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Track & field squads ready for 2013-14 season

Bearcats begin with Cornell Relays on Saturday

December 5, 2013


Track & field squads ready for 2013-14 season

Vasili Papastrat and Colin Frost

Preview Video

Contact: David O’Brian (dobrian@binghamton.edu)

The Binghamton track & field teams open up their 2013-14 campaigns Dec. 7 at the Cornell Indoor Relays. The indoor season, which runs through mid-March, includes the America East Championships at the New York City Armory Feb. 23-24. The outdoor season, which begins in late March, will include the conference meet at Vermont May 3-4.

WOMEN’S PREVIEW

No track & field team in the America East has improved as much over the past three years as the Bearcat women’s squad. Three years after placing eighth at the conference indoor meet, Binghamton recorded its first-ever runner-up finish at the outdoor championships last spring. With the majority of the point scorers returning, the Bearcats are determined to remain one of the top teams in the America East.

“The women’s team has the talent to be very strong this year,” head coach Mike Thompson said. “We have a good mix of returners and freshmen, and if we stay healthy, we should be better than last year’s team which was probably the best in school history.”

Without question, the jumps are the strongest events on the women’s team. Last season, Binghamton’s jumpers scored 54 points at the America East Indoor Championships and 46 points at the ensuing outdoor conference meet.

Senior Alexis Murray was the runner up in both the long and triple jump at the outdoor championships. Other returning scorers in the jumps are sophomore Kierra Arthur, juniors Alexx Baum and Tonika Forester along with senior Sara Wickes.  Junior Paige Ware returns after missing last year with an injury and the top newcomers are freshmen Lauren Krivascy and Sarah Osaheni.

In the pole vault, senior Camille Ginyard and junior Christy DiMichele tied for first at the indoor conference meet. They will be joined by freshman Sarah Haley. Sophomore Tori Shaffer was sixth in the high jump at both the indoor and outdoor conference meets last year. Joining her this year are freshmen Keishorea Armstrong and Jackie Crunden.

Another solid area for the Binghamton women is the sprints. The Bearcats have returning point scorers in every indoor and outdoor event.

In the short sprints, junior Ivory Taussig was fifth in both the 100 and 200 at the conference outdoor meet last year. Armstrong is also slated to compete in those events. Arthur was third in the 100 hurdles at the outdoor championships. Osaheni will also run in the short hurdles.

Seniors Erika Kisel and Kathleen Klein both scored points in the longer sprints last season and were on the 4x400 relay team that was eighth in the preliminaries at the ECAC Outdoor Championships. Kisel was also the runner up in the 500 at the conference indoor meet. Freshmen Aziza Hawthorne and Anna Herbert are the top newcomers.

In the 400 hurdles, Sarah Loud was fourth at the outdoor conference meet. Nina Sarmiento, who was eighth in the 500 at the indoor championships, and Haley are also planning on running the 400 hurdles.

In the throws, a pair of sophomores return after scoring at the conference meets last year. Caysie Capano will be entered in the shot put and discus while Kenyon Merriwether is slated to compete in the weight and hammer. Murray, meanwhile, was third in the javelin at the conference outdoor meet.

Junior Daniella Olusoga and senior Jessica Goldberg were fourth and fifth respectively in the heptathlon at last year’s outdoor conference meet. Wickes, meanwhile, was fourth in the pentathlon at the indoor championships.

In the distances events, sophomores Lizzie Greiner and Alexis Hatcher were fourth and sixth respectively in the 3,000 steeplechase at the America East outdoor meet.

MEN’S PREVIEW

While the Bearcat women’s squad is coming of a historic season, the men’s team is seeking to shake off a disappointing finish to the 2012-13 campaign. After placing second at the America East Indoor Meet for the fifth time in six years, Binghamton fell to fourth at the ensuing outdoor championships.

“The men’s team is focused and excited heading into the 2014 season,” Thompson said. “Fourth place at last year’s outdoor America East meet was a disappointment and this year’s group is determined to get back into the top three in the conference.”

The distance group, for one, has already started to improve upon last year. They were the runner up at the recent America East cross country championships after finishing sixth last year. Senior Vasili Papastrat and junior Collin Frost were fifth and ninth respectively in that meet, earning all-conference honors in the process.

Papastrat and fellow senior Jason Santos have only outdoor eligibility left but have both scored in the 10,000 at previous conference meets. The top scorer from last year, however, is junior Jesse Garn, who won the America East outdoor title in the 1,500 and advanced to the East Regional Meet for the second year in a row.

Other returning all-conference distance runners include graduate student Jeff Martinez, who was second in the outdoor 5,000 and senior Chris Fernandez, who was third in the indoor 800. Senior Ben Snodgrass and junior Jared Rousell both scored points in the outdoor 3,000 steeplechase while junior Matt Johnson was a top-eight finisher in the 10,000.

Two other contributors in the distance events this year are sophomore Ethan Hausamann and freshman Eric Holt.

In the sprints, Temi Bajulaiye was the Most Outstanding Rookie at the America East Indoor Championships after winning the 500. Also competing in the long sprints are junior Zaid Al-Doori and sophomore Max Linden. Junior Eric Zeigler was seventh in the indoor 60 last year, and will be joined in the short sprints by fellow junior Alex Sterling and freshman Jon Alkins. Graduate student Zach Keefer is healthy for the first time since finishing second in the 500 as a freshman and should also contribute. Sophomore Cameron Black was third in the 100 hurdles during the outdoor season and freshman Ian Weykamp is the top entry in the 400 hurdles.

Once again, the pole vault is one of the strongest events on the men’s side. Sophomores Joe Miceli and Chris Nock were both point scorers at the conference meets last year. A trio of freshmen – Peter Fagan, Jonah Spaeth and Matt Urbano—will also be competing this year.

Junior Jon King was the runner up in the high jump at the conference indoor meet. Ziegler was sixth in the indoor long jump and seventh at the ensuing conference meet. Sophomore Chris Ramsey, meanwhile, was a top-eight finisher in the triple jump at both the indoor and outdoor championships.

The throwers continue to improve as a collective unit. Last year, senior Jacob Platel was third in the indoor weight throw as well as in the outdoor hammer. Junior Pat Heikklia, has been a point scorer in the shot put, discus and hammer so far during his career. Senior Jason Bensaull returns from an injury-plagued 2012-13 season while freshman Brandon Bordeau and Serhiy Kralka are the top newcomers.

Miceli is also the top entry in the indoor heptathlon and outdoor decathlon.

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