KENT, OH – The University at Buffalo track and field teams had their strongest overall showing at the Indoor MAC Championships that wrapped up on Saturday afternoon at the Kent State Field House. The Buffalo women collected a fourth place finish, their highest in school history, while the men recorded a fourth place finish with a school record 101 points collected.
In all, the Bulls had six individual MAC champions, two relay team MAC champions and broke 11 school records.
"I am very happy for all of our coaches and student athletes," stated head coach Vicki Mitchell. "This was truly a TEAM performance by all. We continue to improve our team placing at each MAC championship meet.
Senior Jonathan Jones continued the University at Buffalo's dominance of the Mid-American Conference shot put titles as he won his second straight conference crown on Saturday. The Bulls shot putters have now won the MAC crown in five of the past six seasons.
Jones collected his second title with a throw of 62-07.25 (19.08m), earning the Bulls 10 points in the process. The Portville, NY native won the event by over a foot over Michael King of the host, Kent State. Junior Sean Harvey and freshman Ryan Cribbin recorded 11th and 13th place finishes respectively in the event.
Entering the second day of competition with the lead in the men's heptathlon, sophomore Mike Morgan didn't disappoint on Saturday. Morgan put together the most dominant performance of the afternoon, taking home the MAC Championship with 5,704 points. He became the first-ever Bull to win the title in the heptathlon and broke the school, MAC and facility record with 5,704 points. Morgan was named men field event athlete of the meet for his record setting performance and currently ranks fifth in the NCAA in the event.
Also competing in the heptathlon, Craig Howard had a great showing for the Bulls as he collected a fourth place finish with 5,365 points. Howard has his best showing in the pole vault as he set the school record in the event, clearing 16-10.75 (5.15m).
Sitting in sixth place as a team entering the 4x400 meter relay, the UB women's team was electrified by the quartet of Donna Jeanty, Asia Henry, Crystal Graham and Camaria Long as they recorded a school, MAC and facility record run en route to the MAC crown. The winning team blazed their way to a crown in 3:39.70, the fastest time in the MAC this season.
"The women's 4 x 400m relay team with coach Jenkins defines passion, drive, and what it means to be a champion," said Mitchell.
Not to be outdone by the women's 4x400 meter relay team, the men's distance medley team of Alec Peinkofer, Tyler Scheving, Brian Cummiskey and Brian Crimmins also collected a MAC title. The quartet of runners finished the event with a school record time of 9:52.37.
On the track, a pair of Bulls collected championships as Henry set the school record and MAC record in the 800 meter run with a time of 2:06.68. For her performace in the 800 meter run and 4x400 meter relay, Henry was named Outstanding female track performer. In the 200 meter dash, Sophomore Camaria Long put together the best run of her career, finishing with a school record of 24.09 seconds en route to her first career MAC crown.
The final Mid-American Conference champion of the day for the Bulls was junior Chris Reape in the high jump. The Rochester, NY native broke the school record with a leap of 7-00.50 (2.15m) on his way to his first MAC crown.
On the track for the men, Scheving earned a second place finish in the 800 meter run in a school record time of 1:50.09. Scheving collected eight points for the Bulls, eventually leading to a school record number of points earned on the day.
Entering the 60 meter dash final as the defending MAC champion, Miles Lewis was not able to live up to his hightened expectations as he collected a sixth place finish in 6.86 seconds. Fellow teammate, Ryan Billian had a strong showing in the event as he finished in 6.83 seconds, taking home fourth place. Billian also collected a third place finish in the 60 meter hurdles event in 8.00 seconds.
Lewis also collected a fifth place finish in the 200 meter dash in 21.66 seconds while Jalen Law finished seventh in 21.94. Crimmins closed out his strong indoor season with a sixth place finish in the mile run on Saturday, finishing in 4:11.85.
In the field events, Megan Patterson had a great showing in the shot put, earning a second place finish with a career-best throw of 52-03.25 (15.93m). The male duo of John Strickland and Morgan had strong showings in the high jump, earning third and fourth place finishes respectively. Strickland recorded a jump of 6-10.75 (2.10m) while Morgan finished in 6-08.75 (2.05m), both personal best marks.
Breaking another school record in the 400 meter run was Jeanty. The senior saved the best run of her career for the final meet of the indoor season as she finished in third place in 54.77 seconds, breaking the school record that was held by Jamiee McClary for the last four seasons.
In the women's pole vault, Kelly Truppo continued to lead the Bulls with a personal record mark of 13-05.25 (4.10m) en route to a third place finish. In her first MAC Championship, freshman Jenn Thill, didn't back down as she earned a fifth place finish clearing a personal best height of 12-11.50 (3.95m).
"The veterans on the team led the way this afternoon, and the atmosphere out there was electric," stated Mitchell.
The UB men collected 101 points and trailed only Akron (140), Kent State (132) and Eastern Michigan (110). The Bulls finished above Central Michigan (42).
On the women's side, the Bulls recorded 58 points and finished ahead of eight teams. Buffalo finished behind the champions from Kent State (127.5), Akron (98.5) and Eastern Michigan (91.5).
The Bulls should have multiple athletes advance to the NCAA Indoor Championships but the field will be revealed early next week.