The SUNY Delhi Track and Field teams opened their outdoor season at the Monmouth Season Opener Invitational in West Long Branch, New Jersey. Many strong performances suggest the team is prepared for another strong year.
The team was led by sophomore Walter Briggs, who finished the indoor season with three school records. It seems he will be attacking a number of records outdoors as well. Briggs finished second in the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 54.45 seconds, third in the 200 meters with a time of 22.69 seconds into a strong headwind and fifth in the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 15.47 seconds. All three performances are significantly faster than he started the season last year.
Also turning in a runner-up finish was sophomore Tyler O'Bryant in the 100 meters. O'Bryant stumbled a little out of the blocks at the start, but recovered nicely and caught all but one runner. With the strong breeze off the ocean coming into the face of the runners, O'Bryant posted an impressive season opening time of 11.22 seconds.
There were two other impressive runner-up finishes out of the distance runners. First, was sophomore John Hillenbrand who took second place in the 10,000 meters. Hillenbrand spent miles two through five working his way up to the leader and breifly took the lead in the last mile, but was unable to cover one last move and finished in second palce overall with an impressive time of 32:06.56. The other top finish came from freshman Kobie Lane in the 3,000 meters. Lane took advantage of the rare opportunity to run that distance outdoors and established a school record for the event with a time of 8:44.77.
Other strong performances came from sophomore Scott Downing. Downing, the 2015 NJCAA Division III National Champion in the 1,500 meters opened his season with an all-time best, running 4:11.14. He came back a few hours later to run an impressive 2:01.16 for the 800 meters. Freshman Andrew Davis ran his first collegiate steeplechase race and looked like a veteran. His time of 9:59.98 was the best by a Delhi runner in the last four years and placed him seventh overall in the meet.
For the women, the top finish came from junior Zhane Ridley in the 100 meter hurdles. Her time of 18.17 seconds was good for ninth place overall. Ridley also added a 28.42 seconds in the 200 meter run. Freshman Samantha St. Denis and Emily Greenwood ran well in the 400 meters turning in times of 1:05.31 and 1:05.67 respectively.
The teams will compete next on April 6th in their home meet, the Bronco Classic. Competition will begin at 3pm at the track and field facility.