January 22, 2007

Track Has Record Weekend

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In their first scored competition of the season, the men’s and women’s track teams earned the highest team totals at the Upstate Challenge, held Saturday at Barton Hall. The invitational included four other schools in the region, including Ithaca College, Colgate, Syracuse and Buffalo.
The men’s team tallied 281 points, over 100 more than its nearest competition. The women’s team was even more dominant, accumulating 285 points, more than twice as many points as any in the field.
The highlight of the meet was junior Muhammad Halim’s sensational performance in triple jump, completing the longest jump by any student in the nation so far this season. Halim’s mark of 51-9 1/4 won the event and set a new school record. Classmate Rayon Taylor placed second with 51-2 1/4, a top-5 performance in the nation so far this season. Both jumpers have earned NCAA provisional qualifications with their accomplishments so far this season.
Junior Saidu Ezike set a new school record of 7.93 seconds on his way to winning the 60-meter hurdles.
Classmate T.J. Toro earned first place honors in the two-day heptathlon and in the process, qualified for the IC4As.
Senior co-captains, David Pell and Evan Whitehall won the high jump and pole vault, respectively.
Sophomore Erik Roneker won the weight throw competition with a toss of 59-2 1/4, which was good enough to qualify him for the IC4As. He also qualified for the IC4As in the shot put event, as did classmate Brian Cortina.
Junior Adam Seabrook won the 400 meters. Two freshmen also won races, as Owen Kimple won the 1000 and Dale Taylor won the 3000.
“It felt great [to win],” Kimple said. “The transition from high-school to college went smoothly.”
On the women’s side, seniors led the way, winning seven individual events. Senior co-captain Cameron Washington won two events, the 400-meter and 200-meter races. Classmate Christina Cossell placed second in both events.
Seniors Sarah Wilfred and Shawna Rossini led the way in the high jump, both qualifying for the IC4As, as Wilfred won the event. Classmate Karen Snyder won the triple jump and qualified for the ECAC competition.
Senior Toni Sallucci also qualified for the ECACs in winning the mile race. Classmate Nyam Kagwima won the 1000 and qualified for the ECACs. Another senior, Erin Linehan won the 3000 and set a personal best.
A few non-seniors also won events. Junior Joan Casey won the 60-meter hurdles. Sophomore Janice Nsor won the 60-meter sprint. Classmate Marie Parks won the 5 kilometer event. Freshman Jessica Weyman won the 500 meters. Classmate Natalie Gengel won the pole vault.
Kimple was pleased with the team’s overall performance.
“It shows great promise,” he said. “We are just taking [the track season] step-by-step and meet-by-meet.”