NEW YORK, NY - The University at Buffalo opened the 2014 indoor track and field season on Friday evening with the Great Dane Classic at The Armory Track and Field Center. The Bulls finished in second place for men and third place for the women out of 18 division I teams.
"This was a good opening meet for both the men and women," stated head coach Vicki Mitchell. "Being the first meet of the season, a "rust buster" for the teams, there were some areas that shined for us."
Picking up where he left off last season, senior All-American shot putter Jonathan Jones set a new meet, school and MAC record with a throw of 19.72 meters. His career long throw earned him male field athlete of the meet as he earned 10 points and a first place finish.
Senior Evan Palmer started off his season on the right foot in the weight throw for the Bulls as he earned 10 points and a first place finish with a throw of 20.68 meters. Palmer's throw (20.68m) set a new school record that was previously held by Matt Gac (20.41m). On the women's side, Megan Patterson picked up a second place finish in the weight throw with a toss of 17.25 meters, a new personal best mark.
Chris Reape earned a fourth place finish in the high jump with a leap of 2.04 meters while Austin Ashby and Donald McCann took home fourth and sixth place finishes in the long jump, respectively. Last year's MAC Champion in the triple jump, Austin Price, took home a eighth place finish in the event with a jump of 14.43 meters.
In the final field event of the day for the men, Adam Hume led the Bulls in the pole vault with a first place finish. His best effort was 5.05 meters, which is a UB school record. Craig Howard had a nice showing for UB, earning a third place finish in the same event.
The men sprinters put in a good effort in the 60 meter dash as Miles Lewis qualified 1st in the preliminary round with a time of 6.80 seconds and in the final he recorded a third place finish. Jalen Law recorded a fourth place finish, just behind Lewis' time of 6.85 seconds. Ryan Billian also had a strong showing in the 200 meter dash as he took home the sixth place finish in 21.75 seconds and a third place finish in the 60 meter hurdles. Jacob Wray also finished in 9th in the 60 meter hurdles for the Bulls.
In the male distance events, the Bulls got a strong showing from their MAC cross country champion Zach Ahart who came in fourth place in the 3000 meter run in 8:35.66. In the mile run, two Bulls recorded top-10 finishes as Cameron Bruce came in fourth in 4:15 and freshman Pier Berkmans recorded a 10th place finish.
On the women's side, the field athletes had a good day for the Bulls. Newcomer Megan Patterson put in a personal best mark in the weight throw which earned her a second place finish. In the shot put, Patterson again impressed her new teammates with another second place finish.
Kelly Truppo continued to impress in the pole vaulting event as she earned a second place finish and a personal best mark of 3.95 meters. Finishing right behind Truppo was freshman Jenn Thill who recorded the third place finish with a best vault of 3.85 meters. Taylor Bates also placed eight in the same event for Buffalo.
On the track, Crystal Graham took home a seventh place finish in the 200 meter dash in 24.65 seconds, good enough to earn qualify her for the MAC Championships. Donna Jeanty started off her season in good fashion with a fourth place finish in the 400 meter dash in 56.10 seconds. Jeanty's time qualified her for the MAC Championships.
Senior Asia Henry and freshman Corinne Birchard made some noise in the 1000 meter run as they both recorded personal best marks as they took home third and fourth place respectively. Junior Chrissy Clarkin had a strong showing for UB in the 5000 meter run with a personal best time of 17:48 which was good for second place.
"This meet gave us an overview of where we are, and the work we need to do in order to contend for a MAC Championship," said Mitchell.
16 Bulls had times and distances that earned them automatic qualifying for the MAC Championships including Billian who qualified for both the 60 meter hurdles and 200 meter dash.
The UB men finished in second place with 111.5 points, just behind first place Uconn for the Great Dane Classic crown. The men's field consisted of 15 schools. The women were just 7.5 points shy of second place Villanova.
Buffalo will return to the track on Saturday, January 25 as they will head to Ithaca, NY for the Upstate Challenge.