Men’s and women’s track and field continue to break records

Last Friday, the Ramapo men and women’s track and field teams competed at the METS Indoor Championships in Staten Island, New York. 

Last semester, freshman Dale Leonard broke records and earned titles — and this semester is proving to be no different. Finishing second in the 800m race with a time of 2:15.01, she broke a 21-year-old program record.

“Being able to break a record that has stood for so long helps me to realize that hard work and dedication pay off,” Leonard said. “It makes me more excited to see what I can do in future races.”

This competition was the fourth indoor meet in a row where Leonard set a program record. It is no surprise that in October, she was named New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Rookie of the Year and became Ramapo’s first women’s cross country team runner to secure a spot in the NCAA Championships.

Junior Rebecca Kneppel placed fifth in the 200m dash, finishing with a time of 25.76 seconds. In the 400m dash, she was able to place seventh with a time of 58.98 seconds. Kneppel ran alongside junior Barbara Exilus and freshmen Jianna Gorospe and Ashley Gordon in the 4x200m relay as well. The girls finished with a combined time of 1:49.36, securing them fifth place. 

Senior Suzanne Zaugg ran a time of 5:18.69 in the mile, finishing in 11th place. Competing in the 4x800m relay with Leonard, junior Zoey Cassavell and freshman Rea Pagatpatan, the girls placed fourth with a combined time of 10:01.39. 

The last placement for the women came from sophomore Jessica Branham, who cleared 1.40m in the high jump for a 10th place finish. 

For the men’s team, sophomore Brandon Balcacer clocked in at 7.00 seconds in the 60m dash, earning him fourth place. This time is tied for the program’s top 10, also in fourth place. In the program’s top 10 for the 200m dash, Balcacer sits at seventh after a 22.70 second finish. He placed 15th overall.

Balcacer, sophomore Matt Suero, freshman Logan Natale and junior Terrell Lockett ran a combined time of 1:31.71 in the 4x200m relay, earning them fourth place. 

Senior Anthony Bertollo placed eighth in the 800m, finishing at 2:01.30. The 1,000m was run by junior Ryan Scully, who set a personal record of 2:38.41. This earned him 11th overall.

Sophomore Ryan Pena ran the mile in 4:27.76, placing 13th. Junior Ian McCauley ran the 3k, placing 12th with a time of 9:11.05.

Pena and Bertollo, alongside junior Michael Mohr and sophomore Saim Syed, placed fifth in the 4x800m relay with a time of 8:16.20.

Sophomore Nicolo Caminiti cleared 1.74m in the high jump, placing eighth. Sophomore Braden Holm and senior Sebastian Pross competed in the weight throw, finishing in 11th and 13th, respectively. Holm marked 14.25m and Pross 14.13m.

On Saturday, both teams will compete in either the Big Apple Invitational or the David Hemery Valentine Invitational. Whether they go back to Staten Island or travel to Boston, Ramapo can expect great results.


Featured photo courtesy of Ramapo Athletics