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Track & field heads to America East Indoor Championships
Two-day meet begins Monday at Reggie Lewis Center in Boston
February 8, 2013
The Binghamton track & field teams head to the America East Indoor Championships next week, which will be held Feb. 11-12 at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston. With Boston University’s impending departure to the Patriot League, the Terriers are not eligible to compete in the event and the Boston Track & Tennis Center will not be the host site of the meet for the first time in over decade.
Defending champion Albany is the favorite to retain both its men’s and women’s titles. Beyond that, however, the competition in the eight-team field is wide open.
“Both our men’s and women’s teams could finish anywhere from second to fifth,” head coach Mike Thompson said. “We have always exceeded our expectations at the conference meets. We have usually peaked at the right time each season and hope to do so again.”
At last year’s America East Outdoor Championships, the Bearcat women’s squad recorded a third-place finish, tying its highest performance at a Division I conference meet (which it set at the 2002 indoor championships). Most of the top scorers from last year return, along with several freshmen who should factor into the team scoring.
Junior Jessica Hennig enters the meet as the three-time defending indoor conference champion in the 400. She will also anchor the 4x400 relay team that also includes sophomore Ivory Taussig and juniors Erika Kisel and Kathleen Klein. At the past two America East Outdoor Championships, the Bearcats have been the runner up in that relay.
Taussig, who was eighth in the 100 at last year’s conference outdoor meet, is Binghamton’s top entry in the 60 and 200. Kisel returns to compete in the 500, an event in which she was eighth at the 2010 indoor meet and fifth last year. Klein is also entered in the 400.
Another strong area for the Binghamton women’s team is the jumps. Junior Alexis Murray was the runner up in the triple jump at both the indoor and outdoor conference meets last year. Sophomore Alexx Baum was fourth in the same event at the indoor meet and was also seventh in the long jump. Junior Sarah Wickes, meanwhile, was eighth in the triple jump at last year’s America East Outdoor Championships.
The high jump, meanwhile, remains in the capable hands of senior Ashley AuPont, who was third at both the indoor and outdoor conference meets last year. She will be joined in that event by junior Jessica Goldberg and freshman Tori Shaffer.
Freshman Kierra Arthur has excelled in both the sprints and jumps this season. She has won the 60 hurdles at a pair of meets this season and has finished second to Murray in the triple jump twice. AuPont will join Arthur in the 60 hurdles.
Binghamton remains strong in the pole vault. Last season, junior Camille Ginyard and senior Jenna Marrione took the top two positions at the conference indoor meet. Joining them this year will be freshman Taylor Bates and sophomore Christy DiMichele.
In the throws, sophomore Danielle Olusoga and freshman Caysie Capano will compete in the shot put while freshman Kenyon Merriwether is Binghamton’s top entry in the weight throw.
Goldberg, Wickes and Olusoga will also compete in the pentathlon.
On the men’s side, the Bearcats place third at the 2012 indoor meet and were the runner up at the outdoor championships for the third year in a row. With several of last season’s top scorers having graduated, the focus shifts to new leaders to keep Binghamton near the top of the conference.
The distance group suffered through an injury-plagued cross country season but is looking to get back on track at the conference indoor meet. Senior Jeff Martinez, who redshirted last season, was the runner up in the 3,000 at the 2011 indoor conference meet. He is scheduled to run in that event again this year.
Seniors Vasili Papastrat and Jason Santos will double in both the 3,000 and 5,000. At last year’s indoor championships, Papastrat was seventh in the 5,000. He went on to finish fourth in the 10,000 at the outdoor championships. Santos, meanwhile, was sixth in the 10,000.
Junior Chris Fernandez is the Bearcats’ top entry in the 800, an event in which he took fourth at last year’s America East Outdoor Championships. Sophomore Josh Miller, meanwhile, is entered in the 1,000 while junior Ben Snodgrass will compete in the mile.
In the sprints, seniors Zach Keefer and Casey Gilbert are both entered in the 400. Keefer has struggled with injuries the past two years, but was second in that event at the 2010 conference indoor meet. Gilbert, meanwhile, was the runner up in the 400 hurdles at last season’s conference outdoor championships.
Senior Adam Helman won the indoor conference title in the pole vault two years ago. This year, he is joined in the event by freshmen Joe Miceli, Conner Olsen and Chris Nock.
Ziegler is entered in the long jump, freshman Chris Ramsey is in the triple jump and freshman Jon King will take part in the high jump. King has already met the IC4A-qualifying standard in his event.
In the throws, sophomore Pat Heikklia was third in the shot put at the conference outdoor meet last year. Senior Greg Feathers, who was fourth in the outdoor discus in 2012, is entered in the weight throw along with fellow senior Jacob Platel.
Helman is also entered in the heptathlon.