For Immediate Release: June 9, 2009
Contact: David O'Brian (
Phone: 607-777-6478

Binghamton track & field inks eight in-state high school standouts

VESTAL, N.Y.-- The Binghamton University Track & Field program has announced the signing of eight standout high school seniors. All of them will join the Bearcats as freshman for the 2009-10 season.

Dustin Ross is a sprinter from Bainbridge-Guilford-Afton High School. His top times are 35.32 in the 300 and 49.06 in the 400. At the 2009 New York State (NYS) Indoor Championships, he was sixth in the 300. Ross was also third in the 400 at the 2008 NYS Indoor Championship (Division II).

“Dustin was a standout running back on his high school football team and is one of the top quarter milers in New York," Binghamton head coach Mike Thompson. "He should contribute immediately to the team in 2010."

Jacob Platel is a pole vaulter from Bethlehem High School. He captured the NYS Indoor Championship this past winter. Platel's top performance is 15-4.

“Jake is an athletic pole vaulter with untapped potential," Thompson said. "He will focus on the vault in the short-term and could also contribute in the decathlon in the future.”

Zach Keefer is a sprinter from Fordham Prep. His top times are 48.3 in the 400 and 1:20.9 in the 600. After placing second in the 400 at the 2008 NYS Outdoor Championships, Keefer was fifth in the 400 at the 2009 NYS Indoor Meet.

“Zach has great range and has run well from 400 meters up to 800 meters," Thompson said. "His presence will help continue our strong history of quarter milers.”

Adam Helman is a pole vaulter from Grand Island High School. His top performance is 15-1. Helman was second at the 2009 NYS Indoor Championships.

“Adam is strong all-around athlete who also started at quarterback for his high school football team," Thompson said. "He has the ability to become one of the top vaulters in the Northeast in the near future.”

Alex Spanbock is a thrower from Roslyn High School. His top performance is 52-11 1/2. Spanbock placed eighth in the shot put at the 2008 NYS Indoor Championships.

“Alex is a big and quick thrower and we look for him to contribute immediately in the shot put, weight and hammer," Thompson said.

Casey Gilbert is a sprinter from Berlin Central High School. In the 400, his top time is 49.91. He was sixth in the 400 (Division II) at the 2008 NYS Outdoor Championships.

“Casey is a great all-around athlete, having placed in the state meet in the 400 and finishing 3rd at the state cross country meet in his first year running it," Thompson said. "He will train for the decathlon at Binghamton but could contribute in a multitude of events for us.”

Jessica Hennig is a sprinter from Pine Bush High School. Her top times are 56.76 in the 400 and 1:35.20 in the 600. At the NYS Indoor Championships, she placed seventh in the 600.

“Jessica is one of the top quarter milers in New York and has been successful at the state level since her sophomore year," Thompson said. "We look for her to make an immediate impact in the long sprints.”

Jenna Marrione is a pole vaulter from Warwick Valley High School. Her top height is 12-7 1/2. She placed second at the 2009 NYS Indoor Championships.

“Jenna is arguably the top high school pole vaulter in New York, and has also been successful in the sprint hurdles, long jump and triple jump. Her all-around athletic ability and determination give her a great chance to develop into a national-level pole vaulter in the future.”

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