The University of Rhode Island men’s and women’s track teams competed in a couple different meets this past weekend, with the men taking second in the University of New Hampshire Invitational and the women winning at the University of Massachusetts Invitational.
Both teams fared well as the women’s team scored 121 points to beat both Boston College and the University of Massachusetts, who had 107 apiece to win the meet. Meanwhile the men finished in a tie for second place with Dartmouth College at 144 points, 12 points behind the first-place University of Maine.
The top performer for the men’s team on the day was senior Jalen Young, who was able to win the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.99 seconds. Young was also a member of the 4 x 100-meter team, which also included sophomore DeAngelo Berry, senior Tyler Oliveira and freshman Gregory Black, that finished first with a time 43.5 seconds.
“Jalen Young looked real good definitely,” men’s track and field head coach John Copeland said. “I thought all the sprinters looked good. We are really pleased where we are at this point. We are just trying to get a break from the weather right now.”
Senior James Strawderman was victorious in the pole vault with a clearance of 5.01 meters. The 5.01 meters represented a clearance .3 meters better than the second-place competitor.
Rhode Island had three top-five finishers in the 100-meter sprint on the day as well. Finishing second was freshman Nigel Hill with a time of 10.91 seconds, followed by Young in third and Berry in fifth with times of 10.95 and 10.97 seconds, respectively.
Along with the men, the women had numerous performers competing at the highest level, but junior Mariah Claudio, who won the 400-meter dash with a time of 56.24 seconds, highlighted their performances. The time was good enough for the eighth-best mark in school history. Claudio also ran in the 200-meter dash, coming in second place with a time of 25.72 seconds.
“Individually Mariah is doing very well,” women’s track and field head coach Laurie Feit-Melnick said. “She is a very good leader, role model and just a junior. We are very excited about the future.”
In addition to Claudio, both junior Katja Neves and freshman Chaslynn Saucier qualified for the New England Championship meet with their performances in the discus and 100-meter dash, respectively. Neves had a throw of 39.26-meters, while Saucier was timed at 12.46 seconds.
Sophomore Micaela McPadden also won the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:05.41, which was good enough for the URI school record.
Various performers qualified for the ECAC meet this weekend, too, including seniors Emily Renna and Kaylan Pickford. Renna was able to once again grab first place in the 100-meter hurdles, finishing with a time of 14.33 seconds, while Pickford impressed in the pole vault clearing 3.75 meters. For Pickford, that represents a personal best and the third highest clearance in the history of URI.
Also of note for the women’s team was sophomore Courtney Hawkins, who won the 3000-meter with a time of 10:06:42. The time was also the eighth-best ever for URI.
Each team has a busy schedule as the men head to the University of Connecticut Decathlon and women have the Connecticut College Silfen Invitational this week, after which both have the George Mason Invitational and Brown Invitational on Saturday.