Track team tackles D-I schools, holds their own

This past weekend, the men's and women's track teams traveled to Boston University for the Valentine's Invitational to compete against mostly Division I opponents.

The meet was non-scoring and provided a new experience for the Knights, but they still provided some strong performances.

"We had to contend with a different type of meet; specifically the magnitude," said coach Dave Prevosti. "Especially in the 400 with over 200 runners."

On the women's side, there were a number of outstanding performances. Junior Laura Iafrati finished 15th in the 5,000 meter with a time of 17:33.26. Not only was she Geneseo's highest finisher, but her time qualifies her for the NCAA Championships, which take place next month.

"With the injuries we've had, Laura has really stepped up," said Prevosti. "She's getting to be at that next level."

Also competing in the 5,000 meter were sophomore Danni Hunt and senior Taryn Hand, who finished 35th (18:13.35) and 49th (18:32.38) respectively.

Graduate student Christy Finke placed 48th in the 800-meter race with a time of 2:21.46.

The Knights also had strong performances in the field events. Sophomore Alice Buskus placed 29th in the long jump and freshman Clare Halpin finished 59th in the same event. Freshman Tara McCarron also had a good showing in the shot put with a toss of 10.99 meters, which earned her 30th place.

The men's squad also had some outstanding performances.

Freshman Dustin Rabideau turned in a pair of strong performances for the Knights, placing 36th in the triple jump with a leap of 11.84 meters and coming in 41st with a time of 8.26 seconds in the 55-meter hurdles. Sophomore Pat Gallagher continued his outstanding season by turning in a 40th-place finish in the 400 meters with a time of 49.86 seconds.

"I can't really say enough about his effort, but I think the best is yet to come," said Prevosti.

Also running solid times were junior Craig Harlacher, who finished 45th in the 55 meters (6.78), and senior Nate Lockett, who placed 45th in the 5,000 meters (14:58.74). Junior Kevin O'Connell was responsible for the highest finish with 22nd place in the pole vault (4.15 m). Senior Wes Hamilton and junior Kevin Lasky rounded out the strong showings for the Knights with 36th in the long jump (6.06 m) and 41st in the triple jump (11.60 m).

Next up for the Knights is a meet at Cornell University this weekend which will certainly serve as a tune-up before the Knights head to Hobart College for the SUNYAC Championships in two weeks.