Teams: Women's Track & Field: Press
Thursday, February 22, 2001
ALL NEW ENGLANDS COME TO TUFTS FOR TRACK & FIELD
Tufts University's Gantcher Family Sports & Convocation Center hosts the 22nd Annual All-New England Indoor Track & Field Championships this weekend (Feb. 23-24). This is the first women's championship meet at the new facility, which opened in November 1999.
New England's best track & field athletes are here this weekend. The University of Connecticut and Northeastern University have dominated this meet in recent years. Several other strong teams from the Divisions I, II and III levels look to challenge for Top 10 finishes.
Defending team champion UCONN features defending individual champions Kim Grabarz (1,000 Meters) and junior Melissa Houston (Weight Throw). Grabarz will run the mile this weekend. Senior Tamika Toppin is one of the region's best in the High Jump and in the 55 Meter Hurdles. Freshman Nicole Toney in the Triple Jump and Pentathlon, junior Wadudah Nurul-Islam in the Weight Throw and junior Nichole Tremblay in the 1,000 Meters are at the top of the New England rankings in their events this season. Senior Louise Agoston has the top time among 500 entrants (1:16.27).
Northeastern is led by senior Nikiya Reid, a two-time defending champion in the 55 Meter Hurdles and 200 Meters. Junior Theresa Williams returns to defend her title in the Triple Jump. Sophomore Joanelle Bailey-Chandler will look to score top points in the Pole Vault, while sophomore sprinter Ebony Jack has the region's fastest 55 Meter Dash (7.06 seconds) this winter. The Huskies won the 4x200 and 4x400 Meter Relays at last year's meet.
Boston College brings a team that includes two returning champions. Sophomore Jen Vendetti, the 400 champ a year ago, will compete in the 500 this year. The Eagles are loaded in the distance events with defending 3,000 champion Cate Guiney, her sister Megan Guiney and junior Katie Ryan.
The University of Maine has the leading competitors in a few events. Sophomore Victoriya Rybalko is the defending champ and the region's best this winter in the Long Jump. Teammate Vanessa McGowan is a favorite in the 800. Central Connecticut State University will look to make some noise in the sprints with senior Stacy Clarke and freshman Nicole Dumpson (top 400 Meters time of 57.24). They'll be a factor in the 4x200 Relay, too.
Boston University sophomore Andrea Stuermer has been the top Pole Vaulter in the region during her two seasons. Providence College's effort should be led by sophomore Roisin McGettigan in the 800 Meter Run, junior Kathryn Casserly in the 3,000 Meters and the 4x800 Meter Relay team. Senior Amy DeCamp is the University of New Hampshire's top chance for points in the 1,000. Defending 55 Meter Dash champ Regan Coffey leads Vermont.
The top Division II team at the meet will be the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Senior Sachanna Campbell won the Pentathlon last season and is a contender again. Junior Jillian Croft has New England's best time in the 200 Meters this season (25.09) and will likely score in the Long Jump and 55 Meter Dash. Sophomore Heather Oldman was the region's best in the Shot Put (14.62m) and the River Hawks have the region's top times in the 4x200 (1:41.40) and 4x400 (3:53.40) Relays this season.
Wheaton College looks to be the top Division III team at the meet. The Lyons are stacked with sprint/jump talent, including freshman Kim Jones and junior Shimera Daniels. Host Tufts is paced by seniors
Leslie Crofton, who will run the Mile, and Sarah Deeb, who will run the 800. Keene State sophomore Mary Proulx is the top-ranked entrant in the 5,000 with a 17:37.38. Brandeis sophmore Mariko Tansey-Holbrook's 17:39.9 second.