The men’s and women’s track teams traveled to Durham, N.C., where they faced some of their fiercest competition of the year at the Duke Invitational.
On Friday, the first day of the invitational, the team was not as well prepared as Head Coach Rob Pasquariello would have liked it to be.
“We weren’t really happy with the effort that they gave,” Pasquariello said. “I thought they came out unprepared for the level of competition and that’s partly our [the coaches] fault. Saturday I thought we came out and competed well and that’s what we’re looking for, the preparation and going out there and competing.”
The teams they faced were some of the best in the country, as they went up against the likes of Duke, North Carolina and Virginia Tech.
“For a lot of them it was the first time they’ve seen the ACC schools,” said Pasquariello. “Virginia Tech is one of the top programs in the country. All of those schools really have good programs and quality athletes. Maybe intimidation was a little bit of a factor.”
On day one for the women, sophomore Lauren Lester and freshman Chelsea Callan both set personal records in the 1,500 meter as Lester placed 10th and Callan finished 11th. Sophomore Karlise Cureton placed 15th in the 200 meter with a time of 26.68 seconds.
Also for the women, junior Kelly Kajunski recorded a personal best in the triple jump with a distance of 10.47 meters, finishing 29th.
Also in the triple jump, junior Elizabeth Spokony placed 24th and junior Tabatha Haskins claimed 28th, with sophomore Kelly Dissinger placing 27th in the 400-meter dash.
Freshman Johanna Clark placed 39th in the 400-meter dash while junior Ashley Maynard finished in 47th place.
On the men’s side, junior A.J. Parillo placed 10th in the 200 meter, senior Andrew Dagenais placed 12th in the javelin throwing with 52.62 meters, and junior Matt Dahl placed 14th in the 1,500 meter with a time of 4:05.36.
Also for the men, senior Jeff Stead and freshman Chris Gonzalez placed 26th and 28th, respectively, in the 1,500 meter, and Michael Soroko placed 38th. Freshman Peter Wandell placed 34th in the 400 meter.
The invitational continued on Saturday as the team saw some improved results.
For the women, senior Elizabeth Clatch placed sixth in the javelin with a distance of 38.40 meters, and Kajunski placed seventh in the high jump with a distance of 1.65 meters. Sophomore Jennifer Alksmant placed 20th in the discus, Spokony placed 23rd in the long jump and sophomore Alicia Price finished 26th in the shot put.
Also for the women, Haskins placed 26th in both the long jump and the 100-meter hurdles with freshman Shaylah Counts finishing 33rd in the 100 meter and 45th in the 200 meter. Cureton placed 36th in the 100-meter hurdles, and sophomore Lauren Lester placed 40th in the 800 meter with a time of 2:21.64.
With the men, freshman John Clark placed eighth in the discus with a distance of 45.34 meters and 14th in the shot put, while Gonzalez finished 18th in the 800 meter with a time of 1:54.93.
Also for the men, sophomore Brandon Wolf placed 22nd in the shot put, and junior A.J. Parillo placed 24th in the 400 meter. Sophomore Kevin Breen and junior Philip Breen placed 26th and 27th respectively in the pole vault.
Pasquariello stressed how important it’s going to be for the team to come out prepared for its next meet, which is an issue the team has addressed this week.
“Our focus this week was on preparation,” said Pasquariello. “We’ve had a really good week of practice all around.”
This week the Broncs will be competing at home as they host the Rider Invitational.
“There’s four or five teams that traditionally come,” Pasquariello said. “La Salle will be there; Sacred Heart and Delaware are coming. I think we’ll have some good performances this week and hopefully we’ll get some Eastern Qualifiers. Right now the weather looks kind of iffy but that’s outdoor track.”