A collection of 13 schools from all three NCAA division classifications gathered at Harkness Track & Field on Saturday to demonstrate their talents at the Capital District Classic. Their final meet before the state championship, the Engineers put forth seven second place finishes and ten third place finishes in the non-scoring meet.
Alumnus Robert LaMarre ’15 aroused the excitement of his former teammates as they cheered him on to a second place finish in the men’s 3000 meter Steeplechase. Next in the order of events was the women’s 4×100 meter relay, won by the State University of New York Oneonta but followed by Rensselaer’s team of junior Haley Hahn, junior Sara Khedr, junior Monica Mazur, and freshman Vera Titze.
In three field events, senior Tyler Yeastedt muscled three second place throws, losing only to unattached competitors. Neglecting them, he ranked highest among the 13 schools in the shot put, discus, and hammer.
In the shot put, Yeastedt outcompeted 25 throwers with his mark of 14.79 meters. In the discus, he threw 51.94 meters to defeat 22 others. 18 fell to him in the hammer throw with his season-best throw of 57.14 meters.
Junior Melinda Wilson placed runner-up in the women’s hammer throw with her mark of 46.09 meters. Senior Andrea Ukleja and freshman Marissa Folk nearly finished neck and neck in the shot put with throws of 11.94 meters, yet Ukleja narrowly edged Folk out of second.
Throwing 35.71 meters in the women’s javelin to finish third, freshman Aurora Freedman attained the same rank as junior Joe Grella, who threw 50.60 meters in the men’s javelin. Also matching their third-place positions in the same event were junior Kristen Shaughnessy and senior Nathaniel Ogilvie in the women’s and men’s pole vault’s respectively. Shaughnessy cleared the bar at 3.05 meters, while Ogilvie cleared it at 4.35 meters. Freshman Lauren Parker arched over the high jump bar at 1.59 meters to place third in the event.
Runner-up in the me
n’s 4×400 meter relay were of junior Max Drexler, freshman Rory McCarthy, freshman Jason Hall, and senior Joey Correia in 3:26.62. Placing third in the men’s 4×100 meter relay with a time of 44.39 was RPI’s team of freshman Nate Salazar, junior Trevor Quintana, freshman Joe Osaheni, and freshman Hunter Tischler. Finishing in the same position in the men’s 1500 meters was sophomore James Anderson in 4:06.90.
Placing third in the women’s 800 meters was freshman Caitlyn Gardiner in 2:23.30, trailed by junior Sabrina Ahamparam in fourth in 2:24.41. “I loved how strong I felt,” commented senior Isabel Johnson, who claimed eighth in the race with her time of 2:25.56.
The Engineers will host the New York State Collegiate Track Conference Championship this Friday and Saturday at Harkness Track & Field, beginning at 2 pm on Friday. Then, the ECAC Championship will only be two weeks away.