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Friday, June 21, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

Bulls Persevere Despite Adverse Conditions

With the rain pouring down and the wind blowing in their faces, the men's and women's track and field teams still found a way to turn in quality performances.

The Bulls competed in the Bucknell Bison Outdoor Classic on Friday and Saturday against Ivy, Patriot, and Colonial League schools. The weather sent a lot of teams packing, as a quarter of the competition left after Friday's session.

In order to stay healthy and prevent injury, the Bulls cut the meet short as well and left early on Saturday.

Women's head coach Vicki Mitchell was proud of the way her athletes handled the weather.

"We ran the 100-meter hurdles into a headwind and pouring down rain," Mitchell said. "[There weren't] great performance marks, but I was mostly encouraged that our athletes were able to respond and really warm up well and focus, which is really difficult to do when you're standing outside for six or seven hours in bad weather."

It was another big meet for sophomore thrower Erin Miller and junior throwers Becky O'Brien and Rob Golabek.

O'Brien set a new facility record at the Christy Matthewson-Memorial Stadium in the women's discus, winning the event with a throw of 169-3 (51.59m). O'Brien went on to win the shot put, clearing her competition by 4.5 feet. Miller continued her breakthrough performance from last week, turning in a season-best of 154-9 (47.16m) in the discus. She improved her previous throw by two meters and finished in second.

Golabek, who currently has the top throw in the country, took first in the men's shot put. His throw of 60-2 (18.34m) was almost eight feet farther than the second-place finisher, Pittsburgh's Garrett Larkin.

The distance squad impressed everyone on Friday night with season best times in the 1,500m and top performances in the steeplechase and 10,000m.

Freshman Cord Sgaglio improved his time by 10 seconds, finishing the 1,500m in four minutes flat, while senior John Bauman went under four minutes for the first time in his career at 3:59.40. In the women's 1,500m, sophomore Aimee Hopkins took six seconds off her previous best to win her heat in 4:45.

In the men's 3,000m steeplechase, freshman Steve Houghmaster set the standard for the Bulls, running a 9:21.80 – the fastest time a UB freshman has ever run in the steeple.

Sophomore Katie Sanders ran her debut 10,000m on the track at 37:24, which Mitchell claims is among UB's top five all-time performances.

Mitchell attributes the distance runners' success on Friday to the adrenaline rush of competing under the lights.

"The conditions in the evening races are always ideal," Mitchell said. "I think athletes just get excited to run under stadium lights. When there's a crowd around, it gets them excited about what they're doing."

Both squads will travel to Ithaca on Saturday to compete at the Cornell Upstate Challenge. The meet starts at 1 p.m.

Email: sports@ubspectrum.com


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