Track invitationals act as prequel for SUNYACs

The Geneseo men and women’s indoor track and field teams had another busy week.  Both the men and women sent athletes to the Rochester Institute of Technology Tiger Invitational in Rochester and the Tufts Cupid Challenge in Boston, as well as the Ithaca Bomber Invitational.   

It was a long weekend for both sides of the team, but according to head coach Chris Popovici, it was extremely beneficial.  

“We were really happy to get all of those opportunities,” he said. “Some of the meets had better competition for certain event groups than others and different types of facilities.” 

The majority of both teams competed in the RIT Invitational. At Ithaca, the team brought their multi athletes who compete in the heptathlon and the pentathlon, which combine both field and track events. The team also brought a few of their long jumpers to Ithaca as well.  At the Tufts Challenge, the team brought their top long distance runners. 

The track team’s performance was highlighted by sophomore distance-runner Elise Ramirez, who ran the 5,000-meter with a time of 17:16.48, which was enough to name her Female Athlete of the Week at Geneseo. The run also put her at the sixth fastest time in the country this year, as well as the third fastest time in program history. 

Behind Ramirez were senior runners Marissa Cossaro, who finished fourth with a time of 17:25.32, and Sara Rosenzweig, who finished sixth with a time of 17:47.44.  

Other notable performances include senior jumper Alexa Wandy and junior jumper Camille Wutz, who finished first and second in the long jump at the Ithaca Invitational, respectively. Wandy came in first with a score of 18 feet 6 inches and Wutz—who came in second—jumped 18 feet and 2.5 inches. Both women have competed at nationals before and are looking for the opportunity to compete on the same stage again.  

In the same meet, sophomore multi-event athlete Shayna Held came in first place in the women’s pentathlon with a score of 3,034 points, which is a personal best. Held also had personal bests in the long jump and the 800-meter during the pentathlon and tied her personal best in the high jump.

On the men’s side, junior distance-runner Isaac Garcia-Cassani finished first in the mile with a time of 4:10:04. Garcia-Cassani won the race by nearly eight seconds and finished with the third fastest time in Division III this year. 

Looking forward, the men and women are both preparing for the upcoming SUNYAC Championship and then the NCAA Division III Championship.  

“The number one thing is getting everyone fresh physically and excited and focused mentally,” Popovici said.  “That’s a goal of ours as a program—that we go to that meet [SUNYAC Championship] expecting to have our best performances of the year individually and if we do that … we put ourselves in a winning position.”