Baldwinsville Oneonta State junior Sean Bernstein of Baldwinsville made men's track & field history on May 26 as he became the first male to win an individual national championship in the program's 10-year history. Bernstein set a Division III meet and SUNYAC conference record in winning the 200-meter dash. Bernstein crossed the finish line in a time of 20.80, one-tenth of a second in front of Thurgood Dennis of Wisconsin Eau Claire to win the title. The previous meet record in the event was 20.85 set in 2010 by Eric Woodruff of Moravian.
The men ended the meet with 20 points and finished tied for 11th place in the final standings, which is the men's best finish ever at
the Division III championships.
Bernstein's performance highlighted a weekend where the Red Dragons had two other individuals and one relay squad compete at the meet. Senior Sean Wren (Delanson/Duanesburg) ran a time of 52.27 and finished seventh in the 400-meter hurdles to earn All-American honors for himself.
“It's a great feeling when years of hard work and sacrifice pay off and I'm able to say I'm an All American,” said Wren.
“It's been an unbelievable journey since last year and a crazy experience I'll never forget,” said Bernstein.
Senior Sarah Timmons, who was the lone female competitor for Oneonta this weekend, placed 20th in the discus throw while Bernstein and Wren led the men's 4x400-meter relay to a 15th place finish.
Bernstein, who had entered the NCAA championships with the second fastest time in Division III this spring, defeated Dennis, who had the fastest time entering the meet. His time of 21.00 seconds flat was the fastest time recorded in Thursday's preliminary heats.
The national title for Bernstein gave him his second All-American honor of the championships. Earlier in the evening, he broke his own school record in finishing as national runner up in the 100-meter dash in a time of 10.44. He was two-tenths of a second behind national champion, Dominique Kone of Colby College and three one-hundredths in front of Dennis, who ran 10.47.