CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – After collecting a seventh straight America East indoor track and field championship in 2012, the Albany men once again return a strong squad in 2012-13. The Great Danes have also won nine of the last ten years and would tie Northeastern for the most indoor championships in conference history with 10 if they can repeat yet again.
Albany has plenty of firepower coming back from a championship squad that included the Most Outstanding Field Performer and the Coaching Staff of the Year from the America East Championship in 2012-13. Junior Alfon Scannapieco (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) won the pole vault and the heptathlon en route to winning MOP for the field events. Classmate Kareem Morris (Albany, N.Y.) was third in the long jump and sophomore Alexander Bowen (Beacon, N.Y.) is coming off a first-place showing in the high jump. Albany also figures to do well in the distance events as senior Aliaksandr Leuchanka (Clifton Park, N.Y.), also an all-conference performer in cross country, returns after winning the 5000 meter run a year ago.
Binghamton made it five straight years finishing in the top three with a third-place showing last season, though 2012 was the first time during that streak that it was not the runner-up. The Bearcats graduated some talent in the distance events, but return sophomore Cal Michaels (Vestal, N.Y.) who took third in the 3000 meter run at last year’s championship. Also returning is classmate Jesse Garn (Marcellus, N.Y.), who was a part of the winning distance medley relay quartet and took sixth-place in the mile. In the field event, the Bearcats will be led by sophomore Eric Ziegler (Spencerport, N.Y.) after his fifth place showing in last year’s long jump finals.
Boston U. will not be eligible for this year’s America East Championship, but is poised for another strong season after placing second a year ago. The Terriers will be led by the Most Outstanding Track Performer from 2012, R.J. Page (Swedesboro, N.J.). Page won the 60 and 200 meter dash events and ran a leg for the winning 4 x 100 relay squad. Rich Peters (Bristol, England) will lead in the distance events after setting an America East record in the one mile run a year ago. Peters also competed in nationals this season for cross country. In the field events, Blake Edwards (Nashville, Tenn.) will be big for the Terriers after he placed second in the long jump at last year’s championship.
Hartford boasts nine freshmen in its attempt to improve on last season’s ninth-place finish at the America East Championship. The Hawks will welcome new assistant coach Aimée Dawson for the 2012-13 season as well. Junior Rashaw Providence (Valley Stream, N.Y.), was one of Hartford’s top finishers a year ago, taking ninth in triple jump.
Maine is coming off of a sixth-place finish in 2012-13, its fourth straight year in that spot. The Black Bears will be led by junior Wilson Adams (Barrington, R.I.) who was tops in the weight throw. Also returning for Maine is sophomore Jake Leithiser (Old Town, Maine) after his third-place finish in the 400 meter dash. Kelton Cullenberg (Chesterville, Maine), an all-conference performer in cross country, should contribute in the distance events.
UMBC is looking to bust into the top three this season for this first time since 2010 after taking fifth at last year’s championship. Leading the way for the Retrievers will be senior Trae Proctor (Brandywine, Md.), the defending champion in the 60 meter hurdles. Junior Mo Drammeh (Frederick, Md.) and senior Shioma Obemeata (New Rochelle, N.Y.) will be strong in the field events. The duo finished second in the high jump and triple jump, respectively, a year ago.
New Hampshire, which finished fourth at last year’s championship, hasn’t finished outside of top five since 1994. In the track events, junior Kevin Greene (Silver Spring, Md.) will be a key returner, as he was second in last year’s 100 meter final. Senior Cameron Lyle (Plaistow, N.H.) leads a strong group of field returners. Lyle was third in last year’s shot put final and second in the weight throw. Classmates Matthew Guarente (Saugus, Mass.) and Max Hoddwells (Wayne, Maine) will also contribute in the jumps.
Stony Brook is looking to finish in the top five for the first time since joining the conference in 2012-13, after a seventh-place finish a year ago. Helping the cause will be the Most Outstanding Rookie at last year’s championship meet, Eric Speakman (Napier, New Zealand). Speakman, the individual champion at this year’s America East cross country championship, won the 3000 meter run in 2012. The Seawolves also return significant parts from their third-place 4 x 400 and distance medley relay squads.
Vermont finished eighth at last year’s championship. The Catamounts have some promise in sophomore Mickey Krug (Essex Jct., Vt.) who finished fifth in the heptathlon in his first year. Vermont also returns all four members of its 4 x 800 relay quartet which finished in third-place at the championship. Senior Andrew Stillman (Norfolk, Mass.) also had a fifth-place showing in the 800 meter run.
Five America East squads will kick off the 2012-13 season on Saturday. Binghamton is slated to participate in the Cornell Relays, Hartford will visit Vermont, UMBC will travel to the Bison Opener, held by Bucknell, and New Hampshire will take place in the Jay Carisella Carnival. Maine and Stony Brook will open December 7 and 8, respectively, while Albany and Boston U. will not compete until January. The season culminates with the America East Championship which will be held February 11-12 at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Boston, Mass.