O’Connor breaks fifteen minutes in 5 kilometer

After their first day at the New York State Collegiate Track Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships on Friday, February 29, freshman Grant O’Connor placed first out of 24 in the 5000 meter run with a time of 14:59.4, the women’s distance medley relay team of junior Maddie Dery, sophomore Caroline Howes, junior Jodi Wrzosek, and sophomore Jaime Lord collectively earned a school record by over 25 seconds and the fourth fastest time in the nation to date this season for the event, and the achievements that would be made on Saturday had not yet even happened. O’Connor was the only runner to go sub-15 in the race, making his average pace under five minutes per mile. Dery, Howes, Wrzosek, and Lord ran a 1200 meter leg, 400 meter leg, 800 meter leg, and 1600 meter leg, respectively, in order to earn their winning composite time of 11:59.9.

The men’s DMR team of junior Matthew Cicciu, senior Zachary Vanderzee, junior Garrett Davis, and junior Colin Smith garnered a fourth place time of 10:28.2. Rochester Institute of Technology won the event in 10:14.8.

Friday’s field events featured freshman Alex Monaco and senior Tyler Yeastedt both finishing runner-up in their event. Monaco landed a mark of 6.76 meters in the long jump while Yeastedt threw 17.85 meters in the weight throw. Senior Andrea Ukleja threw 14.79 meters to take fourth in the women’s weight throw.

With the second day of competition came three additional winners and three runner-ups. The first victory was accomplished by none other than junior Ben Fazio in the mile with a time of 4:17.9.

“The race this past weekend was actually my first race back from an injury that took me out for a few weeks, including the Liberty League meet,” said Fazio, who would also run the 1000 meters later in the meet. “With that in mind, I wasn’t sure how I would feel in the race… The plan in the mile was to save as much energy as possible for the 1k. Things didn’t work out exactly as planned and I was a bit more rusty than I would have wanted, but in the end I scored a good amount of points to help the team in our third place overall, so I can’t complain.”

Lord came back to place second in the women’s 1000 meters and fourth in the women’s mile. Davis returned to take third in the men’s 1000 meters.

In the shot put, Yeastedt mastered the the event with his throw of 15.86 meters to win the event. Freshman Lauren Parker finished runner-up in the women’s high jump with a height of 1.63 meters.

Junior Erik Trinkle was third in the men’s high jump and sophomore Max Maritato finished behind him in fourth. Sophomore Matt Vitagliano won third in the men’s triple jump with a distance of 13.73 meters.

Out of the 12 competing teams, RPI finished third overall, as Fazio mentioned, and the women took fourth.

The indoor season culminates this Saturday in the ECAC Championship Meet, although some athletes who qualify are candidates for participation at the NCAA Division III National Meet.