It was a historic and record-setting weekend for the Geneseo men’s and women’s track and field teams at the Valentine Invitational hosted by Boston University. The Knights competed in a large competitive field filled with a wide variety of top athletes from Division III, II and I.
There were many Knights that stood out at the meet in Boston, including junior distance runner Isaac Garcia-Cassani, who finished the mile run with a time of 4:05.39. It is the second fastest time in the mile in Division III this season.
Among the entire field, which consisted of 270 athletes—ranging from pro to Division II—he finished 15th. On top of that, Garica-Cassani’s time is now the fastest mile ever run by a Geneseo male athlete by four seconds.
Senior sprinter Connor Christian finished the 400-meter with a personal best of 49.37, which is also good for a program record—he finished 41st overall.
Other records were being set on the women’s side as well. Senior jumper Alexa Wandy had a personal best while setting the school record in the triple jump with a jump of 40 feet and 2 1/4 inches, which is the second best triple jump this season in Division III. Wandy’s jump landed her a 5th place finish.
Wandy was also a part of the women’s 4x400-meter relay team consisting of junior jumper Camille Wutz, junior sprinter Lauren Bamford and senior mid-distance runner Mackenzie Ross—also breaking a program record with a time of 3:55.10.
On top of the relay record, Wutz and Bamford made their own imprint within the Geneseo track program’s record books.
Wutz previously held the program record for the 60-meter, but broke her own record, finishing with a time of 7.93, which was good for 21st overall. In the 400-meter run, Bamford finished with a time of 58.41, which meant yet another Geneseo program record.
Overall, there were six program records set over the weekend in Boston making for a successful week.
The track team now sets their sights on the Brockport Invitational starting on Feb. 24.
“A big part of this upcoming weekend at Brockport is giving those who need one more opportunity to qualify the best chance to do that,” head coach Chris Popovici said. “Since we’re perusing a team title, the more people we get to the SUNYAC’s, the better opportunities there are to score points.”
Coming into the final stretch of the winter season, Popovici said he is satisfied to know that the atmosphere around the athletes is beneficial. The team often looks to their upperclassmen to set an example and to be leaders, especially late in the season.
“We’ve seen this sort of family-like atmosphere develop,” Popovici said, “Everyone who’s an upperclassman and passed through the program sort of takes on the idea of leaving it better than they found it.”