CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The America East conference announced Wednesday that the University of New Hampshire women's and men's indoor track and field teams were selected fourth and fifth, respectively, in the preseason coaches' poll.
The women garnered 42 total points as the University at Albany was chosen to defend its title with 62 points, including six first-place votes. Boston University earned three first-place votes and 59 points overall, as it was selected to finish second. The University of Maine was third with 48 points, while UMBC (28), Binghamton University (27), Stony Brook University (26), the University of Vermont (24) and the University of Hartford (8) rounded out the poll.
The Wildcats, who finished third at the 2010 America East Championship meet, bring back the defending 800-meter champion in senior Allison Letourneau (Kingston, Nova Scotia), who paced the field in the event with a time of two minutes, 11.87 seconds. The 'Cats will also look to get points from senior distance runner Erica Jesseman (Scarborough, Maine), who finished second in the 5,000-meter run at the conference meet, as well as Kelly Thomas (Chichester, N.H.) and Kaitlyn Dugan (Hatfield, Pa.), who finished second and third, respectively, in the pentathlon.
The men received 39 total points, while Albany was unanimously selected to capture its sixth consecutive title with eight first-place votes and 64 points. Binghamton received the other first-place vote (coaches cannot vote for their own teams) and totaled 53 points to finish second. Boston University is third with 49 points, while UMBC (41) narrowly edged out the Wildcats for the fourth-place spot. Rounding out the rest of the poll were Maine (32), Stony Brook (18), Vermont (17) and Hartford (11).
UNH, which finished fourth last year, will look to its field athletes for leadership in 2010-11. Pacing that group is senior thrower Brice Paey (Milton, N.H.). Paey, the Most Outstanding Field Performer of the 2010 indoor championship meet, placed first in the shot put at the 2010 Indoor Championship, breaking his own America East record in the event with a throw of 58 feet, five inches. Another thrower, senior Paul DeTurk (Durham, N.H.), placed third at last year's championship in the weight throw.
The 2011 America East Championship meet will take place Feb. 18-19 at Boston University's Track and Tennis Center.
Both squads kick off their seasons Saturday, Dec. 4 at the Jay Carisella Carnival at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston, Mass. The women also take part in the Rhody Pentathlon at the University of Rhode Island on Friday, Dec. 3 at 11 a.m.