Juwan Wilson, Staff Writer
Records were broken by members of the Utica College men’s and women’s track and field team as they traveled to Ithaca College last weekend for the Empire 8 Indoor Championships.
Junior captain and sprinter Nicodemus Gambill was the driving force for the Pioneers on the weekend. He earned the Male Athlete of the meet honors after he broke two records in two different events. Gambill went on to break not only the college’s all time record for the 60-meter dash [6.91], but he also broke the college’s all time record for the 200-meter dash [22.22].
His times from those two events earned him first place in the Empire 8 Championships. Gambill’s times were also good enough to earn him a spot in the national limelight as well. The time he placed in the 60-meter dash earned him sixth in the nation, while his 200-meter dash time is good for seventh in the nation.
After a successful spring season last year Gambill was not satisfied with where he ended up placing. Since then he has used it as a motivational tool.
“I never won an indoor conference championship,” he said. “I came in second last year. This year I took it very personal, because I do not want to be second place. Last year I fell short of becoming an All-American so now I have a different mindset coming into every race and this year has been the hardest I have ever worked. Hopefully it will all pay off in the end God willing.”
It wasn’t only Gambill who stood out on Saturday. Senior Shane Ruffing placed first in the triple jump with a personal best of 14.12 meters. Ruffing’s triple jump pushed him into the national spotlight as well, as he is 16th nationally.
Freshman Tyler Wright, Mark Hentges and Keanu Heedram each placed in their events. Wright finished fifth in the mile run, Hentges finished third in the pole vault, and Heedram finished third in the weight throw.
As for the women, senior Sarah Wiatr led the team, finishing first in the triple jump event with a jump of 11.56-meters. Wiatr also place third in the long jump and fourth in the 60-meter dash to finish up the day.
The women’s 4×400 relay team, which consists of sophomore Megan Christina, junior Mikey Maxwell, sophomore Abby Schaible and freshman Jenessa McCabe finished in second place with a time of 4:17. The women’s team wrapped up the day with freshman Elizabeth Swasey finishing fifth in pole vault, junior Jade Jenkins finishing fifth in the triple jump, and thrower Jenifer Stimpson finishing fifth in shot put.
The Pioneers return to the track on Saturday as they host the Pioneer Invitational, which is set to start at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
Feature Image; Photo taken by ucpioneers.com