Release: November 29, 2007
"We are strong and deep in the sprints and jumps on both teams this year," 13th-year head coach Mike Thompson said. "Our freshmen have all been training great so far and have the potential to really help us."
Last season, both squads were fourth at the America East Indoor Championships. At the outdoor meet, the men were fourth and the women were fifth.
A trio of juniors return in the sprint events. Jimmy Massar was second in the 400 and third in the 200 at the America East Indoor Meet last season. Geoff Campbell was third in the 100 and sixth in the 200 at the conference outdoor championships and Dan Walker placed seventh in the 100 at the outdoor meet. They will be joined by freshmen Christian Smith, Cazal Arnett and Andrew Haupt which will give the Bearcats their deepest group of sprinters since joining the Division I ranks six years ago.
The most consistent group on the men's team the past several years has been the throwers. This year, senior Ben Babcock and juniors Justin Halleck and Joanel Lopez will be counted on to carry on the tradition. Halleck was second in the discus at the America East Outdoor Championships while Babcock was eighth in both the discus and hammer. Lopez, a transfer from Howard University, is slated to be the Bearcats' top performer in the shot put.
In the jumps, graduate student Rory Quiller, a two-time All-American in the pole vault, has an indoor season of eligibility remaining. He was second at the NCAA Indoor Championships and tied for fourth at the NCAA Outdoor Meet. Senior Kris Yelverton was third in the pole vault at the conference indoor meet and junior Chris Iannone tied for fourth in the high jump at the outdoor championship. Sophomore Kevin Ralston was sixth in the long jump at the outdoor meet.
The distance group was a pleasant surprise during the 2006-07 season. Sophomore Chris Gaube was fifth in the 5,000 at the conference indoor meet and seventh in same event at the outdoor championships. Junior Adam Hill was fourth in the indoor 3,000 and sophomore Craig Coon was seventh in the 10,000 at the outdoor meet. Freshmen Andrew Ugolino, Casey Quaglia, Adam Zinder and Jesse Thompson arrive this season to give the Bearcats a young, but rapidly improving, distance lineup.
Freshman Chris Kowalski appears to be a solid athlete for the heptathlon and decathlon events. He will also compete in the hurdles.
A trio of defending conference champions leads the women's sprinters this year. Junior Kim Williams was the 2007 America East Outdoor Most Outstanding Track Athlete, having captured the 200 and anchored the first-place 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams. Senior Keisha Short won the outdoor 400 title and fellow senior Dayna Johnson, who won the triple jump at the outdoor meet and advanced to the NCAA Regional Championship, both return for their final season.
Williams, Short and Johnson were joined by sophomore Deanna Vinson on the winning 4 x 400 team while sophomores Caitlin Wright and Jasmine Hinson joined Williams and Short on the 4x100 quartet. Sophomore Krystelle Patrice has improved immensely over the past year and freshman Siroshini Paranavithane will also figure into the short sprints.
While Johnson has been shining in the triple jump, senior Katie Wilmer is the returning outdoor champion in the pole vault. Junior Carly Gross tied for third in the outdoor pole vault while senior Aja Phipps, who won the outdoor high jump title in 2006, was third last season. Junior Marsha Fiesinger, who won the outdoor heptathlon title, was also sixth in the high jump. Freshman Sheila Sickau will make an impact in the high jump while Rosie DeFino will excel in the long jump. Sickau, DeFino and fellow freshman Caitlyn Brennan will be the top 110 hurdlers while Johnson was the runner up in the 400 hurdles at the outdoor conference meet.
The heptathlon and decathlon are shaping up to be strong events for the women's team at the conference meet. In addition to Fiesinger, Sickau and DeFino are potential point scorers.
A quartet of freshman will led the women's team in the distance events, led by Ashley Horton, the top cross country runner this past fall. She will be joined by fellow newcomers Sarah Veith, Shannon Finnegan and Kellie Billingiere.
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