For the first time in school history, York College will serve as host of the Capital Athletic Conference track & field championship. The Grumbacher Center will host six men's teams and six women's teams at the 2008 championships on Saturday, April 19. The action kicks off at 9:45 am and will run through 6:00 pm Saturday evening. The new track is hosting its third meet and it's first major event after opening in April of 2006.
The University of Mary Washington and Salisbury University have
combined to win every Capital Athletic Conference track & field
championship since 1993, and both schools have loaded up for a run
at the 2008 championships.
Mary Washington has captured all 14 women's team championships since the CAC added women's track & field as a championship sport in 1994. Salisbury came close to upending the Eagles in 2007, falling just four points short in the final standings.
On the men's side, Salisbury is the four-time defending CAC champion and has captured the team prize nine times in the last 14 years. Mary Washington is a five-time CAC men's track & field champion, including four-straight titles from 2000-to-2003. York won the championship in the first two years of CAC competition (1991-92).
Here is a look at the top competitors for each of the six men's and women's team teams:
GALLAUDET's Onye Davis has had a successful year for the men's team, extending from his preference of discus to add shot and javelin to his repertoire. Onye is currently posting the top performance in mens discus this year. Anthony Baskin has also been a bright light for the Gallaudet men posting top performances in 110m hurdles, 400m hurdles, high jump, and triple jump. Matt Schindel has also posted a qualifying mark in the javelin for 2008.
On the women's side, Kari Olney has led the women of GALLAUDET in the process of rebuilding the program. Olney has had success this year competing in the 1500m run and has also found a new passion in both the 3000m steeplechase and javelin.
The HOOD men have 13 CAC Qualifying Marks and 12 top-six seeds, led by freshman Justin Everett's second seed in the long jump, William Andrews (third in the Steeplechase) and Matt Haynes (third in the Hammer, as well as sixth in the discus). In only the team's second year, Hood do not yet have the depth to contest for the team titles, but the Blazers are beginning to attract athletes capable of competing at the top level of the conference. It remains to be seen how Hood will perform in the team standings; however, the Blazers should score substantially more points, as well as come away with our first individual All-Conference performers.
Last year, the HOOD women's team scored six points and the men 10 in finishing in 6th place (both sides). This year, the Hood women have 13 marks in the top six and over a dozen marks meeting the CAC Qualifying Standards. In addition, we have three top-seeds: Jessica Parrish (1st in the 100 & 200) and Danielle Sgro (Top mark in the 10,000, as well as 5th best 5000).
The MARY WASHINGTON men will look to improve on last year's third place finish at the CAC Championships, with returning CAC champions Nate Boyarksy (javelin), Sean O'Neill (800 meters), and Frank DeVar (5K). Also looking for a strong meet is 2008 indoor All-American Matt Cash, who finished in the top eight at NCAAs in March in the 800 meters. Jumpers Phil Allison and Justin German will also bolster the Eagles' effort.
The MARY WASHINGTON women have reigning CAC Athlete of the Year Carly Hambley leading a strong group for Head Coach Stan Soper, whose Eagles have won every CAC Championship since the addition of track as a conference sport in 1994. Hambley, Mae Winchester, and Ann Tripp return as conference champs, and senior Cristy Falcone, the 2007 CAC Cross Country Runner of the Year, also look to fare well this weekend.
The SALISBURY men's track and field team, the four-time defending Capital Athletic Conference champions, will look to make conference history on Saturday in York, Pa., as the Sea Gulls aim for a CAC best fifth title in a row. The Sea Gulls last year blew away the competition with a 100+ point victory. Salisbury is led by sophomore All-American Delannie Spriggs, who became the first-ever Indoor Track and Field All-American for Salisbury this past March. Spriggs is a vital part of Salisbury's 4x100 meter relay team which also includes seniors Samuel Singleton and Kevin Teal along with sophomore Justin Acker. The Sea Gulls will also have a strong presence in the long distance events as senior Eric Graves, the 2007 CAC Men's Cross Country Runner of the Year, leads the way. In the field events, junior Bobby Price (high jump) and sophomores Christian Adami (throws) Brandon Fugett (throws) and Quentin Briscoe (triple jump, hurdles) should lead the way for the maroon and gold.
It was a heartbreaking loss for the SALISBURY women's track and field team last season in the 2007 Capital Athletic Conference championships. The Sea Gulls lost by four points to perennial conference power University of Mary Washington at the SU track and field venue. Salisbury will look to redeem itself in 2008 as the Sea Gulls travel to
York, Pa. Salisbury will be led by junior Jenn Bulger who is slated to participate in five different events. Bulger won the CAC long jump and high jump events last season. Junior long distance runner Kelly Sullivan will look to repeat as champion of the 3,000 meter steeplechase. Senior Alicia Canzanese, sophomore Victoria Lawson and freshman Charlese Phillips will lead the sprint teams. Canzanese is the reigning CAC 100-meter dash champion. Senior Casey McInerny will also look to repeat as CAC champion in the 1,500-meter run.
The WESLEY men's track & field team looks to cap off a successful first varsity season at the Division III level. Larry Beavers has paced a deep sprint team with a personal best of 10.88 that earned him CAC Athlete of the Week honors. Michael Clarke, Alpha Koroma and Matt Robertson join him on a formidable 4x100 meter relay team. In the field events, Dakevis Howard has been a standout all season in the triple jump and is joined in the long and high jumps by Horton Hodges.
WESLEY will finish its first Division III women's track & field varsity season at the CAC Championships. Ashley Cox has been a stellar all-around performer in the sprints and jumps and earned CAC Athlete of the Week honors last week after placing in the top three in four different events at the Rowan Open. Sontia Biggus has excelled in the field throwing the shot put and looks to make her mark there. Jen Parave anchors the team in the middle distances.
The YORK men's track & field squad enters the 2008 championships with high expectations after a very good regular season. The Spartans are led by senior Nate Krotzer as he expects to defend his CAC title in the high jump while he looks to improve on last year's second place finish in the long jump and third place mark in the triple jump and 400 dash. Joe Hill, Gabe Henise, and Ryan Liggitt are a trio of Spartans that expect to take home all-conference honors in their respective events. York also boasts an impressive group of throwers as first year head coach Erick Camodeca looks for that group to earn big points for the green and white. Zack Raywood, Andrew Jones, and Gary Rynier will anchor the Spartan efforts in the throws.
The YORK women's track & field team comes into the 2008 championship meet looking to build on last year's fourth place finish at the championships. Senior Sarah Becker and sophomore Alaina Smelko pace the Spartans who had a solid regular season dual meet campaign. Becker finished second last year in the hammer while Smelko was second in the triple jump. York features a core of talented underclassmen that will look to elevate the Spartans into the upper half of the conference.
(CAC Commissioner Tom Byrnes contributed to this article)