Distance medley relay takes the lead at SUNYAC championship

Graduate student Alyssa Smith closed the indoor season with a bang on Saturday Feb. 23, winning the mile run and leading the women’s track and field team to a second-place finish.

Smith, who also won the mile from 2009-2011, became just the second woman in SUNYAC history to be a four-time champion in an individual event. Her mile time of 5 minutes, 2 seconds led a slew of Geneseo runners to the podium, including junior Mary Aldridge, senior Cailin Kowalewski and sophomore Keira Wood.

“We had the plan to just go out together the first few laps and see how the race laid out,” Smith said. “We wanted to get as many people onto the podium as possible. It wasn’t until the last couple laps that I started pushing the field.”

Head coach Dave Prevosti described Smith as a leader. 

“She does what needs to be done and says what is on her heart [which is] for the team,” he said in an email interview. “She is dependable and passionate first, talented second - and that is saying a great deal, given how talented she is.”

Smith also would have run in the distance medley relay with Kowalewski, Wood and junior Allison Hoh as usual, but in order to maximize the team’s potential score, freshmen Shannon Murphy, Kylie Ryan and Emma Deshaies as well as junior Lauren McKnight ran in their place. They did not disappoint, winning the event with a time of 12:35 amidst a strong field. The time broke the record at Special Events Recreation Center at Brockport and met the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference standard. 

“They put together one of the strongest races of the day,” Smith said. “The [distance medley relay] really came through.”

 Other top performances in the women’s meet included Kowalewski’s victory in the 800-meter run, Hoh’s second and fourth-place showings in the 400-meter dash and the 60-meter hurdles, respectively, and Smith, Aldridge and senior Danae Polsin finishing second, third and fourth, respectively, in the 3,000-meter run.

On the men’s side, senior Alex Brimstein comfortably won the mile, besting the second- place finisher by nearly three and a half seconds. Brimstein also earned a second-place finish on the distance medley team along with freshman Andrew Hayes and sophomores Christian Igielinski and Cohen Miles-Rath. The other Geneseo victor was senior Chris Carter, who won the 800-meter run. Junior Tony George finished in third place in the same event. Miles-Rath was the runner-up in the 5,000-meter race, sophomore Luke Taverne was second in the high jump and senior Mike Mattiucci’s strong late-race running helped him claim third place in the 3,000-meter run.

The Knights will face stiff competition at Tufts University’s Last Chance Meet on March 2. The NCAA championships will begin on March 8 in North Central, Ill. soon followed by the outdoor track season.