Connecticut Women Break Meet Record on First Day of BIG EAST Indoor Track & Field Championships

 

GENEVA, OHIO - The Connecticut women's indoor track & field team won the 5,000-meter and distance medley relay on Saturday, setting one BIG EAST Championship record and one SPIRE Institute record while winning both events for the first time in program history. Shauna McNiff won the 5,000m in 16:09.95, setting a new SPIRE Institute record, and the distance medley relay team won the title in 11:06.99 to set a new BIG EAST Championship standard.

 

Pittsburgh's Carvin Nkanata also highlighted day one of the BIG EAST Indoor Track & Field Championships, breaking the men's 200m record in preliminaries with a time of 21.13. The junior broke the previous record of 21.15 set by Kevin Lyles of Seton Hall in 1995. Nkanata will be the top seed in the final on Sunday afternoon.

 

Team Standings

 

On the men's side, USF leads the team standings with 44 points, including a win in the men's pole vault after day one. Louisville and Connecticut are tied with 25 points for second. Notre Dame is in fourth with 20.50 points, and Providence and Georgetown are tied for fifth with 16 points. Villanova and Rutgers sit in seventh with 14 points. Syracuse and Marquette round out the team standings with 11 and 9.50 points, respectively.

 

For the women, Connecticut has a commanding lead with 48 points. USF ranks second with 29 points, and Notre Dame trails the Bulls in third with 26 points. Louisville is fourth with 15 points, Pittsburgh ranks fifth with 14 points, and Villanova ranks sixth with 13 points. Syracuse and Rutgers are tied for seventh with nine points. Cincinnati is in ninth with eight points, Georgetown is 10th with seven points and St. John's and Providence are tied in 11th with six points. Marquette rounds out scoring with five points.

 

Final - Men's Weight Throw

 

Louisville's Sam Bombough threw a season-best heave by almost one meter to win the men's weight throw (19.99m). His previous best was 19.13m, recorded on Jan. 25. With 0.04 meters separating second and third place, Connecticut's Joshua Faboyede took the edge for second place with a throw of 19.29m, while defending champion Jared Thomas of USF finished third with a throw of 19.25m.

 

Louisville returns to the top weight throw spot, last winning in 2009. Arthur Turland won for the Cardinals in 2006 and 2007, while Andrew Hackney took two titles in 2008 and 2009.

 

Final - Women's Long Jump

 

Despite fouling all three jumps in finals, defending champion Monique Williams of USF claimed the long jump title with a mark of 5.97m in prelims. Rutgers' Asha Ruth took second with a jump of 5.95m, and USF's Samantha Specht earned third place (5.81m). The Bulls registered three jumpers in the top-four, with Miriam Skipper taking fourth (5.75m).

 

Monique Williams has won the only BIG EAST long jump titles for the Bulls, with Pittsburgh and Syracuse traditionally dominating the event.

 

Final - Men's Pole Vault

 

The USF Bulls made a day of it in the field events, going one-two in the men's pole vault. Drew Volz finished first with a mark of 5.10m, and Wyatt Metzger beat out Rutgers' Chris Wyckoff on attempts to take second at 5.00m. Connecticut's Timothy Murphy surprised the field, finishing fifth after coming into the meet ranked 12th.

 

The Bulls ended a long streak of Notre Dame taking first. Matt and Kevin Schipper combined for five titles for the Fighting Irish from 2008-12. USF has never won a BIG EAST men's pole vault title.

 

Final - Women's Weight Throw

 

Connecticut's Victoria Flowers capitalized on consistency and one final throw to take the women's weight throw with a toss of 21.34m. The senior beat the closest competitor by more than two meters. Defending champion Amashi-Ali Kendall of Louisville took second with a mark of 19.19m.

 

Flowers ends a long drought in women's weight throw for the Huskies, last winning in 2002. Since 2007 a competitor from Louisville has won every year. The senior set a SPIRE Institute record with her throw.

 

Final - Women's Pentathlon

 

Pittsburgh's Elizabeth Kline avenged a fourth-place finish last year to win with 3,927 points. The senior beat out Notre Dame's Carly Loeffel (3,915) in the 800m to claim the title, going into the event in second. Kaitlyn Good, the favorite from Cincinnati, finished fourth with 3,760 points.

 

Pittsburgh earns the women's pentathlon title for the first time since 2005, when Dana McKoy won the title back to back in 2004 and 2005. The Panthers won the championship for seven consecutive years from 1994-2000. Pittsburgh has won ten BIG EAST women's pentathlon titles.

 

Final - Women's 5,000m

 

The Connecticut Huskies dominated the 5,000m, finishing first, second and third. Senior Shauna McNiff took the title (16:09.95), junior Allison Lasnicki (16:13.17) and sophomore Lauren Sara all broke the SPIRE Institute 5,000m record.

 

 Connecticut has never won the BIG EAST 5,000m women's title. The Huskies also finished top-two in the 2012 BIG EAST Cross Country Championship, the team's best all-time finish.

 

Final - Men's 5,000m

 

Shane Quinn notched the first meet win for the Providence Friars, taking the 5,000m in 14:17.45. Quinn beat out Georgetown senior Mark Dennin (14:19.54) and Louisville freshman Ernest Kibet (14:21.06). Less than one second separated the top-three finishers.

 

Providence last won the men's 5,000m in 2006 thanks to Martin Fagan. The Friars have now tallied 10 5,000m titles for the men, including three from current head coach Ray Treacy from 1980-82.

 

Women's Distance Medley Relay

 

Connecticut, Villanova and Notre Dame all broke the BIG EAST Championship record in the distance medley relay on Saturday, with the Huskies taking first. Connecticut registered its third victory in the last event of the day, finishing in 11:06.99. Villanova finished second in 11:07.32 and Notre Dame shortly thereafter finished third in 11:07.32. The previous meet record was 11:08.19, set by Georgetown last year.

 

The Huskies have never won the distance medley relay at BIG EAST championships, while Villanova and Georgetown have frequented the title often.

 

Men's Distance Medley Relay

 

The men's distance medley relay was decided by less than two seconds, with Villanova taking the victory with a mark of 9:47.59. Georgetown came in second place (9:48.78) and Providence finished third (9:49.26). The top-four finishers broke the SPIRE Institute record in the event.

 

Final - Men's Long Jump

 

USF dominated the men's long jump field, with Neamen Wise finishing first with a mark of 7.50m. The Bulls also had Kevin Bell in third (7.32) and Brian Kilts in fifth (7.11m). Rutgers sophomore Corey Crawford finished second with a jump of 7.36m.

 

USF has never won the men's long jump title, an event traditionally dominated by Louisville.

 

Preliminaries: 60m hurdles - Nine advance to final

 

In the 60m hurdle prelims for the women, Notre Dame's Jade Barber improved on her qualifying mark, finishing in 8.23 to claim the top spot going into the final tomorrow. Her twin sister Kaila will be seeded in the third slot for the final after running 8.57 in the prelim. The Fighting Irish posted the top-three 60m hurdles times in the prelims, with Nevada Sorenson posting the second-best time at 8.31.

 

On the men's side, Syracuse's Donald Pollitt finished in 7.91 to lead the field. Teammate Amadou Gueye ranked second (8.00), and Darren McCluskey also snuck in in ninth (8.42). Louisville's Calvin Arsenault (7.97), Connecticut's Claudio DelliCarpini (8.31), Selwyn Maxwell (8.04) and Patrick Meyer (8.41), USF's Landon Hargrove (8.34) and Notre Dame's Jarrod Buchanon (8.20) also advanced to tomorrow's final. Meyer will be the only freshman in the finals.

 

Preliminaries: 60m - Nine advance to the final

 

Louisville's Margret Harris maintained her top spot in the 60m dash (7.40). Pittsburgh's Jonnique Lawrence (7.44) and USF's Monique Williams (7.51) rounded out the top-three in prelims. Rutgers' Tylia Gillon (7.50), Syracuse's Shaina Harrison (7.51), Georgetown's Tenille Stoudenmire (7.55), USF's Dariel Jackson (7.53), Notre Dame's Aijah Urssery (7.56) and Pittsburgh's Funmi Alabi (7.56) complete the 60m final.

 

The Connecticut Huskies send three to the 60m final for the men, including Darnell Cummings (6.80), Jesse Drinks (6.86) and Kevin Smith (6.86). Notre Dame's 400m specialist Patrick Feeney is seeded second for the final (6.84). Twelve hundredths separated Cummings from the final qualifier, Jordon Vaughn (8.92) of DePaul.

 

Preliminaries: 500m - Eight advance to the final

 

Georgetown's Deseree King led the 500m prelims for women with a mark of 1:13.03. Notre Dame's Megan Yanik was close behind at 1:13.06. Claire Mooney (1:13.89) and Trudy-Ann Mclean (1:14.64) got St. John's to its first final for Sunday. Rutgers' Christina Dibernardo wrapped up the 500m field at 1:14.93.

 

Race favorite Brycen Spratling of Pittsburgh earned the second seed for the final with a time of 1:03.00. Notre Dame's Christopher Giestling earned the top seed with a mark of 1:02.53. Villanova's Sam Ellison (1:02.61) and Alex Reber (1:04.17) finished in the third and fourth seeding position, respectively.

 

Preliminaries: 400m - Eight advance to the final

 

Notre Dame claimed the top two seeds in the women's 400m final, with Michelle Brown (54.26) and Margaret Bamgbose (54.42) defending their top-two positions on the league performance list. Both improved on their qualifying times.

 

Also for the Fighting Irish, Patrick Feeney breezed to the finals with a second-seed qualifying time of 47.12. Pittsburgh's Micah Murray came in just under the 47-second wire at 46.99 to claim the top seed. For DePaul Mac Melto (48.40) and Tonderai Tomu (48.07) both advanced to the final.

 

Preliminaries: 200m - Eight advance to final

 

Pittsburgh's Jonnique Lawrence (23.71) advanced to her second sprint final, after qualifying for the 60m earlier in the day. Lawrence was the only sub-24 second finisher, claiming the top seed. Louisville's Margret Harris also earned her spot in the 60m-200m sprint double, claiming the seventh seed (24.27).

 

Continuing the Panthers' dominance in the 200m this season, Carvin Nkantata set a new BIG EAST championship record, earning the top seed with a time of 21.23. The previous record was set by Kevin Lyles of Seton Hall in 1995 in Syracuse, N.Y. Teammate Brycen Spratling came in at 21.28 to earn the third seed. Connecticut's Darnell Cummings finished with the fourth seed (21.34).

 

Mile - No preliminaries run due to the size of the field.

 

Preliminaries: 1,000m - Eight advance to final

 

Georgetown and Villanova sent five to the final, led by All-American and 2012 BIG EAST individual cross country champion Emily Lipari (2:55.15) for the Wildcats, and All-American Rachel Schneider for the Hoyas. Georgetown sophomore Hannah Neeczypor bested the field at 2:49.28.

 

For the men, Providence punched its first ticket to the finals with Julian Matthews earning the top seed (2:25.23). Connecticut notched three finals spots, including Alexander Levine (2:32.01), Tim Bennatan (2:32.12) and James Agati (2:27.35).

 

Preliminaries: 800m - Eight advance to final

 

Freshmen made their mark in the women's prelim, with Villanova's Kelsey Margey (2:07.87), Notre Dame's Danielle Aragon (2:08.35) and USF's Yasmin Smith (2:08.62) all making the final. Georgetown's Chelsea Cox claimed the top seed with a time of 2:07.38).

 

Defending men's champion Kyle Winter of Marquette (1:53.02) advanced, along with freshman teammate Anton Rice (1:53.23). Half the men's field will be freshmen, with Connecticut's Robert Rhodes (1:54.02), Notre Dame's Eric Gebeke (1:54.05) and Georgetown's Ahmed Bile (1:52.50) also earning a spot in the final.

 

Sunday's events will begin at 9:00 a.m., from SPIRE Institute with the second half of the men's heptathlon.

 

For updates on team standings and a livestream of the 2013 BIG EAST Indoor Track & Field Championships, visit bigeasttrack.com