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Friday, June 21, 2024
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UB’s outdoor track team turns in all-around performance at MAC Championships

Multiple Bulls earned a place on the podium

<p>The Bulls are "in the game."&nbsp;</p>

The Bulls are "in the game." 

There was no shortage of success for UB’s outdoor track team at the Mid-American Conference (MAC) championships this past weekend. 

On the men’s and the women’s side, the Bulls turned in multiple podium finishes, ending the weekend with 14 total medals. The men’s team scored 103 points to earn fourth place, while the women’s team collected 48 points at the meet held in Northern Illinois.

The highlight of the meet was graduate student Jonathan Surdej’s performance in the shot put, who threw for 17.77 meters to earn his eighth shot put title. The win gave Surdej the most titles in program history, and it tied the MAC record for most individual titles in conference history. 

Surdej continued UB’s recent dominance in the shot put, where the Bulls have now won 14 straight titles in the event. It was a fitting send-off for throwing coach Jim Garnham Sr., who has been with the team since 2001 and is retiring at the end of the season. 

Elsewhere on the men’s side, the distance runners were responsible for almost half of the team’s points. Sixth-year Ryan Buzby claimed second in the 10,000m, clocking in at 29:50.40, while sophomore Matt Gensel grabbed third in the event with a time of 30:19.85. 

In the 1500m, senior Evan Hilbert (who is also a Spectrum sports editor) put down a time of 3:46.72 to earn the silver medal. Sophomore Noah Brightman set a new personal record (PR) to earn third place, crossing the line in 3:47.14, and Buzby finished third in the 5,000 at 14:42.87 to wrap up a successful meet from UB’s distance runners. 

Junior Tal Hamel represented the sprinters well, collecting two silver medals in the 200m and the 400m. Hamel broke the school record in the 200m twice over the weekend, running a 20.87 in the finals to break a school record set by Josh Gali in 2017. 

For the women, graduate student Jenna Reid won a gold medal in the javelin, moving up to third all-time in the program’s history with her 44.92 meter-throw. Senior Scilla Benussi claimed third in the event before earning her second medal of the meet with a score of 5,240 in the heptathlon. 

 Junior Zahra Amos won a gold medal by finishing first in the high jump, beating out the field with a new outdoor PR of 1.76 meters. Freshman Aleksandra Szulska was the fourth and final medalist on the women’s side, finishing the 5000m with a time of 16:48.32 to claim bronze in the event. 

Henry Daley is an assistant sports editor and can be reached at 


Henry Daley is an assistant sports editor at The Spectrum. His work has featured on other platforms such as Medium and Last Word on Sports. Outside of the newspaper, he enjoys running and watching sports (when he’s not writing about them). 



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