May 6, 2006

Outdoor Heps Preview

May 6, 2006

The women's track and field team will head down to Philadelphia, PA this weekend to compete at the Heptagonal Championships, hosted by the University of Pennsylvania. The women will look to improve upon last year's third place finish under the guidance of new head coach Craig Lake. The team will be counting on points from both proven scorers as well as up-and-coming talent.

Sophomore Akilah King (Medford, MA) and freshman Nicole Burns (Newburgh, NY)each have the potential to bring in high points in the sprinting events and will also be imperative legs of the relays. King is currently ranked first in the league for the 200m and seventh in both the 100m and 400m. Burns is ranked fourth in the 200m and first in the 400m. Another possible threat for the Bears in the sprints will be junior Lauren Hale (Warren, RI).

The Bears are quite strong in the middle distances this year. Junior Naja Ferjan (Ljubljana, Slovenia) returns after a second place finish at indoor Heps in the 800m and will be going after the top spot again. Ferjan was both indoor and outdoor Heps champion in the 2003-04 season for the 800 and is also currently ranked sixth in the 1500m. Another possible scorer in the 800m will be senior co-captain Kelly Powell (East Patchogue, NY). Though Powell is now ranked twelfth in the league for the event, she has always managed to come through in clutch situations in the past and will provide pivotal leadership. Powell placed fifth at the 2006 indoor Heps and also ran on the school record-setting 4x800 relay and the All-American DMR. Another possible scorer in the 800m will be freshman Kat D'Auria (Norwich, CT).

Senior Anna Willard (Greenwood, ME) will vie for the steeplechase title while also running on the distance relay teams. Willard is currently ranked second in the league in the 800m and 1500m, third in the 5000m and second in the steeplechase. Also promising is freshman Lindsay Kahn (Port Jefferson, NY), who is ranked eighth in the steeplechase.

In the 5000m, junior Michol Monaghan (Uniontown, PA) is ranked seventh behind several multi-time All-Americans. In the 10,000m, seniors Anya Davidson (Brunswick, ME) and Jilane Rodgers (Brea, CA) will look to run smartly and gain some points for their team.

On the field, senior Erin Meschter (Danville, PA) will be going for a repeat of last year's performance after a surprise second place finish in the high jump. In the pole vault, sophomore Tiffany Chang (Lafeyette, CA) is currently ranked second. Sophomore Sarah Groothuis (Aurora, NE) can bring in some points in the discus throw, while freshman Molly Hawksley (Rumford, RI) has the same opportunity in the hammer.

One of the veteran competitors will be senior co-captain Brittany Grovey (Hobbs, NM) who will attempt to defend her triple jump title as well as add some points in the long jump, a new event for her. Grovey has won the outdoor triple jump at Heps for the last two years.

In the javelin, junior Laura Dudek (West Warren, MA) is currently ranked second in the league. Dudek placed first at Heps her freshman year and second last year. Also vying for the top spot will be freshman Ali Mumford (Greshman, OR), currently ranked fourth.

The competition will begin on Saturday, May 6 at 1pm with the women's hammer throw. Running events will begin at 3:10pm with the the 400m trials.

Complete Rankings