UB Track & Field Adds Five Student-Athletes For 2016-17

UB Track & Field Adds Five Student-Athletes For 2016-17

BUFFALO, NY - University at Buffalo track and field head coach Vicki Mitchell announced the signing of five student-athletes to National Letters of Intent on Wednesday afternoon. The five signees are Martine Bye, Zach Jones, Chima Ezeilo, Ray Anikwue and Stephanie Ward. The Bulls now have 14 members in their 2020 signing class after seven signed in April and two signed in November.

This group of athletes will add depth to a competitive squad within the Mid-American Conference and NCAA Division I. These athletes bring success from the jumps, sprints, mid-distance, and distance events at the high school level and beyond.

Martine Bye

  • Hometown Steinkjer, Norway (Transfer from University of Memphis)
  • Athletic accomplishments: Won 21 overall Norwegian titles, including 12 in the high jump. Won the 2014 Norwegian Junior Championships high jump title. Placed third in the high jump at the 2014 Nordic Junior Championship. Runner-up in the high jump division at the 2012 and 2013 Norwegian Championships. Placed third at the 2013 Nordic Championship for Heptathletes. Member of the 2010 Steinkjer Videregaaene Skole High School volleyball squad that won the championship. While at Memphis she qualified for NCAA Preliminary Championships in high jump and javelin. 
  • Intended Major: Psychology
  • Statement from Coach Esler on what Martine will bring to the UB Program: "Martine is an elite heptathlete who will bring added depth to UB's combined events program while being able to compete at the national level in the high jump and javelin.  She has amazing balance in her skills both in the classroom and the track."

Zach Jones

  • Hometown: Holland, NY
  • High School: Holland High School
  • High School accomplishments: 400m Hurdle State Champion, Section VI Long Jump Champion, Section VI 110 Hurdle Champion
  • Statement from Coach Esler on what Zach will bring to the UB Program: "Zach comes out of high school as one of the most versatile overall athletes in the state.  He could have competed at the state championships in four or five open events this outdoor season and is the kind of guy who will go out there and give everything he has every time he steps on the track.  Zach's mentality is exactly what is going to help raise our program to the next level!"

Chima Ezeilo

  • Hometown: Haverstraw, NY
  • High School: North Rockland High School
  • Athletic Accomplishments:  At the 2016 Outdoor NYS Federation Championship, Chima placed 3rd in the 400IH with a PR of 53.25.  His personal best include 300m: 35.70, 400H: 53.25
  • Major: Computer Science
  • Statement on what will bring to the UB Program: Chima is a very mature young man who will have the ability to scorer in the MAC in the 400 hurdles.  He will also be a strong leg on our 4x400 relay.

Ray Anikwue

  • Hometown: Gainesville, NY
  • High School: Letchworth High School
  • Athletic Accomplishments: In the 2016 Indoor season, Ray turned heads with his 6th place finish in the 60m at the NY State Meet.  Outdoors, Ray ran a personal best in the 100m of 10.76 to win the Section 5 Championship. A week later, Ray went on to win the Division 2 NY State Championship and placed 4th in the NY Federation Championship in the 100m final. He has personal best of 6.49/55m, 10.76/100m, and 21.76/200m
  • Statement on what Ray will bring to the UB Program: "Ray's is one of the top short sprinters in New York and we expect big contributions in the short sprint distances. Ray will also be a key member of our outstanding 4x100 relay."

Stephanie Ward

  • Hometown: Rome, Georgia
  • High School: The Darlington School
  • Athletic Accomplishments: Stephanie placed 3rd in the 2016 Georgia Outdoor Track & Field Championships in the 1600m and 3rd in the 2015 Cross Country State Championships.
  • Planned Major: Exercise Science
  • Coach Mitchell's statement on what Stephanie will bring to the UB program: "Stephanie has the mindset to be great. She understands the level of work needed to be an outstanding Division I student-athlete, and she will add depth and strength to the women's distance team. The daughter of a US military father, Stephanie grew up in Saudi Arabia, and attended the Darlington School, a boarding school in Georgia. Her level of maturity places her in an excellent position to handle the rigors of academics and Division I Athletics."