finishing back-to-back in the long jump with respective placements of fifth and sixth were freshman Putu Sutayasa with a distance of 22-9 and fifth-year Marcrene Jeannot with a distance of 22-8.5.

“[Luciano] is gonna be consistent, and he always performs well in the toughest competition,” Thompson said. “He’s an excellent competitor, in addition to being a very talented thrower, so I wasn’t really surprised. I’m sure he wanted to place higher but [out of] the three guys that placed in the top three, all three of them were capable of winning and they’re very close.”

Heading into day two, the Bearcat women continued to turn in strong performances with five more podium finishes. Putting in gold medal efforts were senior Penelope Paldino in the heptathlon with a score of 4,334 points and graduate student Sophia Ryan in the 1,500 with a time of 4:32.16. In the high jump, junior Lucciana Robertson captured silver with a height of 5-5.75, while Norris returned third and fourth place efforts in the 100 and 200 with respective times of 12.13 and 24.88. The final podium effort came in the relays, with the quartet of Norris, sophomore Angie Mesa-Espinosa and graduate students Sophia Morone and Gabby Hyatt breaking the school record in the 4×100 with a time of 46.09 for the silver medal. When the final results were tallied, Binghamton had finished second overall as a team on the women’s side for the second consecutive year.

“Every time the women’s team has gotten second in the past, they have done so not being expected to get second,” Thompson said. “This was the first time going into the meet that they were the team that was expected to get second, and it’s a different type of pressure. It’s a lot easier to be the team that’s chasing somebody than it is to be the team that’s being chased.”

Meanwhile, the Bearcat men peppered in three more gold medal performances to secure sixth place overall as a team. These efforts were headlined by a school record-breaking performance in the 400 hurdles courtesy of senior Marcus Johnson, taking gold with a time of 50.87. Over in the distance events, senior Josh Stone captured first in the 5,000 by clocking in a 14:22.58 while sophomore Matthew Oluwole’s leap of 6-08 was good for gold in the high jump. The final broken school record on the weekend came from the team of senior Taiki Hirooka, freshman Nathaniel David, sophomore Samson Joseph and junior Joey Cardascia in their respective 4×100 meter race with a time of 41.31 to place second.

“[Oluwole] winning the high jump was huge,” Thompson said. “He was seated eleventh going into the meet … Not a single thought that he was going to win that high jump, but the runway was wet and I think that other jumpers were a little nervous about that. And he responded by having two PRs in the same competition and winning.”

With AE action wrapped up, the Bearcats now set their sights on the ECAC/IC4A championships this coming weekend. First event is set for 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 11 at the George Mason Stadium in Fairfax County, Virginia.