The track and field teams put on a show last weekend when they hosted the second annual Geneseo Open, a non-scored meet that featured some of the Rochester area's top competition.
On the women's side, the highlights were all on the track as the Knights placed runners in the top spots in nearly all events. Graduate student Maggie Morris tore away from the pack in the 1,500-meter race, winning in 4 minutes, 45.93 seconds. She was followed up by first year Marissa Liberati who crossed the finish line in 4:46.39. Both athletes qualified for the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference regional meet with their performances.
"I was really happy with the race … if there was one person I wouldn't mind being beat by it would be Maggie," Liberati said. She added that she would like to drop her time even further in both this event and the steeplechase, for which she has already qualified.
Another big event for the team was the 800-meter race. The Knights took the top three spots, with all three runners finishing less than three seconds apart. First year Cailin Kowalewski, who broke the tape in 2:19.71, led the pack and was followed by sophomore Julie Dmochowski and fellow freshman Emily Sullivan, who finished in 2:22.27 and 2:22.61, respectively.
In an interesting twist, the sister combination of freshman Jessica Shumway and senior Kristin Shumway tied for the win in the high jump with leaps of 1.5 meters.
For the men's team, the big race of the day was the 4x400-meter relay team. The quartet, made up of juniors Niko Brown and Jon Brotsch, sophomore Jesse Cleary-Krell and senior Pat Gallagher broke a school record that had stood since 1992, with a winning time of 3:21.95.
Brotsch pointed out that three of the four runners were on the squad that set a record during the indoor season at Boston. "We didn't go out trying to break the record; it was just to go out and run as fast as we could and beat the other teams," he said.
Brotsch and Gallagher later took first and second place in the 400-meter race, finishing in 49.53 and 49.85 seconds, respectively. Brotsch said that he and Gallagher have been neck and neck all year long. "He beat me in indoors but lately in outdoors, I've been able to squeak ahead of him. It's a lot of fun to run against guys like Pat and Niko in practice."
Sophomore Greg Izzo said that overall it was a big day for the team. "We had so many people who had personal bests," he said, his own being in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 55.50 seconds. Izzo said that both he and his coaches believe he can continue to drop his times even further as the season progresses.
This weekend the Knights travel to the Roberts Wesleyan Invitational, followed by the SUNYAC Championship meet the weekend after at SUNY Brockport.