The Geneseo men’s and women’s track and field teams are buzzing with excitement for the upcoming SUNYAC Championship, to be held on Friday Feb. 23 and Saturday Feb. 24 at SUNY Brockport.
“Both teams are in good positions to do well at SUNYACs,” head coach Chris Popovici said.
The teams sent members to the Brockport Golden Eagle Invite on Saturday Feb. 17 to prepare for the championships and to give athletes one last meet to try and qualify for the SUNYACs if they hadn’t already.
“A number of people who were desperately trying to make the conference did,” Popovici said.
“We didn’t bring a lot of people, so it was cool to see us [be so successful]” senior multi-event athlete Julianna Lauricella said.
At Brockport, junior multi-event athlete Shayna Held set a school record in the 200-meter dash. The first, third and fourth fastest women in the 200-meter in program history are all currently on the roster.
Popovici believes that the Brockport meet was important.
“It gives us a picture of some of the stuff we’re going to do next week against conference opponents,” Popovici said.
The women’s team is expected to perform well and have a good chance of winning the SUNYAC Championship by a wide margin. The men’s team will have a tougher time coming out on top, and is expected to have a close point battle for first with SUNY Cortland. The men, however, think they are putting the pieces together nicely to succeed. Both programs should find success this weekend.
Since this weekend is the biggest meet of the season so far, the teams do not engage in very demanding practice regimes. There isn’t much time to change anyone’s performances.
“We don’t do too much this week because it’s a short week,” Popovici said.
The most important thing now is that everyone is healthy, rested and feeling mentally ready going into the first day of SUNYACs on Friday Feb. 23.
Geneseo is unique in its sheer number of athletes competing. The program is bringing at least 70 athletes to the SUNYAC Championship, but even those who do not actively compete attend to cheer on their fellow teammates. This provides a beneficial support system and gives the meet a great atmosphere.
“We usually occupy one of the turns and we make a lot of noise,” Popovici said. “It’s obnoxious for the rest of the conference, but really fun for us … Everybody usually goes nuts for the couple athletes we have in any given event.”
Geneseo is well represented in SUNYAC standings. The top 16 athletes for each of the 15 events will then qualify to compete. Within any event, one school is only able to have up to eight athletes. Within that frame, Geneseo luckily has numerous athletes competing across all events.
“SUNYACs are magical. They’re awesome and we’re hyped for them,” Lauricella said.
In terms of scoring, the top eight athletes in each event score points. There is a total of around 600 points to be scored in the meet and nine teams competing for them. Both the men and the women are excited for the weekend, and the teams are poised to succeed.