ECAC Championship Marks Possible 2014 Finale For Minutewomen
On Saturday, May 16 and Sunday, May 17 in Princeton, N.J., the women's track and field team will compete in the 2014 Outdoor Track and Field ECAC Championship. The championship meet has a start time set for 10:00 AM. The championship meet presents the final opportunity for Becky Stoyle, Courtney Kromko, Kelsey Crawford and Heather MacLean to qualify for the NCAA Regionals.
Gold Medal Performances Fuel Third Place Finish At New Englands
The UMass women's track and field team took third place at the New England Championship with 61.5 points on Saturday in Westfield, Mass. The University of Rhode Island won the championship meet with 77 points, slighting Southern Connecticut State with 76 points. Heather MacLean, Becky Stoyle and the 4x800 meter relay all claimed gold medals in the New England finale.
The 4x800 meter relay team consisting of Courtney Neves, Meghan Leahy, Rachel Hilliard ran for a combined time of 9-minutes, 0.67-seconds to claim the gold medal in front of Boston College. After her photo finish at the A-10 Championship a week ago, Powers played a critical role in the gold medal performance by running a personal best time of 2-minutes, 10-seconds as the anchor.
MacLean broke her own UMass record and fell just .34-seconds shy of the New England record with her golden time of 2-minutes, 7.41-seconds. This is the freshman's second consecutive New England Championship in the 800 meter run. She is the only Minutewoman to become an indoor and outdoor New England Champion as a freshman in the last 20 years.
In the triple jump, Stoyle defended her title with a leap of 40-feet, 8.75-inches. The mark gave the Pembroke, Mass., native her fourth consecutive New England Championship. Stoyle is the only Minutewoman to win four consecutive New England titles in the last 20 years.
Read the full recap from day one of the New England Championship here.
Read the full recap from day two of the New England Championship here.
Photo Finish In 4x800 Highlights Gold Medal Efforts In A-10 Championships
The 4x800 meter relay team of Courtney Neves, Meghan Leahy, Heather MacLean and Katie Powers turned in the most thrilling performance of the meet with Powers diving at the finish line for a photo finish to win the race. After the finish was reviewed it was announced Powers had crossed the finish line at the 9-minute, 0.22-second mark, beating out Fordham's Melissa Higgins by just one-hundredth of a second.
The first place effort was not however MacLean's first outdoor A-10 gold medal. Earlier in the day and after claiming the UMass outdoor record the day before, the Peabody, Mass., native ran the fastest time in the 800 meter run to win her championship. MacLean's championship race was a nail biter as well winning by just a tenth of a second. She finished the 800 meters in just 2-minutes, 9.26-seconds to edge Elise Farris of Duquesne at the 2-minute, 9.36-second mark.
After the meet the coaches decided to honor MacLean as the Women's Most Outstanding Rookie Performer for her accomplishments throughout championship weekend. To go along with her two gold medals MacLean ran the fastest outdoor 800 meter time in UMass history with her preliminary time of 2:08.78. The time was just milliseconds short of the facility and Atlantic 10 record.
The third gold medal of the day came from the reigning Atlantic 10 Champion, Becky Stoyle in the triple jump. The junior claimed her fourth straight A-10 title with a leap of 40-feet, 5-inches, out jumping her peers by 1-foot, 1.5-inches. She is the first Minutewoman to win four consecutive Atlantic 10 Championships since Brandy Green swept the indoor and outdoor meets in 2002 and 2003.
Read the full recap from day one of the Atlantic 10 Championship here.
Read the full recap from day two of the Atlantic 10 Championship here.
Minutewomen Come Out On Top At Pre-Conference Meet
On Saturday in Durham, N.H., the UMass women's track and field team defeated seven teams to win the annual Pre-Conference Meet with 188 points. UMass came out on top of New Hampshire, Vermont, Dartmouth, Central Connecticut, UMass Lowell and Maine. Highlighting the meet was Kelsey Crawford who set a personal best in the shot put and climbed the record book in the process.
Read the full recap of the UNH Pre-Conference Meet here.
On Saturday, April 19 in Worcester, Mass., the UMass women's track and field team finished second overall at the Holy Cross Invitational. The Minutewomen rested many of their top performers but still recorded 182.5 points to outscore Stonehill, Maine and Bryant. Holy Cross won the meet which was also its first home meet of the season. UMass recorded four first place performances in the meet however; the finest performance of the day came from a freshman in the 3,000 meter steeplechase.
Read the full recap of the Holy Cross Invitational here.
Second Place Finish On Senior Day Highlights Minuteman Invitational
On Saturday April 12 in front of a home crowd for the first time in 2014, the University of Massachusetts women's track and field team placed second out of eleven teams. UMass' field performers excelled on the UMass Track and Field Complex scoring as many as five athletes in one event. Coach LaFreniere's Minutewomen scored 151.6 points on senior day and were just edged out of first place in the final events of the day by Boston College with 157 points.
Read the full recap of the Minuteman Invitational here.
Massachusetts Defeats Northeast Powerhouses At UConn Invitational
On Saturday April 5, in Storrs, Conn., the UMass women's track and field team won the UConn Invitational with 179 points, defeating three of the Northeast's biggest powerhouses. The UConn Invitational was scored with rules endorsed by the NCAA where the top eight score, however, one team cannot score more than two athletes in one event. The University of Massachusetts benefitted from the NCAA's recommendation and came out on top of the University of Connecticut, Boston College and A-10 rival, the University of Rhode Island...
Read the full recap of the UConn Invitational here.
Stoyle And Hilliard Lead The Way In Jacksonville, Fla.
On Friday, March 28 two first place finishes on day one of the University of North Florida Spring Break Invitational highlighted the women's track and field program's efforts. Becky Stoyle continued her dominance in the triple jump and Rachel Hilliard continued to impress in longer distance events....
Read the rest of the recap from the season opener here.
The women's track and field team has become known as a team on the rise in the Atlantic 10 and in New England. Since last year's indoor campaign the Minutewomen have rewritten the UMass record book, improved their conference standings and have finished in the top three teams in two of the last three New England Championships.
In 2013 and 2014 combined the Minutewomen have recorded 14 indoor top five program marks or times and 11 top five performances in outdoor competition.
In the 2013 and 2014 Atlantic 10 Championships UMass has crowned five gold medalists and 10 All-Conference performers.
UMass has fought for eight gold medalists and 12 All-New England performers in the last three New England Championships.
The Minutewomen have also enjoyed success at the last two Indoor ECAC Championships with two bronze medal efforts and qualified two athletes for the Outdoor NCAA Northeast Regional Championship.
Fans will have plenty of opportunity to watch the Minutewomen compete this season with five meets within an hour and 30 minutes of campus.
The Minutewomen will compete at the UMass Track and Field Complex in two meets this season. UMass will host the Minuteman Invitational and the Atlantic 10 Championship.
Senior day is set for the Minuteman Invitational on April 12 at 11:30 AM.
Atlantic 10 Championship weekend is scheduled for May 3 and 4 with start times of 9:00 AM.
2014 Indoor Season Highlights
Becky Stoyle Earned her second ECAC bronze medal in the triple jump.
New England Championship
Becky Stoyle earned her third New England gold medal in the triple jump.
Courtney Kromko claimed her first gold medal by winning the long jump and places third in the triple jump.
Rachel Hilliard medaled for the first time as the third fastest competitor in the mile run.
Becky Stoyle was crowned champion in the triple jump for the third time in her career and finished second in the pentathlon. Awarded the 2014 Indoor Atlantic 10 Most Outstanding Field Performer. Also bettered her own Atlantic 10 Championship record and now owns the Mackal Field House facility record.
Courtney Kromko placed second in the long jump and the triple jump for the first two All-Conference performances of her collegiate career.
Records Broken And Top Five All-Time Marks In UMass History
Becky Stoyle: UMass record in the triple jump. (42-0.5) | Second in the pentathlon. (3,526)