Track and field aims to peak as SUNYACs approach, battles injuries in recent weeks

Sophomore sprinter Angela Calabrese (left) and senior mid-distance runner Julianna Lauricella (right) compete in the open 800 at the Rochester Spring Classic. Lauricella placed fifth in the event (Kara Burke/News Editor).

The Geneseo track and field team is approaching the end of the spring season and SUNYACs are on the horizon. Both the men and women are looking to peak at the right time and perform their best in the biggest meets. The end of the season has not come without any obstacles and the team is doing their best to combat issues like injuries.

The team most recently competed on Saturday April 20 at the Princeton Larry Ellis Invite in Princeton, N.J. and the Rochester Spring Classic in Rochester, N.Y.

The Princeton Larry Ellis Invite was a meet predominately against Division I competition, but the Knights did not shy away from the challenge. For the men senior mid-distance runner Gillian Faulkner placed 11th in the 800-meter-dash with a time of 1 minute, 52.28 seconds. For the women, junior distance runner Genny Corcoran ran the 5,000-meter in 16 minutes, 56.27 seconds, which was the fourth-best time for that event in program history.

Back in New York, both the men and women also performed well at the Rochester Spring Classic; both teams had top finishers at the event. For the women, junior multi-athlete Alexa LaPierre finished first in the high jump with a height of 1.55 meters. On the men’s side, sophomore distance runner Colin Beasor finished first in the 10,000-meter with a time of 32 minutes and 50.76 seconds, and junior distance runner Lucas Sutton won the 5,000-meter with a time of 15 minutes and 40.87 seconds.

After their performances over the past weekend, the Knights turn their attention to the end of the season. There are only two more meets before the SUNYAC Championships: The Penn Relays and the St. John Fisher Cardinal Classic both on Saturday April 27. SUNYACs are set for the following weekend on May 3.

The men and women are each looking to repeat as SUNYAC champions. According to sophomore sprinter Laura Zopf, things are pointed in the right direction. 

“That’s the stats right now, [we’re projected to win by 100 points]. So, yeah, we’re doing well,” she said. Despite the win projection, the women may not win as handily as they did last season. When asked if the team could win more events this year, Zopf was optimistic. “We are looking very good throughout all the events. We have a lot of new throwers, [which means] more points.”

The men also are set up to compete strongly at the SUNYAC championships. Like the women, they are suffering from an injury bug, but the team remains optimistic.

“It’s sort of hard to anticipate exactly how well the boys are going to do at SUNYACS because we have a lot of injuries on [that side of the team], but we saw a lot of people that are very strong in their own events … also, people try new events for SUNYACS,” sophomore mid-distance runner Eli Avellino said. “So right now, we aren’t seeded to win, but we’ve gotten into a couple of the previous SUNYACS not seeded to win and come away with the win … I think it’s hard to anticipate right now, but I think that, despite a lot of injuries, the guys still have a good chance at winning SUNYACS.”

The Knights will continue to try and peak come championship season, and hopefully both the men and women can secure individual championships as well as a team championship. Should anyone qualify for NCAAs they will have the opportunity to compete at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships which begin on May 23.