Track and Field: Men, women each finish in 2nd at CAA Championships

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April 25, 2007

2:26 AM

After taking the lead on day one of the CAA Championships, both the men’s and women’s track and field teams finished in the runner-up position. The women came up short of capturing their seventh consecutive conference championships as the Northeastern University Huskies outdistanced the College 163-156, en route to winning their first-ever CAA title in any sport. The Tribe men’s lead slipped away to University of North Carolina-Wilmington, who tallied 215.5 points to the College’s 183.

p. UNCW’s Zeickia Ledwell fueled the comeback effort, winning both the 110-meter hurdles and the 400-m hurdles; however, Virginia Commonwealth University’s James Frierson earned running events Most Outstanding Performer after his victories in the 100-m and 200-m. For the women, Northeastern’s Tramaine Shaw shared the running events MOP award with George Mason University’s Murielle Ahoure, and fellow Huskie Zara Northover garnered the field events MOP.

p. “We knew going into the meet that it would be tight but our concern on paper was Georgia State [University]. Northeastern had a fantastic meet and just outperformed us as a whole,” women’s head coach Kathy Newberry said. “However, our girls had some outstanding performances.”

p. Even without capturing team titles, the Tribe showcased its distance running talent by taking nine of the 10 events from 800-m to 10,000-m. Both the women and men earned six individual titles overall.

p. Freshman Nicole Kazuba soared over the bar at 12 feet, 1.5 inches to take first place in the pole vault, giving the Tribe its first individual title of the meet. In Friday evening’s events, the College swept the 5,000-m and 10,000-m runs as senior Meghan Bishop and junior Emily Gousen each ran to victory in their respective events; Bishop timed 17 minutes, 27.33 seconds in the 5,000-m while Gousen completed the 10,000-m in a CAA meet record time of 36:04.05 — the mark also qualified her for the ECAC Championships. These three titles gave the Tribe a six-point lead over Northeastern heading into day two of competition.

p. Saturday saw the College earn three more titles. Senior Bonnie Meekins’ meet record and NCAA provisional qualifying mark of 5,192 points secured her victory in the heptathlon; moreover, Meekins, while competing in the heptathlon, qualified provisionally for the NCAA Championships in the high jump clearing 5’8.75”. Freshman Emily Anderson won the 1,500-m in 4:33.83, and senior Kate Willever ran away from the competition in the 3,000-m steeplechase, winning in a time of 11:14.94.

p. The men posted championship-caliber performances as well. Sophomore Alex Heacock hurled the javelin 195’2” to easily outdistance his competitors and garner his first conference crown. Like the women, the Tribe men controlled the 5,000-m and 10,000-m races. Competing in the 5,000-m, senior Keith Bechtol pushed the pace enough to secure his third CAA championship, finishing in 14:45.16. Approximately 45 minutes later, Bechtol was back on the track for the 10,000-m in a race which saw his meet record fall to senior teammate Matt Keally, who claimed victory in 30:17.02.

p. On Saturday, redshirt-sophomore David Groff bested the 1,500-m field winning with a time of 3:52.17. Redshirt-junior Matt Warco claimed his first CAA title in the 800-m running 1:53.29, and junior Anthony Arena also collected his first conference crown timing 9:11.90 in the 3,000-m steeplechase.

p. The Tribe returns to action Thursday through Saturday at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia.

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