Albany Poised to Defend Outdoor Track & Field Title
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Albany men are in the midst of a dominant stretch in America East track & field and look poised to continue after taking the indoor titles in February. The Great Dane men now have eight consecutive indoor championships in addition to their current streak of eight straight outdoor titles
The Albany men return three individual winners from last year’s America East outdoor championships to highlight a very talented group of field athletes. Alexander Bowen (Beacon, N.Y.) is the reigning high jump champion and is fresh off an appearance at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships. Alfon Scannapieco (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) was last year’s pole vault champion and Kadeem Howell (Great Neck, N.Y.) took gold in the long jump and triple jump. The Great Danes should also be strong in the distance events with Ethan Clary (Schuylerville, N.Y.) and John DeLallo (Marietta, N.Y.).
Binghamton is coming off of a second-place finish at the 2012 outdoor championship looks solid again entering the outdoor season. The Bearcats should be strong in the distance events with the senior combination of Vasili Papastrat (Binghamton, N.Y.) and Jason Santos (Smithtown, N.Y.). Jesse Garn (Marcellus, N.Y.) should also be a factor after his third place finish in the 1500 meter hurdles at last year’s championship.
Boston U., which will be ineligible for the America East Championship, is again outstanding in the sprinting events, returning the defending champions in the 100, 200 and 400 meter sprints. R.J. Page (Swedesboro, N.J.) is the America East record holder in the 100 and 200 dash events, while Tewado Latty (Kingston, Jamaica) holds the top conference mark in the 400 meter dash.
Hartford will continue to make improvements in its first outdoor season under head coach Stephan Walsh. The Hawks have a group of 13 freshmen that will look to make an appearance in their first America East Outdoor Championship while junior Erik Quitzau (Blackstone, Mass.) looks to be a contender in the hurdles.
Maine will be strong in the throwing events this year, led by the indoor shot put champion, Justin Gagne (Biddeford, Maine). Gagne also won the discus throw at last year’s indoor champion and finished second in the shot put. The Black Bears also return all four members of the 4x400 relay squad that finished second at last year’s championship. Junior Kelton Cullenberg (Chesterville, Maine) will also be a force in the distance events.
UMBC finished in sixth place at last year’s championship, but could be positioned to make a move up the standings after a third place finish at this year’s indoor championship. The Retrievers return the gold medalist in the 3,000 meter steeplechase, Brandan McGee (Hiram, Ohio). Shioma Obemeata (New Rochelle, N.Y.) is a weapon for the Retrievers in the jumps and Dennison Long (Greenbelt, Md.) will be one of the top sprinters in the conference.
New Hampshire finished sixth at last year’s outdoor championships and fifth at this year’s indoor championship. The Wildcats are led by indoor mile champion Kevin Greene (Silver Spring, Md.). Cory Sinotte (Hooksett, N.H.) and John Prizzi (Wycoff, N.J.) should also have an impact in the distance and middle distance events, respectively. Senior Chris Dupuis (Plaistow, N.H.) will try to improve on his second-place finish in the hammer throw from a year ago.
Stony Brook was the eighth place finisher in 2012 and should have a strong group of distance runners going into 2013. This group is led by Eric Speakman (Napier, New Zealand), who earned a silver medal in the 1,500 meter run at last year’s championship. Terry Martin (Bloomingburg, N.Y.) had a third-place showing in the 110 meter hurdles and Lamar Hayes (Voorhees, N.J.) is one to watch in the long jump.
Rounding out the men’s nine is Vermont, which finished fifth at last year’s championship. Mitchell Switzer (Phoenix, N.Y.) was one of the Catamounts’ top finishers at last year’s championship, taking second-place in the 400 meter hurdles. Tyler Parent (Santa Barbara, Calif.) should be one of the top contenders in this year’s decathlon event and finished third-place a year ago.
The America East outdoor track & field season will be getting underway over the week, with several teams already opening their seasons. Albany opened in Puerto Rico last weekend and will travel to the UCF Invitational this weekend. Binghamton opens next weekend with the Raleigh Relays at N.C. State. Boston U. also opened its season last week and will head to the Texas Relays next week, accompanied by Vermont. Hartford will open its schedule next Wednesday at Stony Brook in the Seawolves’ season opener. Maine and New Hampshire will both open on March 30th in Orono. UMBC is in Tallahassee, Fla. and will compete in the Florida State Relays tonight and tomorrow.
The 2013 outdoor track & field season will culminate with the America East Championship on May 4-5 at Binghamton University.