The track and field teams opened their season at Monmouth University in New Jersey this weekend to try to find some warmer weather and less snow. The conditions ended up being pretty good with temperatures near 60 degrees and no real wind.
Those conditions were perfect for distance running and the Broncos took advantage of it. Leading the way was junior Jack Hillenbrand who ran a huge personal best in the 10,000 meter run. In the same meet where he ran 32:06 last year, Hillenbrand ran a perfect race to post a new best of 31:44.92 seconds, which was good for third place overall. Hillenbrand went through the 5,000 meter split in 15:53, then ran the second half in 15:51. In the 1,500 meters, freshman Jon Messler (4:12.99), sophomore Nick Arnecke (4:21.36) and freshman Kevin Malen (4:29.78) all ran times that convert better than their best mile races of the indoor season to start the spring off in top form. Junior Kelsey Esselman ran her best season opening meet of her collegiate career with a 1,500/800 meter double. Esselman won her heat in the 1,500 meters convincingly with a time of 5:10.29 and ran 2:29.90 in the 800 meters later in the meet.
While the conditions were not ideal for spritners and jumpers, the Broncos still posted many strong performances in those areas. Senior Keimon Barrow won the triple jump with a mark of 14.93 meters, easily outdistancing the runner-up Michael Pepper of Monmouth who jumped 14.10 meters. Barrow also placed third in the high jump with a clearance of 2.04 meters. Senior Brian McLeod tied for fourth in the high jump with a clearance at 1.89 meters. Sophomore Doug Williams placed fifth in the long jump with a mark of 6.73 meters.
In the sprints, Williams had the teams top performance running 22.27 seconds in the 200 meters. Freshman Gilbert Boateng opened his season with an all-time personal best in the 200 meters posting a strong 23.55 into a head wind and sophomore Ricardo Castello opened with a strong showing in the 400 meters with a time of 51.18. For the women, freshman Ashley Magnifico ran her best combination of races this year, posting a 1:04.31 in the 400 meters and coming back to run a 28.46 second 200 meters. Her time in the 400 was about four seconds faster than her best race of the winter season, showing that she is ready for a strong outdoor campaign. Fellow freshman Madeeah Oranchak opened up with a 13.04 second run in the 100 meters to lead the team in that event.
The team will travel to Ramapo College in New Jersey next weekend for another competition.