May 5, 2011

Outdoor Track and Field Set For America East Championships

America East Championship Central

Graduate student Paul DeTurk looks for his second title in
the hammer throw at the America East Championships

DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire track and field teams will compete in the America East Outdoor Track and Field Championships May 7-8 on the campus of UMBC in Baltimore, Md. Events are scheduled to begin Saturday at 9 a.m.

The Wildcats look to exceed early season expectations as the men's and women's teams were predicted to place fourth in the preseason coaches' poll, while both squads turned in third-place finishes at last year's conference championships.

The men's side boasts a handful of promising field competitors, led by senior Mike Simon (Durham, Conn.) who owns the best throw in the conference this season after a 64.50m toss at the Penn Relays, looks to capture his fourth-consecutive title in the event. Graduate student Paul DeTurk (Durham, N.H.) will also try to defend his title in the hammer throw as he enters the weekend ranked first in the event following a season best toss of 62.03m at the Larry Ellis Invitational.

The competition is crowded at the top of the high jump ranks, but sophomores Matthew Guarente (Saugus, Mass.) and Jason Guarente (Saugus, Mass.) should both be in the mix for solid finishes, while junior Max Hoddwells (Wayne, Maine) is expected to turn some heads in the triple jump. Additionally, the duo of sophomores Cameron Lyle (Plaistow, N.H.) and Chris Dupuis (Plaistow, N.H.) should continue with their successful spring seasons and compete for top marks in the shot put.  

On the track, the men will turn to junior William Godfrey (Merrimack, N.H.) and graduate student Tyler Dinnan (Juneau, Alaska) for solid performances in the 800m and 1,500m, respectively. Junior Daniel DeCrescenzo (New Milford, Conn.) is expected to pace the distance pack with a quality finish in the 5,000m, while sophomore Mike Marshall (Salem, N.H.) is always a force in the 110m hurdles.

The women's side starts with graduate student Rita Ciambra (Hanover, N.H.) who looks to cap off her stellar career with a third outdoor title in the pole vault as she is slated first in the conference with a cleared height of 4.01m. Seniors Kate Early (Corning, N.Y.) and Kaitlyn Dugan (Hatfield, Pa.) will add a veteran presence in the field for the Wildcats, as both should be in the mix in the heptathlon after the duo finished first and second, respectively, at the Holy Cross Multi-Event earlier this spring. Meanwhile, sophomore Rosemary Read (West Greenwich, R.I.) is expected to be a solid contender in the hammer throw.  

Moving over to the track, seniors Allison Letourneau (Kingston, Nova Scotia) and Megan Donahue (Stratham, N.H.) will both contend for top finishes in the 800m, while senior Erica Jesseman (Scarborough, Maine), who set the school record in the 5k at the first meet of the outdoor season, is a main contender in both the 5,000 and 10,000m events. With the top mark in the 3,000m steeplechase this spring, senior Sydney Fitzpatrick (Billerica, Mass.) is primed to end her career with an outdoor title in the event, while fellow senior Chelsey Canavan (Stoneham, Mass.) is set for an impressive performance in the 400m.      

The Wildcats have looked strong at several competitions leading up this weekend's America East Championships, including last Saturday when the men's team finished fourth and the women's side placed third at the UMass Pre-Conference Meet in Amherst, Mass.

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