BIG EAST Indoor Track and Field Weekly Notebook - Jan 12

Providence, R.I. - After a month break, BIG EAST Indoor Track and Field returned to competition last week with 13 teams in action. The conference gears up for the brunt of the Indoor Track and Field season, as 10 men's teams and 12 women's teams compete this week. The USTFCCCA released its preseason computer rankings and four BIG EAST women's teams landed in the top 25. West Virginia earned the highest ranking at No. 8, followed by No. 11 Villanova, No. 19 Louisville and No. 23 Georgetown. Where they will be this week... Men Badger Track Classic (Madison, Wis.): DePaul, Marquette Doug Raymond Invitational (Kent, Ohio): Pittsburgh Grand Valley State Open (Allendale, Mich.): Notre Dame Grand Valley State (Grand Rapids, Mich.): USF Hoya Invitational (Bethesda, Md.): Georgetown Kentucky Invitational (Lexington, Ky.): Louisville NYRR I (New York, N.Y.): Villanova Yale Invitational (New Haven, Conn.): Connecticut Idle: Cincinnati, Providence, Syracuse Women Armory Invitational (New York, N.Y.): Connecticut Badger Track Classic (Madison, Wis.): DePaul, Marquette Doug Raymond Invitational (Kent, Ohio): Pittsburgh, West Virginia Grand Valley State Open (Allendale, Mich.): Notre Dame Grand Valley State (Grand Rapids, Mich.): USF Hoya Invitational (Bethesda, Md.): Georgetown Kentucky Invitational (Lexington, Ky.): Louisville NYC Gotham Cup (New York, N.Y.): St. John's NYRR I (New York, N.Y.): Villanova Idle: Cincinnati, Providence, Syracuse Cincinnati: UC finished first at the Akron Opener on Jan. 7 at Stile Field House, the site of the 2011 BIG EAST Indoor Track and Field Championships. The Bearcats finished with 112 team points, edging out Akron who finished with 109 points. Senior Natasha Burse won the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.70, while junior Aricka Rhodes notched a BIG EAST season-best time in the 400-meter dash with a time of 56.00 seconds to claim first. Four other individuals also took home individual titles at the meet. Junior Kathy Klump won the 800-meter run, senior Michele McKenney won the 8,000-meter, junior Paris Campbell took the 60-meter hurdles and junior Mackenzie Fields won the pole vault. Both the men's and women's teams are idle this week. The men are next in action at the All-Ohio Track and Field Championships Jan. 21-22. Connecticut:The UConn women open the indoor season on Jan. 15 at the Armory Invitational in New York. Connecticut will be poised for another run at the BIG EAST Indoor Track and Field Championship title after placing third in 2010 and first in 2008 and 2009. UConn returns two indoor NCAA qualifiers in sophomore Victoria Flowers and senior Trisha-Ann Hawthorn. Flowers earned All-America status for the second-straight year after placing second in the weight throw at the NCAA Championships last season. Hawthorne, the most decorated track athlete in Connecticut history, placed 12th in the 60-meter dash and 16th in the 200-meter dash at the NCAA Championships. She has won back-to-back BIG EAST individual titles in the 60-meter and 200-meter dash. The Huskies will look for a strong season from redshirt senior Tynisha McMillian in the shot put. McMillian finished third at the BIG EAST Championship in 2010 after winning the title in 2009. The Connecticut men's team will open the season this weekend at the Yale Invitational on Jan. 15. Two-time All-America selection senior Mike Rutt and senior Kyle Duggan have been named captains for the 2011 season. Rutt has led the Huskies in mid-distance events for the past three season and has represented Connecticut at the USA Track and Field National Championship twice during his career. The spring events will be led by junior Kevin Steinberg, Kevin Smith and senior Kyle Edmonds. Duggan, senior Aaron King and junior Mike Alleman will lead the field events. Head coach Greg Roy enters his 22nd season at the helm of the track and field program. DePaul:DePaul got 2011 underway at the Purdue Invitational in West Lafayette, Ind on Jan. 8. On the men's side, Tim Nedow picked up right where he left off in 2010, winning the shot put with a distance of 17.3m. Freshman Ryan Asta also competed in the shot put and placed third with a distance of 16.41. For the women, Toni Salvatore represented the Blue Demons in the mile, finishing in first place with a career-best time of 5:05.42. Mary Cate Quiett also competed for the women in the mile and finished in a time of 5:10.1. Freshman Elizabeth Jefferson raced in the 400m dash, and finished in a time of 58.96 to place second. Freshman Rebecca Adamcheck, sophomore Corrie Castro and junior Laura Wilson took sixth, seventh and eighth place. The Blue Demons travel to the Loftus Sports Center in Madison, Wis., for the Badger Track Classic on Jan. 15. Georgetown: The women's team entered the Father Diamond Invitational on Jan. 9 ranked No. 21 in the country according to the preseason USTFCCCA Indoor Track computer rankings. The Hoyas had several strong performances, including a first-place finish from Chelsea Cox in the 1,000-meter run with a time of 2:51.36. Cox, along with junior Lauren Borduin, ran BIG EAST qualifying times in the 1,000-meter. Sophomore Meaghan Gregory also qualified for the BIG EAST Championships in the mile. On the men's side, senior Chris Kinney placed fourth in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 7.86, the second-fastest time in the BIG EAST this season. Kinney also owns the fastest time in the conference in the event, set back on Dec. 4 at the Navy Invitational. Freshman Eghosa Aghayere qualified for the BIG EAST Championships in the triple jump with a mark of 14.43 meters in his first collegiate meet. The Hoyas host their first and only home indoor meet this season on Jan. 15. Georgetown hosts the Hoya Invitational at the Hanley Center for Athletic Excellence on the campus of Georgetown Preparatory School in Bethesda, Md. The Blue & Gray welcome William & Mary, LaSalle and Howard. Louisville:Louisville returns to action on Jan. 14, at the Kentucky Track and Field Invitational in Lexington. The Cardinals already have competed in one indoor event season in which two athletes - senior D'Ana McCarty (weight throw) and junior Khadija Abdullah (shot put) - recorded NCAA automatic qualifying marks. Along with McCarty and Abdullah, junior Charachesicia Lockhart ranks in the top-10 nationally - she is fourth in the long jump (6.08 meters) and sixth in the triple jump (12.42 meters). Three men's athletes rank in the top-10 nationally in their events. Junior Wesley Smith ranks first in the long jump with a mark of 7.82 meters, while junior Seon Powell is fifth in the event with a jump of 7.44 meters. Senior Weston Banks is eighth in the shot put with a toss of 17.70 meters. Marquette: The Golden Eagles did not compete last weekend. Both the men's and women's teams will compete at the Badger Track Classic on Jan. 15. Notre Dame: Notre Dame did not compete last week but is back in action on Jan. 15 at the Grand Valley State Open in Allendale, Mich. Pittsburgh:The Pitt men's and women's teams will travel to Kent, Ohio to compete in the Doug Raymond Invitational on Sat. Jan. 15. The men's side enters its second event of the season after competing at the Kent State Gala on Dec. 10-11. Pittsburgh notched 12 BIG EAST qualifying marks with ten different Panthers posting top-5 performances. Senior Antony Hobwana, juniors Jermaine and Jerome Lowery as well as freshman Reggie Steele lead the way for Pitt. On the women's side, eight different Panthers recorded top-5 finishes along with recording 18 BIG EAST qualifying marks in their first competition at the Kent State Gala. The women's team is led by seniors Katelyn Brown, Brianna Broyles and Da'Lynn Mills along with junior Cambrya Jones. Providence: Providence men's team will return to competition on Jan. 23. The Friars will take part in the GBTC Invitational at Harvard University. The women's side will be back in action on Jan. 22 when the Friars compete in URI's Sorlein Invitational in Kingston, R.I. Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights men's team competed at the Metro Coaches Invitational on Jan. 7. Junior Aaron Younger notched a BIG EAST season-best time of 48.37 seconds to place second in the 400-meter. The women's team competed in the Princeton Women's Quad meet on Jan. 7. The squad had two quality performances in field events. Freshman Eken Ugboaja won the women's long jump with a mark of 5.65 meters, the fourth-longest jump in the BIG EAST this season. Senior Natalie Clickett placed second in the shot put with a toss of 14.36 meters, the fourth-best throw in the conference this year. St. John's:St. John's placed second at the Princeton Quad Meet on Jan. 7, scoring 133 points. Senior Priscilla Frederick led the team in points by placing first in the high jump, second in the long jump, third in the 60-meter hurdles, and ran with one of the squad's 4x400-meter relay teams. Senior Lauren Wynter placed first in the 500-meter dash. St. John's will next compete at the NYC Gotham Cup, hosted by NYU at the Armory on Jan. 14. USF: USF did not compete last week. Both the men and the women will compete on Jan. 14 in a dual-meet with Grand Valley State. It will be the opening meet of the year for the men. Syracuse: Syracuse did not compete last week. The Orange are not back in action until Jan. 22 at the Cornell Upstate Challenge. Villanova: Villanova did not compete last week. The Wildcats take part in the NYRR I in New York City on Jan. 15. West Virginia:The Mountaineers returned from holiday break with four first-place finishers at the Penn State Relays on Jan. 8. Senior Chelsea Carrier took first in the 60-meter hurdles and long jump, while sophomore Sydney Cummings added a top finish in the high hump. WVU also had a first-place finish in the mile relay. Junior Terina Miller posted a BIG EAST qualifying performance with a fourth-place finish in the 20-pound weight throw (15.26 meters).