The Binghamton track and field teams traveled to Albany, New York to participate in the America East (AE) Outdoor Championships over the weekend. After winning six individual titles, including three on the men’s side and three on the women’s side, the women’s team earned a second-place finish while the men’s team finished in third place.
“It was a fantastic meet,” said Binghamton head coach Mike Thompson. “I was really pleased because it didn’t come as easily this outdoor meet, as it did indoors, where we had a similar goal. Outdoors, there were challenges, there were people coming down to third attempts in the jumping events and just getting it done.”
The winners on day one included graduate student Casey Gribben who took the gold in the pole vault, marking his first career outdoor title, with a height of 15-11. Not far behind him was junior Brandon Love who captured second place with a height of 15-5. Meanwhile, in the 3,000 steeplechase senior Marty Dolan captured third place with a time of 9:06:60. Other top finishers included graduate student Jake Restivo and senior Marcrene Jeannot who finished third and fourth in the long jump with distances of 23-10.75 and 23-6, respectively.
“That was great for [Gribben] … to get a personal best and a win,” Thompson said. “It was a perfect way for him to go out. I was really proud of him and happy for him.”
On the women’s side, redshirt senior Aziza Chigatayeva secured her fourth straight AE title in the 3,000 steeplechase with a time of 11:00:42. Binghamton also managed to take second, third and fourth place in the event. Senior Carolyn Burnell, sophomore Jennifer Mui and graduate student Elisabeth Van Tassell swept those positions with times of 11:15:38, 11:19:04 and 11:26:02, respectively. Additionally, freshman Alyssa Armitage managed to take home silver in the pole vault, with a height of 11-7.75 while freshman Sydney Leitner placed third in the 10,000 with a time of 37.09.73.
“[Chigatayeva]’s performance in the steeplechase was great but really more impressive was the fact that we finished first, second, third and fourth in the steeplechase,” Thompson said. “The other three girls ran phenomenally well … and that was a huge one as far as the team score win.”
When the first day of the competition finished, the women’s team found themselves in first place overall while the men’s team held down second.
On Sunday, senior Matthew Cavaliere secured the gold in the men’s 1500 with a time of 3:52:19 while Jeannot took first place in the men’s triple jump with a leap of 50-8.75. The men’s team had two other podium finishers Sunday — senior Nick Malfitano managed a second place finish in the decathlon with a score of 6,199 and sophomore Joey Cardascia finished third in the 400, clocking in at 47.49.
“I think the team [had] a great performance this weekend,” Jeannot said. “We had a lot of guys that stepped up to the plate. A lot of people that finished higher than they projected. Overall we came with a great attitude and great team culture and I think we did really well this weekend. I’m really happy about [my performance] … I had a couple bumps in the road with injuries but I’m really happy about it.”
After winning the 60 hurdles at the AE Indoor Championships in February, junior Jenna Chan secured the outdoor title in the 100 hurdles with a time of 13.67. Sophomore Lucciana Robertson also earned the gold in the high jump with a leap of 5-5.75. Finally, graduate student Stephanie Cassens obtained a second-place finish in the 800 with a time of 2:10:87 along with Chigatayeva, who secured a second palace finish in the 1,500, clocking in at 4:24:39.
“A lot of things were going through my head going into this that race,” Chan said. “I don’t personally feel my best, but I really just relied on my training and it got me all the way to the finish line … it was the best finish I could have asked for. It feels really good. It’s been a long time coming … I couldn’t have asked for a better outdoor season.”
The Binghamton coaching staff was also named the women’s coaching staff of the year, after the conclusion of the meet, marking the first time it has won the award since 2013.
“That was really cool,” Thomoson said. “None of us really expected it at all. It’s always nice when you get those things, but it’s really just a testament to the team and how well they did and how hard they competed this weekend.”
Binghamton will compete again in the ECAC/IC4A Championships starting on Saturday, May 13. The first event is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. in Fairfax, Virginia.