Men’s Track and Field Team Earn Empire 8 Crown
St. John Fisher College men’s track and field team celebrated a first place finish at the Empire 8 Men’s Indoor Track and Field Championship, held the last weekend in February. Two weeks later, senior Mark VanMarter made College history as the first track and field athlete to win an individual national championship.
The team earned 161 total points at the championship, which was hosted by Houghton College on Saturday, Feb. 24. The last time Fisher won the Empire 8 crown was in the 2014-15 campaign.
Senior Peter Girardi was named the Empire 8 Track Athlete of the Meet after posting an impressive performance at the championships. Girardi took first place in the 60-meter hurdles event, clocking in at 8.11 seconds. This time set a new facility, meet, and Fisher record in the respective event. Girardi also posted a first place time of 49.02 seconds in the 400-meter dash.
In the field events of the day, Mark VanMarter was the star, earning the Empire 8 Field Athlete of the Meet. VanMarter would post a top mark of 7.09 meters in the long jump event. Rollins finished second in the event with a best mark of 6.79 meters. VanMarter took home two second place spots in the triple jump and high jump events. The high jump event gave VanMarter a new personal record, as well as a 26th ranking in the nation.
Kyle Rollins took first place finishes in the high jump as well as the triple jump.
Two weeks later, VanMarter would make College history as the first track and field athlete to win an individual national championship. During the Division III championship tournament, VanMarter took first place in the long jump event. The Liverpool, New York native jumped a monstrous 7.36 meters, a full 0.06 meters above the second place finisher to capture the national title.
The national championship award has only been claimed one other time in Fisher’s history. Scott Harris Jr. took the individual award in men’s golf in the 2008 season. VanMarter’s teammate, Peter Girardi, has placed as national runner-up twice in outdoor track and field.
This season, Girardi and Rollins joined VanMarter in earning All-American honors at the meet.
The track and field team returns to competition for the outdoor season on Saturday, March 31, at SUNY Geneseo.