By Steven Merritt
UTICA – The Vassar College Track and Field teams returned to action for the first time in 2023 at the Blue and Orange Invite, hosted by Utica College. The women’s team won its first indoor meet in program history with 99 points while the men’s team finished in sixth place with 35 points.
In the final three events of the heptathlon, sophomore Max Bergman finished third in his heat with a time of 10.21 and 10th overall in the 60-meter hurdles. The sophomore finished with a mark of 3.40m in the pole vault for eighth place while ending the day with a time of 3:17.31 in the 1000 meters. Bergman finished eighth overall in the heptathlon for Vassar.
On the women’s side, sophomore Faye Stevens tallied a second place overall finish in the pentathlon with their best event being the winning time of 2:39.12 in the 800 meters. Stevens also recorded third place finishes in the long jump (4.89m) and the high jump (1.37m). The sophomore added marks of 7.61m in the shot put for sixth place overall and finished the event with a time of 10.10 in the 60-meter hurdles.
The men’s 5000-meter saw two Brewers finish in the top 10 as sophomore Levi Lilienthal finished sixth in a time of 16:19.24 and classmate Jackson Bernreuter was ninth with a time of 16:46.96.
Sophomore Jae Young Seo recorded a time of 9.52 in the 60m hurdles on the men’s side while three Brewers on the women’s side earned qualifying times to make the finals in the 60m hurdles. In the finals, freshman Catherine Peacock finished second in 9.90, junior Nora Jensen was third in 10.05 and sophomore Elinor Kops crossed the line in fourth in 10.24.
In the women’s 60m dash, sophomore Traci Francis and junior Ava Novak both qualified for the finals where Francis set an AARTFC mark and won the race in 8.05 seconds while Novak finished fourth in 8.30. Junior Darnell Worley recorded a second place finish in the men’s race with a time of 7:43 for the Brewers.
Senior Augusta Stockman posted the top mark in the women’s mile with a time of 5:14.89 which was an AARTFC time and sophomore Noni Pattington finished fifth for the Brewers in 5:31.56. The men had two finishers in the top 10 as sophomore Tim Buchan was sixth in 4:30.81 and junior Simon LaClair recorded a seventh place finish with a time of 4:34.31.
Freshman Margaret McLaughlin was the top finisher in the 400m in 11th place in 1:05.62 on the women’s side while sophomore Tim Jacques also finished 11th in the men’s race with a time of 52.64.
Senior Ava Waters notched a top 10 finish in the women’s 800 meters with a time of 2:31.91, good for an eighth place overall finish. In the men’s race, senior Lukas Muzila finished sixth overall in 2:02.57 while junior Sam Lytel tallied a 10th place finish in 2:03.90.
Novak scored another top 5 finish in the 200m on the women’s side with a time of 27.00. Freshman Anika Mueller-Hickler recorded a third place finish in the women’s 3000m in a time of 11:03.58 while sophomore Jose Magana tallied the top mark on the men’s side in 9:01.01.
Vassar took home the women’s distance medley relay title with the quartet of Stockman, Pattington, junior Clara Wiesler and freshman Nora Goldberg-Courtney posting a time of 13:39.22. The men’s relay finished third as the group of Magana, LaClair, Buchan and sophomore Nick Redstone recorded a time of 11:02.29. In the 4×200 men’s relay, the foursome of Jacques, Worley, Lytel and senior Tucker Quinlan finished second with a time of 3:34.34.
In the field events, Vassar’s women had three finishers in the top six of the long jump as freshman Sydney Passley-Harris was third with mark of 4.99m and senior Lola Perez-Fry finished just behind in fourth at 4.98m. Senior Malinda Smith tallied a sixth place finish with a 4.65m mark.
Freshman Lila Miller earned the top mark in the women’s shot put for Vassar at 9.30m while freshman Justin White finished ninth overall with a mark of 11.77m. Sophomore Jeremy Frank posted a second place overall finish in the men’s pole vault at 4.10m.
The women finished with 99 points overall for the win while SUNY Oneonta was second with 83 points and conference foe RPI finished third with 74 points. The men tallied 35 points for sixth place while RPI earned the team victory with 176 points and Utica was second with 99 points.
VC will return to Utica this weekend as both teams will participate in the Pioneer Invitational on Saturday, February 4th.