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2006-07 Binghamton Track & Field Previews


MEN'S TRACK & FIELD OUTLOOK

Coming off a program-best third-place performance at the America East Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships last season, the Binghamton men's team is faced with the challenge of replacing several key performers. With what head coach Mike Thompson calls a very balanced team in terms of the sprinters, jumpers and throwers, the Bearcats are ready to embark on their quest to maintain the momentum they have established the past few seasons.

SPRINTS

Sophomore Jimmy Massar made an impressive debut his freshman season, placing fifth in the 400 at the America East Conference Indoor Championships (49.05) and sixth in 200 at the America East Outdoor Meet (22.11). This season, he could also compete in the long jump and when it comes time for the conference championship, may compete in the decathlon.

"Jimmy has been able to adapt to different types of training and feels much stronger than last season," Thompson said. "He has been a workhorse for us and was a big part of both our relays last year (400 and 1600)."

He will be joined in the short sprints (100 and 200) by sophomores Geoff Campbell and Dan Walker. In the 200 and 400, senior Sam DePaola and sophomore Junior Obionwu will also be in the mix.

"The potential is there for our sprinter to do very well this year," Thompson said. "they have a great work ethics and really contributed last season."

The 110 hurdles appears to be in good hands with both graduate student Adam Goldberg and senior Rory Quiller returning for their final seasons. Last season, Quiller was second in the event while Goldberg, who was runner-up in 2005, placed fourth. Thompson feels that either one could win the conference title this season.

JUMPS

While Quiller and Goldberg have been significant contributors in the sprint events, it is the jumps where they have especially made their marks.

Quiller placed fourth at the 2006 NCAA East Regional meet in the pole vault (17-1) and became the first Binghamton athlete to qualify for the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships. In 2005, he qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships in the same event.

"Rory has a chance to be an All-American," Thompson said. "He certainly has the potential to jump 18 feet and beyond. If he consistently executes the technical aspects of pole vaulting, this should be his best year.

Goldberg, meanwhile, is the two-time defending America East Outdoor champion in the high jump. He was also runner up at the conference indoor meet in 2006.

"Adam is much more focused this year," Thompson said. "He is the most fit he's ever been. He is capbable of jumping seven feet in the high jump. Adam is a big point-getter for us."

The pole vault is also one of Binghamton's deepest events on the men's side. Junior Kris Yelverton, who placed fourth in the 2006 America East Outdoor championships and ninth in the IC4A Outdoor meet, and senior Ryan VanHalle, who was eighth in last season's America East Outdoor Championships, will also be counted on in the major meets this year.

Goldberg will be joined by sophomore Chris Iannone in the high jump while freshman Kevin Rallston is the top athlete in the long and triple jump events.

THROWS

For several seasons, the throwers have been among the top performers on the men's side. This year should be no exception with a returning group Thompson cites for its work ethic and ability to make the most of their potential.

"They (the throwers) are all overachievers," he said. "They are a very close group and push each other very hard. They have definitely been a strength of our team."

Senior Kevin Hall, who won the America East indoor shot put title in 2005, was third in the conference outdoor meet last season with a school-record throw of 51-3.75. He was also fourth in the hammer at the 2006 outdoor meet (154-10).

"Kevin has become very solid and consistent in the shot put," Thompson said. "He should also be a contender for the conference title in the hammer this season."

Sophomore Justin Halleck is the most versatile of the throwers, with the ability to excel in the shot put, hammer and discus. Last season, he was third at the America East Conference indoor meet in the 35 lb. weight throw (53-6 ½) and third in the hammer at the conference outdoor meet (167-10).

"Justin is not just a good thrower but a very good athlete," Thompson said. "He is definitely our best all-around thrower."

Junior Ben Babcock also returns with impressive credentials from the 2006 season. At the America East Indoor Meet, he was seventh in the 35 lb. weight throw (46-2 ½). Babcock followed up with a fifth-place showing in the discus (143-2) and eighth-place performance in the hammer (150-6) at the conference outdoor meet.

DISTANCE

Freshman Chris Gaube, who was Binghamton's top men's cross country runner this fall, will compete in the 3,000 and 5.000. Senior Ben Hebdon is the squad's top returning 800 runner while Adam Hill will be among the top runners in the 1,500.

SCHEDULE

This season, the America East Conference Indoor Championships will be held at Boston Feb. 16-17. The outdoor championships will be at UMBC May 6-7.


WOMEN'S TRACK & FIELD OUTLOOK

After a fourth-place finish at the 2005 America East Championships, the Binghamton women's team dipped to fifth place last season. This year, the challenge is to return to the upper half of the America East. The sprinters and jumpers will play the biggest role in determining the squad's success.

SPRINTS

Sophomore Kim Williams is coming off a stellar freshman campaign. She won the 200 (24.72) at the America East Conference Indoor Meet and was fourth in the 55 (7.42). At the conference outdoor championships, she was second in the 200 (24.48) and third in the 100 (12.26).

"Kim had a very good freshman year," head coach Mike Thompson said. "She is looking even better this season having transitioned to training at the college level."

While Williams made the most of her first season, junior Keisha Short has put together a pair of impressive years. In the 400, she was second at the 2006 America East Conference outdoor meet (57.35) and fourth at the indoor meet (57.91).

"Keisha is a study in consistency," Thompson said. "She is continually getting fastest and can get in the 56 second-range this season in the open 400."

Williams, Short and junior Dayna Johnson will form three quarters of what Thompson feels will be a very formative 4x400 relay team.

In the hurdle events, junior Jessica Picha and freshman Caitlin Wright have been the top performers. Picha will compete in the 100 and 400 events while Wright won the Section 4 title last season in the 400 event.

Freshmen Deahna Vinson, Krystelle Patrice and Jasmine Hinson will also bolster the sprinters.

JUMPS

Johnson was third in the triple jump at the America East Outdoor Championships last season (39-8), fourth in the long jump (18-5 ¼) and second in the heptathlon (4,286 points). Having already secured the school record in the long jump, her goal this season is to add the triple jump record to her list of accomplishments.

"Dayna is our best all-around athlete," Thompson said. "She has done everything for us. It's her goal this season to get the school record in the triple jump."

Freshman Hana Wright will also compete in the long jump.

In the pole vault, junior Katie Wilmer placed fourth in the America East Conference outdoor meet last season (10-10) after placing third in the indoor meet (11-3 ¾). She will be joined by sophomore Carly Gross.

"Katie has the ability to break the school record and go to the ECAC meet," Thompson said. "As long as she focuses on jumping consistently."

Fellow junior Aja Phipps won the high jump at the America East Conference outdoor meet last season (5-4 ¼ ). She will be joined by sophomore Marsha Fiesinger, who Thompson feels could also jump in the 5-3 to 5-4 range, as well as Hoddinott.

DISTANCE

Sophomore Katie Radzik, who was third in the America East Outdoor Championships in the 10,000, is coming off an outstanding cross country season. She was named to the NCAA All-Northeast Region Team for the second year in a row and captured the ECAC title in the final meet of the season.

Once again, she will run the 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000 races.

"Katie never has a bad race," Thompson said. "She is a very tough runner even if she is not feeling 100 percent."

Graduate student Stacy Kramer, who earned all-conference honors in cross country in 2005, returns for her final season. She will compete in the 1,500 and 3,000.

"It's good to have Stacy back," Thompson said. "She has performed very well in the conference races in the past."

Sophomore Jamie Schulte and freshman Kelda Nelson are the other top distance runners.

THROWS

A pair of freshmen, Margaret Tinker and Brooke Nepo, will lead the Bearcats in the throws.

SCHEDULE

This season, the America East Conference Indoor Championships will be held at Boston Feb. 16-17. The outdoor championships will be at UMBC May 6-7.


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