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Salisbury Aims To Repeat With Two Titles At Saturday's 2011 CAC Men's & Women's Track & Field Championship At York

Salisbury University is the defending CAC champion in both men’s and women’s track & field, and have a number of returning All-CAC competitors and top-seeded athletes entering Saturday’s 2011 conference championship at York College.  But with the expanded field of teams, which provides more quality and depth in almost every event, and the possibility of inclement weather factoring into the performances, can the Sea Gulls reclaim the team titles?

Competition in several events begins at 9 a.m. and will continue throughout the day at York’s athletic complex.  Salisbury will be trying to capture its eighth-straight CAC men’s title and gain its second-straight women’s crown after  snapping Mary Washington’s run of 16-straight titles since women’s track & field was added as a championship sport in 1994.

Mary Washington and York, which finished second and third, respectively, in both team standings at last year’s championship, both bring high expectations into the championship.  Hood has continued to build its program, and Wesley has a strong freshman class, particularly on the women’s side.

Two schools will compete in the championships for the first time.  Frostburg State is a first-year member of the conference and Stevenson University re-instated its track & field programs this season.  Both teams boast athletes on their rosters that can challenge for all-CAC honors.

Here is a brief preview of each team heading into Saturday’s championship meet.

The FROSTBURG STATE men’s track & field team is poised for a run at the upcoming Capital Athletic Conference Championship. The Bobcats are currently sixth in the Mideast Region and have enough depth and talent to challenge for a league title in their first year in the conference. Junior sprinter Chauncey Manson has racked up the honors this spring and has five victories to his credit. He has qualified for the ECAC Championships in the 200-meter dash in all four meets this spring, has the ECACs fastest time and has won the event three times. Manson will also represent FSU at the ECACs in the 100-meter dash. The FSU 4x100-meter relay team of Manson, Jason Jackson, Nick Nowaczyk and Yvon Raymond currently hold the ECAC’s sixth fastest time at 42.85. Junior Charles “Wes” Jacobs currently holds the CAC’s fastest times in both the 400 (49.77) and 800-meter dashes (1:55.47) while classmate Gavin Caupp holds the league’s fastest in the 10,000-meter run (33:15.92). 

While low in numbers, the Frostburg State women’s track & field team has talent in several key areas and should have plenty of individuals competing for league titles. The Bobcats, in their first year in the CAC, are fresh off successful meets at both Juniata and Marietta. Freshman Morgan Carroll set two meet records, grabbed a pair of wins and qualified for the ECAC Championships in both the 400-meter dash and the high jump at Marietta. Senior Emily Furr also set a meet record in the triple jump at Marietta. Junior Amy Brennan enters the CAC Championships with six top-10 finishes in the 200 and 400-meter dashes and is currently third in the league in the 200-meter dash.

 

HOOD senior Ola Komolafe, junior Chris DiGangi and first-year Nicholas Aldana are the Blazers' top contenders for all-conference accolades as the men's team gears up for its fifth CAC championship. DiGangi is the two-time defending champion in the pole vault and is the top-ranked vaulter in the league once again this season. Komolafe has sprinted his way to two all-CAC certificates over the past three years. Aldana, a hurdler who is competing in his first CAC meet, lowered the Blazers' school record in the 110-meter hurdles earlier this season and enters the weekend ranked second in the event. Hood placed fourth at last year's meet, its best finish in school history.

Hood has garnered much of its success this spring from its throwers, and that trend should continue at this weekend's championship. Newcomer Meghan Rose ranks in the top four in the CAC in three throwing events while teammates Nalla Tejera, Krista Zerby and Briana White will supplement Hood's throwing endeavors. Other Blazers who should help boost Hood's scoring total are Emma Arneson and Kathryn Papuchis in the hurdles, Lauren Roesch in the distance events and Jessica Talley in the sprints. The Hood women have placed fourth at the championship meet each of the last four years.

 

MARY WASHINGTON will send a balanced group to the CAC Championships, with senior Matt Geller leading the throwers, and a veteran cast to lead the sprinters and distance runners. UMW will look for top-notch performances from Dalton Echard, Sean Herlihy, Chris Marino, Scott Plunkett and Scott Matthiessen, all of whom have shown quality finishes this spring.

Mary Washington will look to its depth in distance and jumping events to seize another CAC Championship. Yun Lee, Brooke Thompson, and Nicole Ditto lead the jumpers, and distance vets Sarah Dawes and Kristy Witek will also look to add depth in points. Liz Green, Michelle Sutherland, and Amanda Zapata will also look to score big points to the Eagles' cause.

 

The last time the SALISBURY University men’s track & field team was not the reigning Capital Athletic Conference champion, the national average price for a gallon of gasoline was a mere $1.72. The Sea Gulls will look for their ninth consecutive CAC title this weekend, led by a pair of talented seniors who have posted the top performance in the CAC in their respective events this season. Chris Barnard’s time of 9:36.16 in the steeplechase is best in the league this year by more than eight seconds while Brandon Lane has been the best in the CAC in the long jump, covering a season-best distance of 45’ 6.25”. Lane, and sophomore Jacob Adedeji hold the top performance in the high jump while junior Jay Drenner (discus), sophomore Matt McMurdo (javelin) and freshman Ryan Jackson (1,500-meter and 5,000-meter runs) also enter as the top seeded student-athletes.

The Salisbury University women’s track & field team will have a new experience on Saturday – defending a Capital Athletic Conference Championship. The Gulls earned the program’s first title in 2010, and will enter the 2011 event with the top-seeded athlete in six events. The 2010 CAC Rookie of the Year, Chelsea Tavik, enters the day as the top seed in both the shot put (44’ 6.5”) and the javelin (125’ 1.5”). Junior Jennifer Houghton’s top distance of 136’ 11.25” in the hammer throw is the best in the conference this year; she is one of four Sea Gulls in the top five in the CAC this year in that event. Freshman Kara Tolson is the top performer this season in the league in both the 200 and 400-meter dashes. Junior Becca Stinner enters as the top-seeded runner in the steeplechase.

 

STEVENSON will be competing in its first-ever conference championship on Saturday at York ... The school had only one other outdoor track and field team in the spring of 2002, but that lasted just one season ... Freshman Robert Watley is expected to be one of the favorites in the 100 and 400 meters ... His season-best time of 50.73 seconds in the 400 is the fourth fastest in the CAC this season ... Senior Josh Michael qualified eighth in the 800 meters with a time of 2:00.66 ... The 4x100 meter relay team of Watley, freshman Brandon Conley, freshman Emmanuel Paul and junior Cyril Wallace posted the third-fastest time this season with a mark of 43.99 seconds, just 1.14 seconds behind top-seeded Frostburg State ... The 4x400 meter relay team of Watley, Michael, junior Josh Danza and freshman Eric Farmer is seeded sixth.

Stevenson will be competing in its first-ever conference championship on Saturday at York (Pa.) ... The school had only one other outdoor track and field team in the spring of 2002, but that lasted just one season ... Freshman Julie Egonu, a candidate for CAC Rookie of the
Year, is expected to be one of the favorites in the 100 and 200 meters as well as the long jump ... She is the top-seed in both the 100 meters and the long jump while coming in second in the 200 ... Sophomore Jenna Cimino qualified in the 1,500 meters while the 4x100 and 4x400 meter relay teams are seeded seventh and sixth, respectively.

 

WESLEY has one of the deepest teams in the program's brief history as they eye a move up the the final standings.  Senior Chris Donisi, a former All-American, has steadily improved his performance in the long jump all season.  Freshman Matt Bundy has broken 11 seconds in the 100m, making the newcomer an instant contender in the sprints.  The Wolverines also have Brandon Wright and Josh Milton, who have each run well in the 100 and 200 meters.  Freshman David Frasier is expected back for the CACs and should contend in the triple jump.  Robert McCloskey should lead the Wesley contingent in all three throwing events.

Wesley will field by far its most competitive team in the program's brief history.  The Wolverines have set school records in 11 different events, with several of the marks changing on a near weekly basis.  Freshman Ashley Cooper should be a force in the throws, where she has set records in both the shot put and discus.  Classmate Tamisha Thomas has a record in the 400m hurdles and has been close to setting a new mark in the 100m hurdles as well.  Rachelle Allen, the record holder in the 100m, should make noise in the sprints and jumps.  Arvantis Smith has established school standards in both the high and triple jumps.  Both relay teams are also coming off school records in the past two weeks.

 

The YORK men's track & field squad enters the 2011 Capital Athletic Conference Track & Field Championships looking to put on a tremendous performance. As hosts of this season's championships, the Green and White are preparing for an outstanding showing. Senior hurdler Ben Edwards has been excellent for the Spartans throughout his final campaign while the Spartan distance crew of Andrew Friesema, Steven Childres, and Tim Hartung could also post quality times for York. Defending CAC javelin champion Zack Raywood will look for a great close to his collegiate throwing career while sophomore Phillip Cavaluchi will strive to take the league's long jump title for the second straight year.

The York women's track and field squad has put together a strong 2011 campaign and will look to post terrific results at the 2011 Capital Athletic Conference Track & Field Championships at their home track. Two-time 800- and 1500-meter champion Mandy Parshall will look to provide even more outstanding results for the Green and White as will three-time CAC pole-vault winner Caitlin Rizzardo. Freshman standout Laura Rowlands has had a great rookie campaign and will strive bring her hard work to fruition in her first CAC Championships.