January 22, 2008

Track's Quick Start Paced by NCAA Qualifiers

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After only one event, coaches and players on the men’s and women’s track teams seem to be happy and satisfied with the quick start to their seasons.
Leading the women were two NCAA provisional qualifying performances and 10 ECAC qualifying performances at the Penn State Relays. The women then added another seven ECAC qualifying performances at the Upstate Challenge this past weekend.
“Across the board people are doing good things and are excited about the year,” said women’s head coach Lou Duesing. “I like what’s happened so far this season and now we want to keep the momentum and expand on the positives.”
Junior Jeomi Maduka led the women with two NCAA provisional qualifying performances.
Sophomore Jess Weyman won two individual events and a 4X400 relay event with fellow sophomore Megan Williams and juniors Erin Payne and Tameka Royal at the Upstate Challenge. Other individual winners on the day were freshman Kim Standridge, sophomore Lindsay Broyhill, junior Maria Matos and senior Angelica Gregory.
“The Ivy League is getting better and better and as a team we have to worry about ourselves and try improve as the season progresses,” Duesing said. “It’s easy to get caught up in specific goals and expectations for the year. We can’t control how the other teams are doing. All I can ask from my team is to keep putting in effort and to try and get better and better during the season. I’m sure that if we focus on that then we’ll do very well. It’s early in the season and we’ve already seen many personal records and ECAC qualifiers as a result.”
At the Upstate Challenege the women also saw junior Janice Nsor, sophomore Natalie Gengel, sophomore Katie Murdoch, sophomore Kerri Lyons and senior Amanda Wheate have ECAC qualifying performances.
The men have had similar success to start the season including three NCAA provisional qualifying performances and 18 IC4A qualifying performances at the Penn State Relays.
“We hope to challenge for Heps, IC4As and NCAAs,” said men’s head coach Nathan Taylor. “Right now we have three qualifiers for the NCAA and we hope to have even more by the end of the year.”
Then the squad added another NCAA provisional qualifier and nine IC4A qualifiers in its win at the Upstate Challenge.
“Track is a very long season,” Taylor said. “Some of the guys have been pretty tired with all the work we’ve put in but they were still able to come up with great individual performances.”
Junior Garrett Huyler broke the indoor school record of 7-1 in the high jump, which propelled him to a NCAA provisional qualifying performance and also one of the best performances of the year so far for the Red.
“I’m excited about the record,” Huyler said. “I’ll even have another chance to beat it at the next meet. But more importantly our team really came together during the meet and performed well. We want to keep the momentum going throughout the season, especially for the Ivies, which is hosted by Cornell this year.”