Track has top-10 finish at Rochester

The men's and women's outdoor track and field teams traveled to the University of Rochester last Saturday and placed sixth and fourth of 15 teams, respectively.

"For who was there, we did well," said assistant coach Mike Woods. "Not everyone went, but I thought our distance runners ran extremely well. We didn't have our top sprinters, but who went did very well."

The women's side collected 81.50 points to take fourth, while champion Rochester racked up 142 points. Sophomore Marissa Liberati and junior Alyssa Smith stole the show and posted new personal records. Liberati placed first in the 1,500-meter with an astonishing time of 4 minutes, 39.98 seconds.

"Breaking 4:40 as a collegiate 1,500 runner makes you a special runner," Woods said. Liberati's new personal record in the 1,500-meter also moves her up to seventh of the Top 10 All-Time records at Geneseo.

Smith ran her fastest 3,000-meter steeplechase yet, and provisionally qualified for the National Collegiate Athletic Association championships. Her time of 10:57.18 is the second fastest in the Geneseo Top 10 All-Time records, just seconds behind Liberati's.

Other notable performances included senior Brittany Talani, who tossed 11.40 meters in the shot put, her season best. Sophomore Diahann Cuevo sprinted to third place in the 100-meters. Junior Kelly Brunscheen earned a season best in the 400-meter with a third place finish.

The men tallied 66 points, as Rochester won with 131. Seniors Ryan O'Connor and Mark Streb highlighted the performances with less than four-minute runs in the 1,500 meters. Streb took first in 3:57.44, while O'Connor took third in 3:58.58.

"If you're under four minutes, you're in an elite [Division III] position," Woods said. "I hope that bodes well for them. They came down ten seconds from last year and I hope they can take off another 10 seconds."

In the field events, senior Mike McManus leaped 1.98 meters in the high jump to earn first place. "[McManus] didn't qualify for the NCAAs, but he's real close," Woods said.

Other key performances included junior Greg Izzo, who placed third in the 400-meter hurdles and junior Nwana Okafor's second place finish in the long jump with a distance of 6.74 meters.

"The competition was good overall," Woods said. "I thought that some of our sister schools did very well. [SUNY Brockport] had some really good times and U of R had some really good ones, too."

On April 15, the distance runners travel to Bucknell University for the team's favorite outdoor meet of the season.

"The expectations are high," Woods said. "They're going to see the best competition that they've seen. We're taking our best distance runners and this is their chance to qualify for the NCAA … and as always we are praying for good weather."

The rest of the track and field squad will travel to SUNY Brockport on April 16.