BOSTON, Mass. – After an exciting season, America East schools will gather at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center this coming Monday, Feb. 11, for the indoor track and field championships. While both team titles figure to be up for grabs, the Albany men have a fair amount of history on their side and will be looking to capture an eighth straight title. A favorite for the women’s championship is less clear, though Albany returns much of a squad that was the runner-up a year ago.
The Great Dane men are led by a strong core of field performers, including junior Alfonso Scannapieco (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.), who was the Most Outstanding Field Performer at last year’s championship. Scannapieco is the defending pole vault and heptathlon champion and figures to be a favorite in those events once again. Sophomore Alexander Bowen (Beacon, N.Y.) is also a heavy favorite in the high jump. Bowen is the only athlete in the America East to have cleared seven feet this year and currently ranks 20th in the country in that event.
Binghamton (third place in 2012) and New Hampshire (fourth place) look strong in the distance and middle distance events heading into the championship. The Bearcats own the top three conference times in the 500 and junior Ben Snodgrass (Apalachin, N.Y.) has the second-best time in the mile. New Hampshire’s Kevin Greene (Silver Spring, Md.) currently boasts the top time in the 1000 and the second-best time in the 800. Teammate Cory Sinotte should be a top-contender in the 3000.
The Hartford men will be led by junior Erik Quitzau (Blackstone, Mass.) who has been strong in the 60-meter hurdles this season. Maine should be a force in the throwing events with junior Justin Gagne (Biddeford, Maine). Gagne has the top conference throw in the shot put by over four feet this season. UMBC has several standouts in the sprinting events, including senior Dennison Long (Greenbelt, Md.) who will be a top runner in both the 60 and 200-meter dash events. Sophomore Lamar Hayes (Voohees, N.J.) will look to lead Stony Brook with a solid showing in the long jump. Vermont should also be a contender in the distance events, as senior Ethan McBrien (Dublin, N.H.) is poised to have an impact in the 1000.
The Albany women hope to capture their third title in four years and will look in particular to their relay squads and field performers to do so. Junior Kathryn Fanning (Manlius, N.Y.) will lead the Great Danes in the 4x800 relay and the distance medley relay. Albany easily boasts the top conference times in both of those events this season. In the field events, senior Patricia McNish (Great Neck, N.Y.) is the favorite in both the long jump and the triple jump.
UMBC (third in 2012) and Vermont (fourth) are looking to challenge the Great Danes and become the first school other than Albany or Boston U. to win the title since 2005, when Northeastern won. Mercedes Jackson (Huntingtown, Md.) spent the season shattering school records in both the 60 and 200-meter dash events. The sophomore currently owns the eighth best time in the NCAA in the 60. Vermont’s strengths are in the middle distance events, as the duo of Yolanda Ngarambe (Marsta, Sweden) and Juile McGilpin (Westfield, Mass.) is strong in both the 800 and the 1000. Also look for Mary Krug (Essex Junction, Vt.) in the pole vault.
Senior Jessica Hennig (Pine Bush, N.Y.) will be one of Binghamton’s top runners, particularly in the 500, where she owns the top conference time. Hartford’s Sam Crisafulli (Clifton Park, N.Y.) broke the school record in the 1,000 and figures to be a factor in that event again. Robin McFetters (Barrington, R.I.) will lead Maine in the throwing events, as the sophomore holds the top conference distance in the weight throw. Senior Rosemary Read (West Greenwich, R.I.) of New Hampshire will be McFetters top competition in the weight throw and this year’s individual cross country champion Keely Maguire (Georgetown, Mass.) should be a big factor in the distance events. Stony Brook should also challenge in the distance events, as they bring much of the cross country championship squad, including junior Olivia Burne (Palmerston North, New Zealand), to Boston.
Visit the indoor track and field Championship Central page on AmericaEast.com for past results, conference records and more. Also be sure to follow along on Twitter (@AmericaEast) as the first championship of 2013 gets underway.