Pete, Cox lead way at National Championships

Pete, Cox lead way at National Championships

All the weeks of intense training and preparation put them in this position; it was now time for the Bengal athletes participating in the NCAA championships last weekend to put what they learned over the course of a long season to the test and come out with the title of All-American.

Adversity began for the Bengals before they even arrived at the NCAA championships – they came into Nebraska a few days late because of the snow storm that recently hit Western New York.

Despite this adversity coach Dustin Dimit was proud of the way his team responded.

“You know, I am very happy with the results of the meet, we could have done better but given the traveling problems we had I was pleased,” Dimit said. “I thought we responded well to what was put in front of us.”

Junior Cory Cox placed fourth in the long jump for the men (7.11m) earning him All-American distinction, the second time in his career that he has achieved that mark.

“I thought it went well, however it could have gone a lot better, the whole traveling situation hampered me a little bit but I am grateful that I was able to pull out fourth place on my last jump,” Cox said.

Joining Cox as an All-American was teammate Rich Pete, who placed fifth in the triple jump (14.43m), the second time he has earned All-American honors.

The ladies also performed well given the circumstances. The 4×400 relay team of Sasa Vann, Jazlyn Porter, Tara Murphy and Niasha Hope ran for All-American recognition finishing fifth with a school record time (3.50.48). This was the first time for all four individuals that they have been named All-Americans.

Despite the inexperience of the 4×400 team, Dimit said he was impressed with how the runners handled the meet.

“Usually with any first time NCAA Championship qualifiers you notice jitters and nerves,” Dimit said. “I feel that the ladies performed well, they didn’t show any jitters out there at all.”

Even though the indoor season has come to a close for both the men’s and the women’s teams, they have little time to relish in what they have accomplished with the outdoor season right around the corner.

“This season has shown me a lot of stuff that I need to work on as an individual as well as things we need to work on as a team,” Cox said. “Being there and watching the guys who are winning and learning what they do to be successful was great, carrying that over to outdoor will be great.”

It was a season full of triumph for the Bengals, a season that began with the expectation to get better.

This season, numerous school records fell seemingly every week. The men ended up bringing home an improbable SUNYAC title while the women finished in a close second.

The Bengals also sent more competitors to the NCAA Championships than they ever had before.

“As a team we are growing each and every time we take the track, I am proud of that,” Dimit said. “With this new recruiting class and the young returners we have coming back, I think the future is bright.”