Albany thrower Wilfredo de Jesus Elias will help the Great Danes in their search for a sixth straight title.
Albany thrower Wilfredo de Jesus Elias will help the Great Danes in their search for a sixth straight title.
Courtesy: America East Communications

Albany Men Selected to Win Sixth Straight Championship

Release: 12/01/2010
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The University at Albany men’s indoor track & field team was unanimously selected by the America East coaches as the preseason favorite to capture its sixth straight indoor track and field title in 2011. The Great Danes have won the America East championship five straight years.

The Albany men garnered all eight possible first-place votes from opposing coaches, earning 64 points in the poll. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams. Binghamton University was second, receiving the remaining first-place vote and 53 points overall. Boston University grabbed third in the poll with 49 points. UMBC earned fourth place with 41 points, University of New Hampshire took fifth with 39 points and University of Maine came in sixth with 32 points. Stony Brook University (18 points), University of Vermont (17) and University of Hartford (11) rounded out the nine-team poll.

The Great Danes are poised to make a run at their sixth-straight America East title as they return eight All-America East selections from last year’s squad. Sophomore Jonathan Santana (Rochester, N.Y./Edison Tech), the Most Outstanding Rookie at the 2010 America East Championship, finished fourth in the 200-meter dash and third in the 400-meter dash as a freshman. Also back for Albany is three of the four members of the first-place distance medley team. Seniors John Moore (Fort Johnson, N.Y./Fonda-Fultonville), Tyler Fogarty (Clifton Park, N.Y./Shenendehowa) and junior Paul Lagno (Salt Point, N.Y./Millbrook) all return after last year’s triumph. Anchoring the field team for the Great Danes is senior Wilfredo de Jesus Elias (Arroyo, P.R./Natividad Rodriguez Gonzalez), who won the weight throw with a  distance of 19.01 meters, more than a full meter ahead of second place.

Binghamton, last year’s America East runner-up, is picked to finish second again in 2010-11. The Bearcats are led by senior sprinter Cazal Arnett (Queens, N.Y./ Christ the King), the two-time Most Outstanding Track Performer of the championship meet. At the 2010 Indoor Championship, Arnett swept the 200- and 400-meter sprints, posting times of 21.54 and 47.39, respectively. The senior also anchored the first-place 4x400 relay team. Senior Erik van Ingen (Marathon, N.Y./Marathon/Canisius) paces the distance team for the Bearcats, returning to defend his title in the one-mile run.

Boston U. looks to improve this season after finishing fifth at last season’s indoor championship. To do that, the Terriers will look to the experience of graduate student Eric Ashe (Hanson, Mass./Whitman-Hanson) and a trio of middle distance runners. Ashe placed second in the 3,000-meter run at last year’s championship while seniors Ken Haltom (Memphis, Tenn./Memphis University) and Craig MacPherson (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton Academy/Keene State) and junior Balint Horvath (Budapest, Hungary/Eotvos Lorand University) return from the Terriers’ champion 4x800 relay team.

UMBC, which took third at last year’s indoor championship, brings back junior middle-distance runner Joshua Hewitson (New Market, Md./Linganore) and senior heptathlete Keith Onto (Point Pleasant, N.J./Point Pleasant Boro/St. Francis (Pa.)). Hewitson placed third in the 500-meter dash, posting a time of 1:03.77 while Onto finished second overall in the heptathlon with 5,192 points, just 24 points behind graduated teammate Dominic Devaud.

New Hampshire, which finished fourth last year, will look to its field athletes for leadership in 2010-11. Pacing that group is senior thrower Brice Paey (Milton, N.H./St. Thomas). Paey, the Most Outstanding Field Performer of the 2010 indoor championship meet, placed first in the shot put at the 2010 Indoor Championship, breaking his own America East record in the event with a throw of 58’.5”. Another thrower, senior Paul DeTurk (Durham, N.H./Oyster River), placed at last year’s championship, finishing third in the weight throw.

Maine finished sixth at the 2010 America East Indoor Championship meet. The Black Bears will be led by junior distance runner Riley Masters. Masters (Bangor, Maine/Bangor), the two-time defending champion in the 3,000-meter run, paced the field in the event last year with a time of 8:14.66, which is less than three seconds off the conference record. Senior pole vaulter James Berry (Orono, Maine/Orono), who came in second in his event in 2010, leads the Black Bear field team.

Stony Brook, last year’s seventh-place finisher at the indoor championship, returns a pair of middle-distance runners in seniors Alex Felce (Stroud, England/Archway Comp.) and Shamell Forbes (Springfield Gardens, N.Y./Valley Stream Central). Both were part of 4x800 relay and 4,000-meter distance medley teams that scored points for Stony Brook at the 2010 indoor championship.

Vermont finished eighth at the America East Championship in 2010. The Catamounts will look to their distance runners in 2010-11, led by sophomore Andrew Stillman (Norfolk, Mass. / Xaverian Brothers), who scored in three events at last year’s championship meet. 

Hartford, which finished ninth in 2010, will look to improve on that finish in 2011. To do that, the Hawks will need a big performance from junior Anderson Emerole (Jamaica, N.Y./Manhattan Center for Math and Sciences), the only Hartford returner to score in an individual event at the 2010 indoor championship.

The 2010-11 indoor track and field season begins December 3, when Stony Brook competes in the Fordham Season Opener in the the Bronx, N.Y. Five other America East teams begin this weekend, with Binghamton, Hartford, UMBC, New Hampshire and Vermont participating in meets on December 4. Maine will open its season December 10 at New Hampshire. Boston U. begins its schedule at home on December 18. Albany does not start its season until January 7.

The 2011 America East Championship meet will take place February 18-19 at Boston University’s Track and Tennis Center.