The Binghamton women's track team enters the season at a crossroad in terms of how it will fare. Many of the team leaders from the past few seasons have graduated and it is up to a new group of leaders to emerge. Still, head coach Mike Thompson feels that the talent level is there to improve upon last season's seventh-place finish at the America East Conference meet.

"We lost several of our team leaders to graduation but the talent is there to improve at the conference meet," Thompson said. "We have a lot of good returnees and freshmen but people need to step up to maximize their potential."


The women's team's greatest depth this season is in the jumps. Junior Monisha Mealing, who is one of the team captains, will compete in the long and triple jumps. She placed seventh in the triple jump last season at the conference meet and is aiming for distances of 39-0 in the triple jump and 18-0 in the long jump. She also runs in the 55 hurdle and 100 hurdle events. Also competing in the long and triple jump events is Jessica Nye, who is aiming for distances of 38-0 and 18-0 this season. Freshman Monica Friedl, who has gone 37-0 in the triple jump, also has shown promise in the the 4x400. Sophomore Jamie Stitt, who tied for 5th in the pole vault at the conference meet, is aiming for a height of 12-0. Also retuning in the pole vault are sophomore Kate Williams and junior Lindsay Warren, who tied for seventh at the conference meet last season. Junior Erlyn Berg and sophomore Sara Hoffman are aiming for vaults of 11-5 and 11-0 respectively this season. Senior Patti Hong, who placed eighth in the high jump in the conference last season, is aiming to jump 5-4 this season.

"This is a young, talented group with raw, untapped potential," Thompson said. "They have the ability to do very well."


The distance events are also among the stronger events for the women's team this season. Sophomore Joy Romulus, who finished seventh in the conference in the 800 last season, will compete in that event again this season along with the 1500. Freshman Michelle Cornett will also run the 800. Sophomore Kathryn Murnane is slated to run the 1,500 and 3,000 events while freshmen Mary Tursi and Taryn Menard will run several events, ranging from the 800 to the 3000. In the longer distance events, junior Lindsey Bohrer-Yardley will speciialize in the 5,000 and steeplechase. Also competing in the steeplechase, is sophomore Erin Yaichuk, who was sixth in the conference last season. Sophomore Erica Angel has the potential to score in the conference meet in the 10,000.

"We are strong in the distance events but the America East is one of the stronger conferences in women's distance events," head coach Mike Thompson said. "The competition to place at the conference meet will be very challenging."


Senior Larisa Least, who finished third in the indoor conference meet last season, is rebounding from an injury that kept her out of the outdoor season. He goal this season is to break 57 in the 400.

"Larisa is one on the toughest competors I have ever coached," Thompson said. "She is on a mission this year."

Juniors Nina Minasi and Heather Tassler will run in the events ranging from the 55-200. Freshman Karisa Heisler, who tore her ACL last season, will compete in the 400 hurdles while Willa Payne will run the 55 dash.


After several solid season, the women's team is in a rebuilding phase in the throwing events. Sophomore Kelly Parry is the top returnee.


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