On Saturday February 21 and 22 the Massachusetts Women's Track and Field team will compete in the team's most anticipated competition of its indoor campaign, the 2014 Indoor Atlantic 10 Championship. The conference championship will be held in Kingston, R.I. at the University of Rhode Island's Mackal Fieldhouse with a start time set for 9:30 AM.
A Look Back to a Year Ago
The Minutewomen placed 12th overall in the conference.
Becky Stoyle claimed her the first Atlantic 10 Championship with a leap of 41-feet, 1-inch seizing the conference and UMass indoor triple jump record. Stoyle also scored in the pentathlon with a seventh place finish recording 3,303 points placing her fourth on UMass' all-time list for the event.
Pole vault specialist Sarah Bierly recorded the best mark of her freshman indoor season with a height of 10-feet, 10-inches taking fifth place.
The Minutewomen placed two in the long jump with Katherine Finnegan placing sixth in her final indoor conference championship. Ashley Palmer grabbed the eighth place spot jumping 17-feet, 11.5-inches.
Nalis Mbianda completed her final indoor A-10 Championship with a sixth place toss of 44-feet, 5.25-inches.
The Minutewomen enter the 2014 Indoor Atlantic 10 Championship with four athletes currently ranked in the top three of their respective events.
Becky Stoyle returns to the scene where just a year ago set the conference and UMass record with her gold medal performance in the triple jump. The junior hailing from Pembroke, Mass. enters the conference meet as the favorite once again this year by 10.5-inches with a mark totaling 41-feet, 4.5-inches.
In the long jump Courtney Kromko currently holds the second best mark in the conference at 18-feet, 8-inches. The mark is just eight inches shy of the leading mark of 19-feet, 4-inches held by George Mason's Chantel Richardson.
In her first season as a collegiate athlete Heather MacLean will have a chance to give her team a boost in the standings with her third best 800 time in the conference. MacLean's 2-minute, 10.48-second performance broke the UMass indoor record just two week's ago.
Falling just five inches shy of the second best mark in the conference, UMass' top thrower Kelsey Crawford is ranked third in the conference for the shot put. Crawford's fourth best mark in UMass history of 44-feet, 0.5-inches has her third in the conference.
Set To Score
Along with freshman MacLean, a trio of Minutewomen could score for UMass in the 800 meter run. Sarah Bittermann is currently ranked fifth in the conference with Katie Powers and Courtney Neves sitting just outside of the top eight. The quad together could mix for a point scoring worthy 4x800 meter relay squad as well. In the team's last meet the four 800 runners all set personal bests on Boston University's track at the Hemery Valentine Invitational. Their personal bests combine would have broken the school's 4x800 meter relay record by six seconds.
Junior harrier Rachel Hilliard is following up a breakthrough cross country campaign with an impressive indoor season. Hilliard has a chance to score in the 1,000, mile and 3,000 meter run currently ranking sixth, ninth and eighth respectively in the conference. Hilliard's time of 9-minutes, 52.04-seconds currently ranks her fifth all-time at UMass.
Freshman Brittany Green ran the sixth best 60 meter hurdles time in the conference at the Hemery Valentine Invitational completing the event in 8.89-seconds.
Katie Osborne's 5-foot, 7-inch height set earlier this season in the high jump has her tied for fourth in the conference. The mark also placed her second all-time in UMass history.
Sarah Bierly and Rachel Busch are tied for eighth in the conference with heights of 10-feet, 11.75-inches in the pole vault.
Joining Kromko in the long jump and with Stoyle not competing in the long jump this weekend Ashley Palmer sits at fifth in the Atlantic 10 with a leap of 18-feet, 2.5-inches.
Kromko's leap of 39-feet, 7.25-inches in the triple jump has her fourth in the conference with Lauren Avery just on the cusp of breaking the top eight with her ninth best in the A-10 37-foot, 10-inch jump.
Stoyle will get an opportunity on the first day of competition to score for UMass in the pentathlon. She holds the sixth best score in the conference.