January 26, 2009

Men’s, Women’s Track Excel in Upstate Challenge

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In the first scored meet of the season, the men’s and women’s track and field teams shined, taking first place in the Upstate Challenge.
Buffalo took second on the weekend, but on the women’s side it wasn’t much of a struggle. The Red handled the competition easily this weekend, posting 294 points, with second-place Buffalo far behind at 115 points.
Senior Jeomi Maduka proved once again how far she could take her team. Maduka posted a NCAA-leading 21-9 in the long jump, a feat that was also good enough to break her own Ivy League record in the event. But that was not all for Maduka at the Upstate Challenge; she also won the triple jump (42-11 ½) and 60-m dash in 7.55 seconds. Maduka, however, realizes that there is always room for improvement.
“I am very happy about my long jump performance, but the other ones I could use some work in.” said Maduka. “I didn’t perform to my capabilities, next week hopefully at Harvard I can improve on those two [events] as well.”[img_assist|nid=34399|title=Up to the challenge|desc=Senior Jeomi Maduka posted wins in the long jump, triple jump and 60-m dash in Saturday’s competition.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
The men, while not as dominant as their female counterparts, also had a strong showing this weekend. With eight event winners, the men tallied 226 points over second-place Buffalo’s 176.
Although nursing a back injury, senior Erik Roneker threw well for the Red, winning the weight throw with a toss of 61-4 ¾ and taking third in the shot put (54-0). Roneker’s effort this weekend was good enough to qualify him for the IC4A track competition, but he has higher aspirations for himself and the team.
“Im actually just trying to qualify for nationals right now.” said Roneker. “That’s my main concern. … Another thing is just trying to keep the team focused and keep moving forward because we have a lot of work to do and we want to repeat our conference championship this year.”
The Red dominated the jumping events this weekend. Junior Gary Jones and senior Aaron Gadson went Nos. 1 and 2 in the triple jump, while teammates Garrett Huyler, Jay Pierce and Enbani Moore swept the high jump, with Huyler, who is nursing a sprained ankle, and Pierce scoring the same height (6-8 ¼) and Moore capturing third (6-6 ¼).
“[The sweep] was good.” said Huyler. “It was an exciting meet. Jay Pierce jumped really well. It was nice to see him have the best meet of his year so far. It was a big step forward for us after our last meet. We had a bunch of guys improve their performances. It was good to see everybody get a little bit better and take a step in the right direction.”