As the indoor track and field season inches closer to the first stage of Atlantic Ten Conference Championships, some of the performers from the men’s and women’s teams have begun to hit their stride.
The men’s and women’s teams competed in two meets last weekend. The squad was split to compete in both meets, which were held on Friday and Saturday. Some of the Owls were in New York City for the Great Dane Classic, while others were in Landover, Md., for the Terrapin Invitational.
While the men’s and women’s teams did not place very well in the team rankings, both teams had standout individual performances over the course of the weekend.
Two freshmen for the men’s team continue to have stellar rookie campaigns. At the Terrapin Invitational, thrower Bryce Buffaloe set a personal record in the event Saturday with a throw of 45 feet, 1 inch. Buffaloe’s heave was good enough to place 10th overall in the event, making him the highest-placing member of the A-10.
A week after setting a school record in the weight throw, Buffaloe finished fifth in the event with a distance of 48 feet, 4.5 inches.
At the Owls’ other weekend tournament, Jason Sullivan finished 13th in the 500-meter dash with a time of 1:07:44. While Sullivan’s mark represented his worst placing this season, it was his fastest time since running a 1:06:43 at the Princeton Relays in December. Named A-10 Rookie of the Week earlier this season, Sullivan is just a second off the qualifying time for the Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes in America meet.
Sullivan was only one of two men’s track and field performers at New York’s Great Dane Classic.
Another men’s team performer is inching closer to his respective qualifying time. Senior Steven Johnson, in his first 200m event of the season, finished 0.65 off the IC4A qualifying time with a time of 22.85 at the Terrapin Invitational. Johnson’s time was the seventh fastest performance this season in the A-10. In the long jump, Johnson finished 15th.
For the women’s team, junior Tynisha Gardner enjoyed some success in New York, despite running a shorter distance than she is accustomed to. One of the team’s premier sprinters, Gardner ran a time of 25.47 in the 200m dash, a finish that earned her seventh place. Garnder was a third of a second (0.33) from qualifying for the ECAC Championships. However, her effort was good enough for the fourth-best A-10 time this season. Gardner also has the third best conference time in both the 400m (57.13) and 500m dashes (1:16:27).
Two other women’s track and field performers set personal bests at the Great Dane Classic. Sophomore sprinter LaJonel Brown finished eighth in the 55m dash with a season-best time of 7.49. Freshman Brittani Adams finished 13th in the 400m dash with a time of 58.79, which was also a personal best.
The women’s 4x400m relay team, the second-best team in the A-10 this season, used a strong showing at the Great Dane Classic to push itself closer to qualifying for the ECAC Championships. In the same facility at the NYC Gotham Cup a week earlier, the team set their season-best mark at 3:54:63. Last weekend, the team ran a time of 3:54:49, which was just over a tenth of a second better than its previous time. The finish was 0.55 off the ECAC qualifying time.
The men’s and women’s teams will again be split this weekend, as the Owls will participate in three meets – the Bison Open at Bucknell University, the Penn State National Open and the Terrier Classic at Boston University. Each meet begins Friday and concludes the following day.
Greg Otto can be reached at email@example.com.