UMass Track & Field Returns Home For Pre-Conference Meet
Minutemen and Minutewomen prepare for Championship competition.
Tyler Cotto finished first at the Pre-Conference Meet last season.
April 22, 2009
AMHERST, Mass. -
Home Meet Information
The UMass men's and women's track and field teams return home to Amherst, Mass. this weekend for the UMass Pre-Conference Meet. Saturday's meet will begin at 11:30 with shot put on the infield. On the track, the men's 4X100 will kick off at noon. Last season, the Pre-Conference Meet was held at the University of New Hampshire, where UMass took first place in a season-high seven events.
Last Year At the Pre-Conference Last season, three individual women and one relay team ranked first in their respective events. Holly Heinricher (Foxboro, Mass.) grabbed the gold in the 200 meter dash with a time of 26.12. Lisa Wilson threw the shot 40-10.5 and the hammer 161-7 for first place finishes. The relay team of Brittany Bakanowski, Ros Murphy, Heinricher, and Alisha Tatham placed first in the 4X1 with a time of 45.53.
On the men's side, Tyler Cotto (Holliston, Mass.), Chris Vercollone (Burlington, Mass.), and Nathan Barksdale all ranked first for the Mintuemen. Cotto finished the 110 meter hurdles in 15.82 seconds. Vercollone ranked first in the javelin with a toss of 175.00 feet. Barksdale qualified for the New England's with a time of 22.31 in the 200 meter dash.
There was no team score for either the men's or women's team.
Last Week At The Larry Ellis Invitational
Last weekend, the Minutemen and Minutewomen competed at the Larry Ellis Invitational to no team score.
The top story came from Lisa Wilson, who replaced her school record in the discus with a NCAA Regional qualifying throw of 156-02. She set the previous school record in 2008 with a mark of 155-9. Wilson took first in that event, third in the hammer (166-04) and fourth in the shot put (44-11.00). The Holden, Mass. native qualified for the ECAC Championship in all three events.
The Minutewomen dominated the 1500 meter run, placing six runners in the top ten. Gina Perno took the silver with a time of 4:46.17. Finishing just behind her, Liz Fisk crossed in 4:47.98. Karen Roa took fifth (4:55.62) and Taryn Trapp ranked sixth (4:59.43). Rounding out the top ten, Elyse Yarmosky finished ninth (5:03.40) and Lauren Stocker ranked tenth with a time of 5:04.55.
For the Minutemen, the top performer was sophomore Sean Busch (Stow, Mass.) who vaulted a height of 15-05.00 for a fifth place finish and the third best mark in UMass history. On the track, junior Sean Duncan (Gardner, Mass.) ranked sixth in the 3000 meter steeplechase with a time of 9:08.13 to qualify for IC4A Championship competition.
Winning Atlantic 10 Awards
For her effort at the Larry Ellis Invitational, junior Lisa Wilson earned Atlantic 10 Co-Performer of the Week after she replaced her school record in the discus with a NCAA Regional qualifying throw of 156-02. At that meet, Wilson also finished third in the hammer (166-4) and fourth in the shot put (44-11), qualifying for the ECAC Championships in all three events.
The Minutemen have been selected to rank third at the 2009 Atlantic 10 Outdoor Track & Field Championship. Last season, UMass finished fourth overall.
The women's track & field team has been tabbed to finish seventh overall. Last season, the Minutewomen ranked sixth of 12 teams.
Minutewomen Rock Record Book
Junior Lisa Wilson (Holden, Mass.) replaced her own top mark in UMass history in the discus with a toss of 156-02, qualifying for the NCAA Regional Championship as well as the ECAC Championship.
Sophomore triple jumper Stephanie Aguguo (Shrewsbury, Mass.) earned UMass/Dinn Bros. Athlete of the Week honors after triple jumping into the UMass record books at the UConn Invitational with a distance of 38-07.00. She scored ten points for the Minutewomen, ranking first overall, and beating the second place finisher by over a foot.
Aguguo marked a distance of 38-06.00 at the indoor Atlantic 10 Championship to secure her place in UMass indoor history as the third-best all-time. She ranked fourth overall at the meet.
At the same meet, sophomore transfer Ida Okkonen (Kuopio, Finland) triple jumped a distance of 36-10.25 to finish eighth overall and fifth all-time at UMass.
Okkonen also ranks fourth all-time at UMass in the long jump with a mark of 18-09.25 at the Great Dane Invitational during the indoor season. She finished third overall at the meet.
Minutemen Catch Records At the Larry Ellis Invitational, Sean Busch (Stow, Mass.) vaulted a height of 15-05.00 for the third best mark in UMass history. Busch ranked fifth overall at the meet.
Weltman finished sixth in the 400 meter run with a time of 48.45, qualifying for IC4A competition, at the Valentine Invitational. This time placed him second all-time in UMass history.
Sophomore Scott VanderMolen ran a season-best 2:26.83 in the 1000 meter for the fifth best time in UMass indoor track history, ranking 11th at the IC4A's.
Minutewomen Solid During Indoor Season
Redshirt senior Kristen Bakanowski (Northboro, Mass.) ranked third at the ECAC Championship's with a season-best height of 12-09.50.
Sophomore Stephanie Aguguo (Shrewsbury, Mass.) made her first appearance at the ECAC's ranking 21st with a distance of 37-03.75.
Newcomer Ida Okkonen (Kuopio, Finland) finished 23rd with a mark of 17-04.00 in the long jump at ECAC's.
Men Run At IC4A Championship
Seven Minutemen and three relay squads competed at the IC4A Championships during the indoor season.
One of the top finishers, freshman Philip Weltman (Dedham, Mass.), ran the 400 meter event in 48.89 for a 16th place finish.
The DMR, solid all season, ranked 19th at IC4A's with a time of 10:06.44. The squad consisted of Schwartz, DiOrio, McCann, and Gordon.
Shiyi Wins Awards
Redshirt sophomore Shiyi Zan (Ottawa, Ontario) excelled at the Great Dane Classic, earning UMass/Dinn Bros. Athlete of the Week honors. Zan won the gold in the 5000 meter with a time of 17:50.86. She also set a meet record with that time. Zan finished a full 26 seconds before the second place finisher.
Zan also UMass/Dinn Bros. AOW after the cross country home meet against Vermont, Maine, and Colgate after ranking first.
After the indoor season, Zan was named to the Academic All-Conference team. In the fall, Zan earned Student-Athlete of the Year.
Atlantic 10 Gives Minutemen Nod
Senior Peter Fortunato (Tewksbury, Mass.) garnered A-10 Co-Performer of the Week after the Boston University Valentine Invitational. Fortunato ranked 16th of 179 runners in the mile with an IC4A-qualifying time of 4:11.48. This time was the best in the A-10 at the time and Fortunato's best all season.
Weltman, after racing into the UMass record books, earned A-10 Rookie of the Week. The time was the second-fastest in the Atlantic 10 at the time in the 400 meter and qualified Weltman for the IC4A Championships.
A "10" At A-10 Championship
The Minutemen won their second-ever Atlantic 10 title during the cross country season, edging Duquesne by one point. Five runners placed in the top 25.
Coach Ken O'Brien was named the men's Coach of the Year.
Junior Jonathan Pierce (Hanover, Mass.) led the pack for the first time all season, finishing ninth overall with a time of 24:22.80. He was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Conference team.
Senior Nils Fischer ranked 11th with a time of 24:32.0, also named to the A-10 All-Conference team.
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