Track Teams Face Nation's Best at SPIRE Invitational

Track Teams Face Nation's Best at SPIRE Invitational

GENEVA, OH – For the second time this season, the University at Buffalo men's and women's track and field teams competed at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, OH against some of the nation's best competition at the SPIRE Division I Invitational. There was no team scoring at the meet which included squads from the Atlantic Coast, Big East, Big Ten, Southeastern and Mid-American Conferences.

The Bulls set four school records at the meet, extending MAC marks in both shot put competitions. Becky O'Brien was UB's lone victor in the meet, but she extended her school and conference records in the women's shot put. O'Brien claimed the crown with a toss of 57-8.25 (17.58m), adding 2.50 inches to her top marks set at the SPIRE Midwest Open on January 28. She was the only individual to throw better than 17 meters, accomplishing the distance on her final two attempts. She had her winning throw in the final round to take the title by more than five feet over Indiana's Monique Riddick (52-0.50, 15.86m). UB teammate Kristy Woods was eighth in the shot put at 48-11.50 (14.92m). Woods also placed seventh in the women's weight throw with a season-best mark of 57-5.75, adding 7.50 inches to her top heave.

Men's shot putter Rob Golabek finished second to Auburn's Stephen Saenz, snapping the UB senior's unbeaten streak thus far this season. Golabek did extended his school and league records by 1.25 inches with his best throw of the day at 63-3.50 (19.29m). The throw came on his final attempt. Saenz won the event at 63-6.75 (19.37m). Golabek finished second to Saenz at the NCAA Outdoor East Regional Preliminaries last May. Corey Knox was fifth in the men's shot put with a season-best throw of 57-2 (17.42m).

The UB women also picked up two school records on the track. Asia Henry broke Allison Laske's eight-year old mark in the women's 800-meters. Henry finished third overall in 2:07.06, slicing .56 seconds from Laske's old record. Brooklynn Ventura lowered her school record time in the women's 60-meter hurdles. Ventura finished fourth in the championship race in 8.57 seconds, two-hundredths of a second off last week's record-setting mark. 

UB jumpers were also successful on Saturday. Senior Chris Davis finished third in the men's long jump at 23-3.25 (7.09m). Freshman Emma Siuciak was seventh in the women's high jump with a season-best height of 5-7 (1.70m) while Tomarris Bell was seventh in the men's high jump at 6-8 (2.03m). Bell also took 11th in the men's long jump, behind Davis, at 21-10.75 (6.67m).

The women's 4x400-meter relay team of Anna Holmes, Donna Jeanty, Crystal Graham and Ventura placed seventh in their race in 3:48.11. The men's 4x400-meter relay squad consisting of Miles Lewis, Will Cole, Doug Hannon and Isaiah Mask set a season-best time of 3:18.18 to finish 10th overall.

The squads travel to Ithaca for the Cornell Denault Invitational next weekend.