Noemie Bechu ’17 qualifies for ECAC Championships

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Noemie Bechu ’17 continued her impressive outdoor season with victories in the 200 and 400 meter dashes on April 29 at RPI in the Capital District Classic. Bechu qualified for the ECAC Championships in the 200-meter race with a time of 25.21, breaking the program record she had just set at the Liberty League championships the previous weekend. She also had a season-best time of 57.32 in the 400-meter dash on her way to a comfortable victory by 2.84 seconds. In each event, Bechu improved on her firstplace finishes at the Liberty Leagues, which is the aspect of the races that ultimately matter most to Bechu. “Everyone loves to win, but I would be happier if I came in last with a 1 second personal record, rather than come in first with a mediocre time,” says Bechu, Union’s first ever double winner at the league championships. “It was just rewarding to see the time put in at practice translate into good performances (at the Capital District Classic),” she adds. “I also never expected much from my 200-meter race because my times have been relatively consistent my past 4 years at Union, so to actually start brining my times down in this event this year has been really exciting.” Bechu also ran legs in the relays, helping the Dutchwomen finish second and earn 8 points in the 4×100 at the Capital District Classic along with Molly McDonald ’17, and Emma Marlow-Benedick ’20. Bechu, MacDonald, Samantha Miller ’19, and Hannah Barnes ’18 finished fourth-place finish in the 4×100. The results mirrored the relays at the Liberty League Championships, where Bechu, Marlow-Benedick, Anna Browne’ 20, and Reid Nichols ’20 finished second in the 4×100, while Bechu, Browne, Nichols, and Miller came in fourth in the 4×400. Marlow-Benedick, still working her way back from an ACL tear suffered last year, scored four points in the 100-meter dash, shaving .09 seconds off her time from Liberty Leagues. Miller’s fourth-place finish in the 3000-meter steeplechase also won five points for Union. Maddie Samuell ’17 ran the 1500-meter run .05 seconds faster at the Capital District Classic than she had at the league championships to earn three points and a sixth-place finish. Ben Mountain ’17 and Will Fisher ’19 were the standout performers for the Dutchmen at RPI. Mountain qualified for the ECAC’s in the shot put and weight throw, setting a season best mark of 14.44 meters in the shot put, almost a full meter better than at the Liberty League Championships. He also came fifth in the discus (37.40 meters), and in the hammer throw (47.38 meters), an event he’s improved at recently. “Some of our past throwers had been All-Americans and thrown about 50-60 meters in hammer so I’m not terribly close to beating them,” Mountain says. “Shotput is definitely my strongest event overall and has been since high school, but I’ve been making the biggest strides in hammer. We’ll just have to see what happens in the coming meets.” Fisher’s time of 1:56.40 in the 800-meter dash was good enough to give him the victory and the Dutchmen 10 points in the overall standings for the meet. The firstplace finish came a week after another strong showing at the league championships, where Fisher finished third with a time of 1:56.96. “I came into this season really excited about the 800-meter dash, but not really knowing what to expect,” mentions Fisher. “The last two performances have been a lot of fun.” Arden Kellner ’19 finished fourth in the race at RPI, with a time of 1:57.08, scoring five points. Adam Forti ’17 came in eighth. The men’s 4×400 team, featuring Fisher, Kellner, Colin Keally, and Ethan Craig ’20, trimmed down their time by 21 seconds from the weekend prior, finishing fourth. Andrew Attori ’17, Jake Ulrich ’17, and Max Spencer ’18, combined to score 11 points in 3000-meter steeplechase at the RPI meet. Ulrich, who came in fifth in the race, was happy with the team’s showing in the event. “Personally, I ran my fastest time of the season and was very pleased with my place in the race. My two teammates, Andrew and Max, both ran their season bests as well, which was great,” Ulrich said. “It was awesome that we were able to score 11 points for our team in that race, especially having two of us in the top 5. It really showed that we were peaking at the right moment in the season.” Attori and Spencer finished fourth and seventh, respectively. With the season winding down, both the men’s and women’s teams can be satisfied with the effort they put in, and have plenty to be excited about for next year. “I think our season has gone well. The momentum and positive attitudes from the indoor season definitely carried over well into the outdoor season,” believes Saragrace Magre ’19. People continued to work hard and enjoy the time spent at meets. It was sad knowing that once this season ended we would lose so many seniors and people who were vital members of the team, but these future seasons shall be interesting because we will be rebuilding the team.”

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