By Sean Callahan, News Editor
The Saint Vincent College men and women track & field teams ran their way to Youngstown, Ohio, on Feb. 23, for the indoor Presidents’ Athletic Conference championship. The first contests began at 11 a.m. Both teams obtained multiple standout performances in different contests. The most notable is the performance of the men’s team in the distance medley relay race. The relay team of Joseph Bujdos, Timothy Patterson, Braden Rankin, and Aiden Jackson won the event with a time of 10:42.73.
Bujdos, senior engineering major, looks forward to spending his last outdoor track season with his team, since he will be continuing his education at the University of Pittsburgh next year.
He felt good about the championship, specifically the outcome of the relay race and the individual achievements of his teammates.
“All of the sprinters set personal bests and met their goals during the championship, which was fantastic. It gave us more energy throughout the meet.” Bujdos said.
In addition to helping his relay team to a strong finish, Bujdos placed second in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:54.35. He nearly broke his own 800-meter school record made on Feb. 10 in the Boston University Valentine Invitational, a time of 1:54.25
Timothy Patterson, junior criminology major, finished in third place in the 3000-meter run, right in front of fellow teammate John Syms, who finished in fifth place. He described his team as energized and excited. Through good and bad races, the attitude remained positive.
Patterson, however, feels that he has yet to hit this peak. He believes he can perform better individually and is looking forward to the outdoor track and field season.
“I have yet to hit my potential or have a breakout race, but I believe it is yet to come. I'm excited for the outdoor season to see what my teammates and I can do,” Patterson said.
Other achievements for the men included two top-ten finishers in the one mile run, with Jacob Rzempoluch placing seventh and Jackson placing ninth. In the 5000, Jeremy Capella finished in fifth place and teammate Jeffrey Raynor placed tenth. In another competition, Evan Ray placed 12th in the men’s long jump and eighth in the triple jump. Additionally, Augustine Frohnen placed fifth in the shot put.
The women’s track and field team saw similar successes in their contests. In the women’s one mile run, Cassy Lanza placed eleventh, and in the women’s 800-meter run, Lily Murphy placed ninth. In the women’s 3000, Kristen Prince and Lauren Brennan finished fifth and seventh place respectively.
Prince, freshman environmental engineering major, broke SVC’s record time for the women’s 3000, when she ended with a time of 10:32.92. This is not the first school record she has broken this semester. At the Boston University Valentine’s Invitational on Feb. 10, she set a record for the women’s indoor 5000 with a time of 18:24.57.
Although Prince admitted she did not finish as well as she wanted to in the 3000, she enjoyed the race and was pleased by the new personal record she set.
“I’m excited to continue building off my fitness from indoor track and to challenge myself with new [personal record] goals,” Prince said. “I would love to take a shot at the 10,000 meter race.”
Kevin Wanichko, Head Coach of Men’s and Women’s Cross Country and Track & Field, and Alex Parker, Assistant Coach of the same programs, listed Prince, Rzempoluch, Syms, and Frohnen as only a few of their many standouts at the championship.
Concerning the outdoor season, Wanichko said that the track and field program is growing and expanding this year. He looks forward to the growth of other positions as well, such as throwers and jumpers.
“We know where our foundation is at, as we have been a primarily middle-distance program. This is our true first year of full expansion,” Wanichko said. “We hope to see our team progress and grow each day and each week.”
Parker agreed with Wanichko's sentiment, adding that the sprinters are “getting better every day.”
“Going from indoor to outside track is like a second chance. There are moments and performances our teams did not have. But now we have a chance to regroup and go after them again,” Parker said.