Meet sends track stars to nationals

The men's and women's indoor-track squads traveled to Boston, Mass., last Saturday to compete in the ECAC Division III championship meet at Harvard University.

The women's team tied for 21st overall with SUNY Fredonia with a score of 13 points, but the men's team did not have the same success as the women, as they failed to score any points in the meet.

The star for the Lady Knights was senior Amanda Haney, who scored eight of the team's points.

Haney, who recently finished up her final season on the women's basketball team, managed to secure a second-place finish in the high jump with a leap of 1.66 meters. This height was good enough to qualify as an NCAA provisional qualifying height, giving Haney a spot in the NCAA Championship meet.

"It feels great to have qualified," she said. "I wasn't really expecting it as I play basketball too and our season just ended on Feb. 26. I was expecting the basketball team to do better in SUNYACs and wasn't even thinking about track, but then we lost to Oneonta and I found myself on a bus to the state track meet two days later."

Also scoring for the Lady Knights was junior Laura Iafrati, who scored three points, and senior Diane Synder who scored two. Iafrati placed sixth in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 17.35.95, which was a NCAA provisional qualifying time, and Synder placed seventh in the 500-meter run with a time of 1:19.71.

On the men's side, sophomore Jesse Berube had the best finish for Geneseo, coming in 14th place in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 15:21.53. Classmate Andrew Sorrento was 19th in the weight throw with a toss of 13.45 meters. Freshman Dustin Rabideau placed 22nd in the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 8.03.

The final meet of the season is the NCAA Division III Championship meet, which will take place March 14 and 15 at Ohio Northern University. Over 400 athletes from across the country will compete in this meet. Two athletes will represent Geneseo: senior Wes Hamilton and Haney, both of whom have been to the NCAA meet previously in their collegiate careers.

Hamilton, who did not compete in the ECAC meet, will compete in both the long jump and the triple jump at nationals, and is looking forward to the challenge.

"It is certainly humbling to know that there are so many people out there seeded ahead of me," he said. "I feel well prepared though; having [alumnus] Joe Goodspeed as a teammate last year has a lot to do with that. Last year, Joe qualified automatically for the high jump, and provisionally for both the long jump and the triple jump…I am excited to have some good competition, and hopefully I move up a few spots and place for our team."

Haney, on the other hand, has her sights set on different goals.

"I'm hoping to get in top eight which would be an All-American," Haney said. "I would also love to jump 5'8" but if neither of those happens it's OK because nationals is such a great experience whether you place or not. Plus I wasn't expecting any of this so it's really just icing on the cake for me."