benjamin cardamone.
jonathan surdej .

EE students Bejamin Cardamone and Jonathan Surdej medaled at the 2021 MAC Indoor Track and Field Championships.

Fast, high and far: Four engineering students place at track and field championships

Brandon Burke making a high jump.

Brandon Burke earned gold at the MAC Championships and then became the first Bull in high jump to go onto compete at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships.

By Nicole Capozziello

Published March 26, 2021

While the 2020-2021 school year hasn’t been typical, it hasn’t kept University at Buffalo student-athletes from achieving new heights – or distances.

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“I was excited to be in Arkansas competing with some of the best athletes in the world and I was grateful for the opportunity.”
Brandon Burke, undergraduate student
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Four students from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences medaled at the recent Mid-American Conference (MAC) Indoor Track & Field Championships in February.

The students were among eight Bulls to earn honors at the competition. Some of the students also qualified for the 2021 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, which took place in Fayetteville, Ark. from March 11-13, 2021.

Brandon Burke, a senior double majoring in aerospace and mechanical engineering, had an exceptionally good year. He took home the gold at the MAC Championships and then became the first Bull in high jump to go onto compete at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships.

At the national competition, Burke placed seventh in a very competitive field of 16 high jumpers from top teams across the country.

“I felt good going into the NCAA competition, having just come off one of the best competitions of my career,” says Burke. “I was excited to be in Arkansas competing with some of the best athletes in the world and I was grateful for the opportunity.”

Burke holds his NCAA trophy.

Burke placed seventh in a very competitive field of 16 high jumpers from top teams across the country at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships.

While both have their rewards, fulfilling the high expectations of the engineering program while dedicating time to athletic training is a consistent challenge. “My experience has been one of trying to find the balance between school, athletics, and regular life. In my case, no one is forcing me to be an athlete or an engineering student, but I am willing to make tradeoffs to enjoy both and be successful in both,” says Burke.

Sophomore electrical engineering major Jonathan Surdej also won gold at the MAC Championships for shot put with a toss of 16.92 meters. 

Scott Loforte, a junior civil engineering major, achieved a new personal record in the mile, placing fifth at MAC. 

Benjamin Cardamone, a graduate student in the Department of Electrical Engineering, earned a silver medal at the MAC Indoor Championships in the 3000-meter run. His time ranks him #5 on the UB All-Time Top 10 list.

The Mid-American Conference (MAC) Indoor Track & Field Championships were hosted by Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Mich. from February 26-27, 2021.

The 2021 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, were hosted by the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark. from March 11-13, 2021.

Published March 26, 2020