Women’s track and field captures ECAC title

Anthony Reyes, Associate Sports Editor

From SUNYAC Champions one week, to ECAC Champions the next, the Buffalo State women’s track and field team has been leaving its competition in the dust.


Both the men’s and women’s track and field teams traveled to the New Balance Armory in New York City for the ECAC Championships this past weekend. The women received great performances for the second weekend in a row, led once again by senior Jazmin Dunham.


Dunham won the title in the 60-meter hurdles and joined freshman Catarra Burroughs, junior Shuntone Pricher and junior Jazlyn Porter in claiming the title in the 4×200 relay.


Their relay time of 1:41.59 set a new school record. Dunham also added a second place finish in the 200-meter dash and a sixth-place finish in the 60-meter dash.


On top of the relay title, Porter added a title of her own, claiming the top spot in the 400-meter dash. Her time of 56.59 seconds set another school record.


“I had a really good take out, so I took off strong,” Porter said. “I set myself up in a good position throughout the race, and towards the last hundred meters I was able to pass the girls that were in front of me and just take the lead and just finish strong. I was pretty excited to be ECAC champ.”


As a result of her performance at the ECAC Championships, Porter was named the Buffalo State Athlete of the Week on Monday.


Junior Sasa Vann kept the record breaking performances going when she claimed the title in the 500-meter dash, finishing with a time of 1:14.57, which was both a meet record and her own personal school record.


Dunham missed last season with a torn hip flexor and came into this season on a mission.


“My goal was to come back and leave with a bang, and I feel like we are on the right path to doing that.” Dunham said.


The women will now send four individuals to the Division III Track and Field National Championships at the JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem, N.C. this weekend. Dunham will compete in the 60-meter hurdles event, the 60-meter dash with teammate Pricher, and will look to reclaim the title in 200-meter dash that she won in 2013 before her injury. Vann will compete in the 400-meter Dash along with Porter.


As for the men’s team, junior Josiah Thomas finished in second place in the triple jump and the team of freshman Robert Liebel, freshman Mohamed Kouyate, junior Dallas Taylor and senior Todd Colas claimed eighth place in the 4×400-meter relay.


The men will send Thomas and junior Austin Becker to the National Championships. Thomas will compete in the triple jump and Becker will take part in the 800-meter run.


“We’re currently in the stages of building that team to where the women are now,” Lewis said of the men’s team.


For the women, 17 athletes were selected for each event. For the men, 15 were selected. The top 8 finishers in the National Championships will automatically be named All-American.


“I want everyone that goes there to come back All-American,” Porter said. “For all of us that make it there to go back to finals and come back All-American, regardless if it’s first or eighth.”


Lewis, who was recently named SUNYAC Track and Field Coach of the Year, knows what the team is capable of.


“We’re expecting a top 10 finish,” Lewis said. “I think that’s the best we can do at this point with the number of athletes we have competing. Anything beyond that we would definitely be excited about.”


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