Providence, RI- Under the direction of assistant jumps coach Reuben Jones, Brown's jumps squad will look to build on its accomplishments from last season with the help of a solid core of veteran jumpers mixed with a talented group of newcomers.
Two seniors lead the way for the women's horizontal jumps this year. Gabriela Baiter ended last year's season as a NCAA first and second round qualifier, and with the second-best returning mark in the Ivy League (40'7.75"), she looks to challenge for the indoor and outdoor titles.
Another strong leader, Rachel Biblo will also contend in the triple jump after an All-Ivy performance at the Heptagonal Championships (40'2.25"). Biblo will also look to contribute some team points for the Bears in the long jump.
Junior Jara Crear and sophomore Kenny Thompson will add depth in the horizontal jumps this indoor season. Early this year, both Crear and Thompson have either matched or improved their season bests from a year ago.
Senior Natasha Smith makes a big return for the Bears as she begins her final year as a pentathlete. Look for Smith to return to the form that won her the Heptagonal Pentathlon title during her rookie year.
Senior AJ Fitzgerald provides leadership to a talented vertical jumps group that has a bright future in the Ivy League. Fitzgerald looks to contribute in the high jump after plagued with an injury during his junior year.
After a stellar freshman season, Hannah Wallace looks to continue her trend upward in the pole vault. Wallace ended a strong freshman campaign by finishing third at Heps with a personal best 12'1.50" and qualified for the ECAC outdoor meet.
Leading a strong group of newcomers is freshman decathlete Evan Weinstock. This past June, Weinstock placed fifth in the decathlon at US Junior Nationals with a personal best score of 6595. Look for Weinstock to contribute team points in different sprint and hurdle events as well as relays for the Bears.
Another multi-event prospect, Nealy Williams, looks to pick up the pentathlon indoors and may contribute to the team with her long hurdle experience outdoors.
Adding tremendous depth to the pole vault, three freshmen plan on making an immediate impact at the Heptagonal Indoor Championships this February. Chelsea Hartigan (12'0") comes from New Jersey with plenty of national experience, competing in Nike Indoor Nationals and Penn Relays during her senior season. Hanna McPhee hails from Massachusetts with a personal best of 11'0" and will add depth and competitiveness to the female vaults group.
Sean Igelman from Oregon comes in with a personal best 14'11" that could begin to contribute to the men's total team points for some time.
Photo: Gabriela Baiter (by Dan Grossman/mapleleafphotos.com)