Track & Field: Bengals make final push to qualify for NCAA National Champs

Emmanuel Rodriguez, Reporter

The Buffalo State men’s and women’s track and field teams sent a group of athletes to the Ohio Northern Polar Bear Final Qualifier in Ada, OH, in hopes of qualifying for Nationals.

Junior Benjamin Ezike won the triple jump on the men’s side with a mark of 14.47 meters. He ranks eighth in the nation with a season-best mark of 14.51 meters. Freshman Dwight Corley finished third in that same event at 13.73 meters.

Sophomore Mohamed Kouyate finished first in the 400-meter run with a time of 49.29 seconds.

“I was in good shape and I was ready to leave it all on the track” Kouyate said. “It was not the time I was aiming for and surely not the best race, even though I won.”

Kouyate joined sophomore Robert Liebel and seniors Dallas Taylor and Cory Cox in the 4×400-meter relay. They finished first (3:22.57), but still felt they could have done better.

“We tried our hardest to make the qualifying time for nationals, but we came up short due to lack of competition,” Cox said. “We beat the second place team by 21 seconds, so there wasn’t enough of a push for us.”

“We pretty much ran alone the entire time,” Kouyate reiterated.

With a time of 57.52 seconds, senior Sasa Vann won the 400-meter dash and moved into 15th place nationally.

Vann, alongside juniors Niasha Houpe and Emikhe Tisor and senior Jazlyn Porter won the 4×400-meter relay with a time of 3:55.51.

Porter placed third in the 400-meter run (57.8 seconds).

Sophomore Catarra Burroughs won the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.65 seconds, good enough for 17th best in the nation. The finish put her near the cut line for the NCAA Championships. Burroughs’ success didn’t stop there as she finished tied for first in the 60-meter dash at 7.79 seconds.

Senior Shuntone Pricher placed second in the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.93 seconds. Pricher also finished third in the 60-meter dash at 7.82 seconds.

Senior Treasure Glymph finished third in the triple jump with a distance of 11.23 meters.

The track and field teams will await the official qualifiers for the NCAA Championships, which will take place on Friday, March 11 and Saturday, March 12 in Grinnell, IA. If no Bengals qualify for Nationals, the spring season will begin on April 2 at the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY.

“There is still a lot of room for improvement,” Kouyate said. “With the best coaches around, I believe we will do great things this outdoor season.”

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