Pioneers have strong showing at Brockport

Jim McLaughlin, Sports Editor

The Utica College men’s and women’s track and field team put together a solid performance in last week’s meet at SUNY Brockport.

Junior sprinter Nicodemus Gambill continued to display his talents coming in first in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.01. Gambill has wanted to stay consistent throughout the season and he feels that he did a good job of doing that on Saturday.

“I thought I did good for the most part,” Gambill said. “I made it a goal of mine to be consistent in every competition I am in, so I was happy with my time on Saturday.”

Senior Shane Ruffing (middle) had a solid showing for UC as they competed at Brockport over the weekend. Photo by Jeff Pexton.


Gambill also helped come in first in the 4×400 meter race, which consisted of freshman Kevin Gangemi, sophomore Erik Gleba, and senior Shane Ruffing. The men came in first in the distance medley as well, with a team consisting of junior Patrick Claffey, freshman Tyler Wright, Gangemi, and Gleba.

Wright has been improving throughout the whole season since the start of the cross country season and head coach Eric Parker has definitely taken notice.

“He came to us with never doing cross country in the fall,” Parker said. “That allowed him to get a solid base of more mileage which has helped in his ability to help us from the 800-meter to the 5000-meter.”

As for the women’s side, they were led by senior Sarah Wiatr, who put together another stellar performance. Wiatr placed first and broke meet and facility records in the triple jump with a distance of 11.84 meters. Her jump at Brockport put her in second in the nation in the triple jump.

Freshman Nicole Herringshaw tied for second place in the high jump competition with a leap of 1.53 meters. The Pioneers also placed in first in the distance medley consisting of freshmen Kaitlyn Phillips, Brooke Catalano, Jenessa McCabe, and Renee Lewis.

Overall, Parker thought the Pioneers had a strong performance, but believed there were some areas to improve.

“We went into Saturday with some heavy legs from a tough week of practice,” he said. “We had some good performances and some that were not where we thought they might be. However, we saw a lot of great effort and grit which will pay dividends down the road at E8’s.”

It’s been over a month since the Pioneers have found a new home in the Todd and Jenn Hutton Sports and Recreation Center, which has proven to improve results during competition.

“It has helped me out a lot now,” Gambill said. “I am able to work on specific things I need to work in order to improve my times. In practice I am allowed to get the work I need done, so by the time of the race I get the results I want.”

Parker has noticed the difference in the way practices are run and how the team improves throughout the season.

“The dome has helped transform the team in a big way this year. We’re able to get more work in.” Parker said. “This has sped up our development in an annual plan view.”

The Pioneers will continue to get more use out of its new home this weekend as it hosts the Doris and Walt Miga Invitational on Saturday.