Men Finish Sixth at NCAA Championships
The SUNY Oneonta men’s track & field team claimed sixth place overall and won two national titles at the 2013 NCAA Division III championships May 23-25. As a team, the men scored 29 points—the best showing in the history of the program—during the three-day event at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse.
“It’s been a phenomenal year for our program,” said head coach Matt LoPiccolo. “To finish as one of the top teams in the country is remarkably fulfilling. The five men here in La Crosse represented SUNY Oneonta and their teammates back home exceptionally. I couldn’t be prouder to be their coach.”
Leading the way in his last go-around representing Oneonta was senior Sean Bernstein of Baldwinsville, who won a pair of national championships while earning three All-American certificates. Bernstein closes his career with the most national titles (three) in the history of SUNY Oneonta athletics, plus a total of seven All-American certificates. He passed swimmer Haruske Naito, who earned two individual national titles.
The winning streak started for Oneonta on Saturday in the finals of the 4x100m relay, where Bernstein teamed with freshmen Jake Alviene of East Greenbush, Joe Carr of Burnt Hills and Thomas Wheeler of Rocky Point to capture the national title. The foursome ran a time of 40.82, defeating the team from Whittier by .09 and breaking the SUNY Oneonta record of 41.01 set on Thursday in the preliminaries.
Bernstein won his second national championship later in the day when he successfully defended his 2012 national title in the 200m dash, besting Thurgood Dennis of Wisconsin Eau Claire by .05 seconds. Bernstein crossed the line in 20.81—the fourth fastest time ever run in Division III history, right behind his time of last year, which was the third fastest.
“I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect ending to my collegiate career,” Bernstein said in a text from Wisconsin. “So happy to have such amazing teammates and family here to support me. Once a Red Dragon, always a Red Dragon!”
In addition to the two national titles, the team had four top-10 finishes. Carr earned a second All-American honor in the 200m dash with an eighth-place finish in a time of 21.80.
About an hour earlier, Bernstein and Dennis battled to a near dead heat in the 100m dash when the two saw 10.77 on the clock next to their names. In the case of a tie, the time is carried out to the thousands, and Dennis edged Bernstein by .007 to claim the title in the event. Bernstein earned his third All-American honor in the process.
Alviene came back less than an hour after the relay and finished ninth in the 110m high hurdles with a time of 14.97.
On Friday, sophomore Patrick Weinert of Schenevus finished ninth in the hammer throw with a school record distance of 58.59 (192′-3”).