To close out the 2024 outdoor Track and Field campaign, three Bearcats qualified for and competed at the NCAA East Region Track & Field Championships in Lexington, Kentucky. Representing the Bearcats with a national championship berth on the line were senior Josh Stone in the 10,000-meter race, senior Marcus Johnson in the 400-meter hurdles and redshirt freshman Brian Luciano in the men’s hammer throw.

“It was the first time at NCAA Regionals for all three, so it was a learning experience more than anything,” said Binghamton head coach Mike Thompson. “They all return next in 2025, and the next time they go I suspect they will be ready to compete at an even higher level than they did this year.”

Luciano was the first Bearcat to compete in the meet. Coming off of a bronze medal finish at the America East Championships with a throw of 191-00, Luciano punched his ticket to Lexington as the 28th seed in the region. The Bearcat placed 29th overall in the qualifier, failing to meet the top 12 cutline for nationals although he did improve on his AE toss with a throw of 200-11.

“[Luciano’s] second throw was a foul, and probably would’ve been the big one he was hoping for had it been a legal throw,” Thompson said.
Next up was Johnson, off the back of his top performance of the year at the AE Championships with a gold medal-winning time of 50.87. Seeded 25th in the region, Johnson too fell in line with his seeding, clocking in a time of 51.76 to finish 5th out of six runners in his heat and leaving him out of the finals of the event.

“[Johnson] was a little shaky on his rhythm over the hurdles, but it was still his second-best time ever,” Thompson said. “It was nice to see him get a good result, despite being a little bit off.”

The last BU representative to compete at the event was Stone in the 10,000-meter event, who captured first place at the AE championship with a timecard of 14:22.58 in the men’s 5,000-meter race. Stone left Lexington with a 41st-place overall finish, clocking in at 31:02.32 to miss out on nationals.

“[Stone] was not feeling his best, unfortunately, and it’s hard to run six-plus miles if you aren’t feeling good,” Thompson said. “He still did a nice job of toughing it out, and doing the best that he could with the situation.”

Although the program finished with no national qualifiers, the NCAA East Region Meet did still cap off a strong outdoor campaign for the Bearcats. The team captured six individual titles and clocked in 13 all-conference performances at the AE Championship meet, while numerous long-standing program records were broken.

“The men’s team is in an excellent place right now, with strong leadership and talent throughout all of the events,” Thompson said. “We lost some of the greatest leaders and overachievers the women’s team has ever had over the last two years, so now it is up to the younger athletes to take a step up, not only as competitors on the track, but as leaders off the track as well.”