The inaugural Capital Athletic Conference Men’s & Women’s Indoor Track & Field Championship meet will be held Sunday (2/19) at the George Mason University Field House Complex in Fairfax, Va.
Seven teams competing for the men’s and women’s championship trophy and individual honors will be part of a number of “firsts”, including:
- The first new championship event sponsored by the CAC since 2008, when the conference added men’s golf as a championship sport.
- The first CAC “neutral site” championship. Previously, and in all other conference championships, a CAC member institution hosted the event on their campus or at an affiliated location.
- Conference records will be set in every event. Some may be set in preliminary competitions, such as the sprints or hurdles.
- The first time CAC championship polo shirts and baseball-style caps will be on sale at the concession/merchandise stand (along with t-shirts, food, drinks and snacks).
As for the competition, Salisbury, Mary Washington and recently York have been the strong teams in cross country and outdoor track & field championships.
Salisbury is the reigning women’s cross country and women’s outdoor champion while York is the reigning champ in the same sports on the men’s side. However, combining all four, Mary Washington has more men’s and women’s cross country and outdoor track & field titles than the rest of the conference combined.
Each of the other four teams competing in the championship meet – Frostburg State, Hood, Stevenson and Wesley – have athletes that will be competing for individual gold medals. In particular, Hood has been among the leaders in the team standings at several indoor meets this season, including last week’s Albright Invitational, and has plans to make the team’s last season as members of the CAC memorable.
Here is a look at each team heading into Sunday’s championship, which begins with several field events at 10:30 a.m.
Senior Amy Brennan, sophomore Samantha
Taylor and freshman Alexis Bush will lead
a young Frostburg State women’s track & field team into
the CAC Championships. The trio has combined for four wins this
season and 14 top-five finishes. Brennan currently holds the second
fastest time in the 200-meter dash (27.52) while Taylor is ranked
first in the pole vault at 3.05 meters. Freshman Alexis
Bush is third in the league in the long jump at 5.06
The Frostburg State men’s track & field team will look to build on the success of last year’s outdoor season and should make a run at the CAC indoor title this winter. The Bobcats are currently ranked in the top five in eight different events and hold the CAC’s fastest times in the 60-meter dash, 400-meter dash, 800-meter run and the 4x400-meter relay. Senior Wes Jacobs in both the 400 (49.96) and 800 (1:58.87) and classmate Patrick Pinchinat in the 60 (7.10) lead the way individually for FSU. They have combined for four wins and nine top-five finishes. Jacobs along with teammates Thomas Bennett, Chauncey Manson and Eric Williams hold the league’s fastest time in the 4x400 (3:31.96).
The Blazers are off to their best start ever, setting 23 new school records in their first five meets. However, with only nine top-five CAC rankings, they will need several break-out performances to improve on their recent conference finishes. Their only top-ranked athlete is first year Alexandra Dystant, ranked first in the 800 and second in the mile. She will face tough, experienced opponents in both events. Kathryn Papuchis is ranked second in the hurdles. Meghan Rose is ranked in both throwing events.
The Blazers are off to their best start ever, setting 23 new school records in their first five meets. However, with only nine top-five CAC rankings to date, they will need several break-out performances to improve on their recent conference finishes. Two-time CAC champion pole vaulter Chris DiGangi sits atop the rankings in his specialty. Steven Powell ranks third. Nick Aldana and Tyree Wilson have had nice years so far, ranking 1-2 in the hurdles. Aldana is looking to avenge a false start at last year’s CAC outdoor finals. First-year Michael Beidleman is ranked in three sprint events.
Mary Washington enters the indoor championships with a very young squad that had produced several top performances this winter. Among those being looked upon by the Eagles for top finishes are Tara Landy, Brooke Thompson, Cheyenne Falls, and Michelle Sutherland.
Mary Washington enters the first-ever CAC Championships having prepped for the event at races at Christopher Newport, George Mason, and Maryland. The Eagles will look to runners Matt Shaughnessy, Will Green, Stephen Harrison, jumper John Lilly and thrower Matt Cronin, who have all turned in top performances for the Eagles this winter.
Salisbury has won the past two outdoor CAC championships and will look to bring their success indoors. Junior Chelsea Tavik, who placed 10th in the nation in the shot put last indoor season, currently has the second-best performance in the country this year. She leads a number of quality Sea Gull student-athletes in the shot put and weight throw. Senior Jennifer Houghton won in the weight throw last week. Sophomore Kara Tolson and freshman Michelle Clark have been a part of three school records this winter. The pair each ran on the record-setting 4x200 and 4x400 meter relays while Tolson owns the mark in the 60-meter dash and Clark set the school record in the 60-meter hurdles during her first collegiate meet.
Salisbury comes into the championship looking to senior leadership with a strong emphasis on the field events and distance. Senior Jay Drenner, a four-time All-CAC performer during the outdoor season, has posted two wins in the weight throw competition while placing in the top five of nearly every weight throw and shot put event he has entered this season. Classmate John Fitzgerald will look to contend for an individual championship in the 3,000-meter run while freshman Tyler Austin has shown strong performances in the 60-meter hurdles.
Stevenson sophomore Julie Egonu and junior Shannon Henretty will pace the Mustangs’ women’s squad. Egonu, a two-time CAC Track & Field Athlete of the Week (once outdoors, once indoors) has captured medals in the sprints and at one time this season, was ranked among the leaders in NCAA Division III in the 60-meter dash. Henretty paces the Mustangs in the middle distance and distance chases.
Freshman Derrick Mayfield, who competes in the high jump, 55-meter hurdles and contributes to the 4x200 relay, will lead the Mustangs.
Sprinter Arvantis Smith leads the Wolverines as they head to the inaugural CAC Indoor Track & Field Championships. Smith, who won the triple jump in school-record fashion at the Albright College Invitational, goes into the conference championships ranked second in the event and third in the high jump. Sharis Allen and Tristin Burris also should be high seeds in the 60m hurdles and mile, respectively.
Sprinter Matt Bundy leads the Wolverines as they head to the inaugural CAC Indoor Track & Field Championships. The sophomore from Media, Pa., owns the top time in the conference this spring for the 200m (22.82) while ranking second in the 60m hurdles and third in the 60m. Also seeding high for the conference championships are freshman Todd Bockarie in the triple jump and junior Robert McCloskey in the weight throw.
The YORK women’s track & field squad is primed for a strong showing at the inaugural CAC Indoor Track & Field Championships. Combining experience and youth, the Spartans sport a talented group that could perform exceptionally well and having broken numerous program records during the season should enter with confidence. Sophomore Laura Rowlands and freshman Jasmine Smith have showed very well as of late and should vie for significant points in the jumps as well as Smith in the sprints. Mandy Parshall and Chitom Henry should help the Spartans on the track in the distance and hurdle events. Katie Shinn, Meaghan Jackson, and Ashley Menniti will look to add points to the York ledger in the throws.
YORK enters the first CAC Indoor Track & Field Championships looking to perform well throughout the meet. The Spartan distance squad, highlighted by Tim Hartung, Steven Childres, and Andrew Friesema, will look to lead the squad while Phillip Cavaluchi will have the opportunity to add numerous points to the York ledger in the long jump and sprints. Freshman Drew Chowan (pole vault) and Joquan Jamison (sprints) have had strong indoor seasons and should show well at the Championships. Zach Rogers has the chance to put together a quality CAC Championships in the high jump while in the throws, Alex Palescandolo and Kameron Wansel will look for season-best performances.