Track successful at national Valentine Invitational

At the Valentine Invitational, the Geneseo men’s and women’s track and field teams both put up a good showing, with athletes from both teams breaking school records and putting up personal best times on Friday Feb. 13 and Saturday Feb. 14. With over 3,000 athletes at the meet, the Knights did a great job of standing out against the crowd and making sure that they competed to the best of their abilities at Boston University.

With school records from multiple athletes, the Knights made sure that they put themselves in a good position going toward the SUNYACs.

The sprinters who were at the Valentine Invitational had a lot on their plates. With such a large meet, it was going to be tough for them to concentrate on their select event and the lead up to it––3,000 athletes is a lot of athletes. But the Knights were able to keep their heads together and to put up some of the best numbers of their lives, breaking school records and personal bests all weekend.

Senior Kristen Gottstine broke the school record for the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.66 seconds, while the women’s 4x400 team also broke the school record. That team consists of senior Keira Wood, junior Kylie Ryan and freshmen runners Lauren Bamford and Madelyn Schwartz. There were also many times that came very close to beating the school records, times that are good enough for the runners that posted them to be proud of them. Junior Michael Segelin, sophomore Austin Donroe and senior David Layman all posted the second, third, and fourth best times in school history for the 200-meter dash.

With most of the sprinters going to the Valentine Invitational, the rest of the athletes took the opportunity to prove themselves at the Cornell University Sunday Invitational. Sophomore thrower Zerrick Barlow ended up placing fourth in the weight throw.

“[Barlow] is a first-year track and field athlete, so for him to come out and be this good this quickly is great,” head coach Chris Popovici said. “For him to come out after never throwing before six weeks ago and now he’s beating half the conference, that’s an impressive thing to see.” Senior thrower Elyssa Slawinski came in sixth place in the shot put, good enough to give her a cushion for the conference meet coming up in two weekends.

Now that the hefty part of the regular season is almost at a close, the Knights can begin to look ahead to the conference meet in two weeks that will decide who wins the conference championships. With such stellar performances this weekend, the Geneseo track and field teams can be confident in their ability to go to SUNYACs and to be better than the rest, and to be able to take home the title.