UMass To Host 2008 Atlantic 10 Outdoor Track and Field Championship This Weekend
April 29, 2008
AMHERST, Mass. - This weekend, UMass will host the 2008 Atlantic 10 Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the UMass Track and Field Complex. The two day event will begin Saturday and conclude on Sunday with both days beginning at 9:30 AM. This will be the first time that UMass has ever hosted the Atlantic 10 Championships. Live video streaming of the Championship will be available through UMass and the Atlantic 10 web site's All-Access package.
This season, both the men and women have had strong performances from several athletes throughout the entire outdoor season. For the women, senior Christina DeRosa (Sound Beach, N.Y.) has continued to turn in strong performances on the season and will look to cap off her senior year with a strong finish at the Championships. DeRosa currently holds the fastest time (34:26.95) in the Atlantic 10 for the 10K. Senior Alisha Tatham (Brampton, Ontario) will also look to add points to the women's team after having excelled this season with sprints. Freshman Gina Perno (Plainview, N.Y.) and sophomore Holly Heinricher (Foxboro, Mass.) have also had performed well on the season and will also look to score points for the Minutewomen.
Sophomore Lisa Wilson (Holden, Mass.) has had a breakout season for the Minutewomen. At the Larry Ellis Invitational, Wilson dominated the throwing competition and recording the second-best throw in school history in three different events. Wilson began by taking third place in the hammer throw competition with a distance of 168 feet, 11 inches. Wilson followed by taking second place in the discus competition with a distance of 152 feet. Finally, Wilson took third in the shot put competition with a throw of 43 feet, 10.75 inches.
Red-shirted junior Kristen Bakanowski (Northboro, Mass.) will look to add another Atlantic 10 to her name this weekend. This season, Bakanowski set a record breaking performance at the UMass Invitational. Bakanowski set a new school record after taking first place in the pole vault with a height of 12 feet, 7.50 inches, which is also a NCAA qualifying standard. Bakanowski's height is also the best in the Atlantic 10. Back in 2006, Bakanowski took first place in the pole vault competition with a record breaking 11 feet, 5.75 inches. In addition, she has taken the title for the past three years in a row at the Indoor Championships.
For the men, the freshman class has played an important role so far this season. In field events, Sean Busch (Stow, Mass.) has been consistent in the pole vault, while Kevin Spieler (Attleboro, Mass.) has also been consistent in the shot put and discus. Daniel Schwartz (Sudbury, Mass.) and Chris Dzidek (Chicopee, Mass.) are two of the most well rounded freshman on the team after participating in the decathlon at the Holy Cross Multi Event Meet.
Sophomore Tyler Cotto (Holliston, Mass.) is the top returning 110 meter hurdle specialist and has improved on his time since last season. Cotto currently holds the sixth fastest time (14.95) in the Atlantic 10 in the 110 meter hurdles. Sophomore Ian Hackney (Stratford, Conn.) will look to add points for the Minutemen in the 200 meter dash, while sophomore Sameul Laorenza (North Andover, Mass.) will look to improve his time in the 400 meter dash.
The mid-distance and distance crew for the men will provide the most depth for UMass. Seniors Ryan Durkin (Andover, Mass.) and Nils Fischer (Stow, Mass.) will lead the way for the men in the 800 meter and the 5K, respectively. In addition, the men will look to junior Josh Boone (Gardner, Mass.) and sophomore Andrew McCann (Fayetteville, N.Y.) to score points for the team.
Last season, Rhode Island took first place for the men and Charlotte took first place for the women. UMass wrapped up the outdoor season with taking eighth place for the men and tenth for the women.
For the women, Christina DeRosa led the way after placing first in the 10K run to finish with a time of 36:07.62 to record the second fastest time at UMass. DeRosa also placed third in the 5K run with a time of 17:16.46. Current assistant coach Mary Serdakowski also had two strong performances at the Championships. In the finals for the 100 meter hurdles, Serdakowski placed third with a time of 14.46 seconds to become fourth fastest time at UMass. In the 400 meter hurdles, Serdakowski placed second with a seasonal best time of 1:04.09. Following the Championship, Molly Chapin, Christina DeRosa, and Mary Serdakowski were named to the Outdoor All-Conference Team.
As for the men's team, the top performances of the weekend came from all three relay teams who qualified for the IC4A Championships with their finishes. For the 4x100 meter relay, the men's team placed fourth in 42.05 seconds. Then the men's team placed third in the 4x400 meter relay with a time of 3:17.45. Finally, the 4x800 meter relay team placed fifth to finish in 7:37.70.