VILLANOVA, Pa. – After three days of competition at Jumbo Elliott Track at Villanova Stadium, the Connecticut men and Louisville women captured the 2011 BIG EAST Outdoor Track & Field Championship titles. It is the fourth-straight BIG EAST Women’s Outdoor Track & Field title for the Cardinals. Connecticut won its first team title since 2002 and third overall.
The Cardinals totaled 117 points to top second-place West Virginia by 10 points on the women’s side. Louisville became the second team in BIG EAST history to win four-straight Outdoor championships, and the first since Miami won four consecutive titles from 2001-2004. The Cardinals also are the first team to win both the Indoor and Outdoor titles in the same year since Pittsburgh accomplished the feat in 2005.
Louisville did its damage in the field events, claiming four individual titles. Senior D’Ana McCarty led the Cardinals with three event wins to become the 2011 BIG EAST Women’s Most Outstanding Field Performer. After winning the hammer throw on Friday and setting a meet record to win the shot put on Saturday, the senior won the discus on Sunday with a toss of 52.72 meters. McCarty helped the Cardinals score 62 points in the hammer throw, shot put and discus combined.
Senior Rachel Gehret rounded out the event winners for the Cardinals, claiming her second career Outdoor high jump title. Gehret cleared a height of 1.81 meters to beat out West Virginia senior Katelyn Williams. Gehret also was the high jump champion in 2008 as a freshman.
West Virginia had its highest team finish ever at the BIG EAST Outdoor Track & Field Championship, claiming second with 107 points. West Virginia notched five event titles to tie for the most by the program at the BIG EAST Championship.
The Mountaineers were boosted by a standout performance by junior Chelsea Carrier, who was named 2011 BIG EAST Most Outstanding Track Performer. Carrier claimed two event titles on Sunday, giving her three for the meet. After winning the long jump on Saturday, Carrier swept the hurdle events on Sunday. The junior set a stadium record in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.07. She followed that with a win in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 57.48, the best time in the BIG EAST this season and 12th-best mark in the country. Carrier also competed in the 4x100 relay and 4x400 relay, helping the Mountaineers finish fourth and third, respectively, in those events. She is the second WVU athlete to earn the award the first since 1996.
Led by head coach Sean Cleary, West Virginia also earned Women’s Coaching Staff of the Year.
Connecticut placed third with 89 points. Senior Trisha-Ann Hawthorne made BIG EAST Championship history, winning two events on Sunday to give her 10 career BIG EAST Outdoor Track & Field Championship titles. The 10 career titles ties her with Seton Hall’s Flirtisha Harris and Villanova’s Patty Bradley for the most by a BIG EAST athlete. The eight individual titles are the most for a BIG EAST athlete in the history of the championship.
Hawthorne completed a four-peat in both the 100 and the 200-meter dash events, becoming the first BIG EAST athlete to win two separate events four years in a row. Her time of 11.31 in the 100 set a stadium record and was just .01 off the BIG EAST Championship record. She followed that by running a BIG EAST season-best time of 23.22 in the 200.
On the men’s side, Connecticut totaled 141 points to top second-place Notre Dame by eight points. The Huskies claimed both the Indoor and Outdoor team titles for the first time since 2002. Connecticut claimed four event titles en route to the first-place finish.
The Huskies were led by junior Aaron King, who was named BIG EAST Men’s Most Outstanding Field Performer. King became the first BIG EAST athlete to win the title in both the Indoor heptathlon and the Outdoor decathlon in the same season. He also placed second in the triple jump with a leap of 15.47 meters.
The Huskies trailed by four points through 20 events until claiming a one-two finish in the triple jump. Senior Tyrone Faverey finished first with a jump of 15.57 meters, with King finishing second. The Huskies 4x100-meter relay team also claimed an event title with a BIG EAST season-best time of 40.69. The team included junior Kashif Moore, sophomore Kevin Smith, freshman Darnell Cummings and sophomore Jesse Drinks. Led by head coach Greg Roy, Connecticut also earned Men’s Coaching Staff of the Year.
Notre Dame ended a string of three-straight BIG EAST Outdoor Track & Field titles by finishing second with 133 points. The Irish have placed in the top two of the meet in nine of the last 10 years. The squad finished second despite setting a program record with six event titles at the championship.
Junior Kevin Schipper kept the pole vault title in the family after winning the title for the second-straight year, clearing a height of 5.25 meters. The Schippers have won the pole vault event each of the last three years, with Kevin’s brother Matt taking first in 2009.
Other Irish event winners included sophomore Jeremy Rae, who won the 1,500-meter run in a time of 3:46.38. Senior Jack Howard won the 800 to become the first Irish athlete to win the event. Notre Dame freshman Patrick Feeney, the 2011 BIG EAST Indoor Track & Field 400 meter champion, won the Outdoor title in the event with a time of 47.27.
Cincinnati junior Terrence Somerville was named BIG EAST Men’s Most Outstanding Track Performer after setting a BIG EAST Championship record in the 110-meter hurdles. Somerville won the event in a time of 13.44. The previous record was 13.50 set in 2000.
Louisville finished third with 99 points while USF placed fourth with 95 points. It was the highest finish for the Bulls at the BIG EAST Championship since joining the conference in 2005-2006. The squad collected three event titles, including the second-straight 400-meter hurdle win for David Aristil.
Other Notable Performances:
Villanova senior Sheila Reid notched a pair of individual title. She won the 1,500-meter run in a time of 4:23.98. Reid became the fourth Wildcat to win the event in the last seven years and the first since 2008. The senior also took first in the 5,000-meter run, edging out Georgetown sophomore Emily Infeld with a time of 16:13.29.
Georgetown’s 4x800-meter relay team set a BIG EAST Championship record, taking first with a time of 8:35.62. The team included freshman Madeline Chambers, freshman Emily Menges, junior Lauren Borduin and senior Renee Tomlin.
Rutgers sophomore James Plummer won his second-straight discus title. Plummer had a toss of 59.29 meters, the longest throw at the championship since 2005.
USF sophomore Derrick Hopkins became the first USF athlete to win the 100-meter dash. He finished in 10.44 seconds, with senior teammate Antillio Bastian placing third with a time of 10.58. Bastian won the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.15.
Men’s Most Outstanding Track Performer
Terence Somerville, Cincinnati
Men’s Most Outstanding Field Performer
Aaron King, Connecticut
Men’s Coaching Staff of the Year
Women’s Most Outstanding Track Performer
Chelsea Carrier, West Virginia
Women’s Most Outstanding Field Performer
D’Ana McCarty, Louisville
Women’s Coaching Staff of the Year
Final Standings and Point Totals
1. Connecticut, 141 points
2. Notre Dame, 133
3. Louisville, 99
4. USF, 95
5. Rutgers, 66
6. Cincinnati, 63.5
7. Villanova, 59
8. Georgetown, 55
9. Syracuse, 53
10. Pittsburgh, 40
11. Marquette, 20.5
12. DePaul, 18
13. Providence, 13
1. Louisville, 117 points
2. West Virginia, 107
3. Connecticut, 89
4. Georgetown, 84
5. Villanova, 79.50
6. Cincinnati, 77
7. Syracuse, 69
8. USF, 58
9. Pittsburgh, 57
10. Notre Dame, 45.5
11. DePaul, 30
12. Rutgers, 19
13. St. John’s, 12
14. Marquette, 8
15. Providence, 5
Decathlon – Aaron King, Connecticut, 7,042 points
100m – Derrick Hopkins, USF, 10.60
200m – Antillio Bastian, USF, 21.15
400m – Patrick Feeney, Notre Dame, 47.27
800m – Jack Howard, Notre Dame, 1:48.24
1,500m – Jeremy Rae, Notre Dame, 3:46.38
5,000m – Eric Finan, Cincinnati, 14:11.43
10,000m – Tito Medrano, Syracuse, 29:34.06
110m Hurdles – Terence Somerville, Cincinnati, 13.44*
400m Hurdles – David Aristil, USF, 50.03
3,000m Steeplechase – Matt Hughes, Louisville, 8:44.39
4x100 Relay – Connecticut (K. Moore, K. Smith, D. Cummings, J. Drinks), 40.69
4x400 Relay – Rutgers (K. Brown, S. Werner, C. Caidenhead, A. Younger), 3:08.82
4x800 Relay – Notre Dame (K. Labus, J. Shawel, J. Rae, J. Howard), 7:24.91
Javelin – Cody Unger, Connecticut, 70.19m (230’-03”)
Discus – James Plummer, Rutgers, 59.29m (194’-06”)
Shot Put – Tim Nedow, DePaul, 17.75m (58’-03.00”)
Hammer – John Belcher, Notre Dame, 58.89m (193’-02”)
Pole Vault – Kevin Schipper, Notre Dame, 5.25m (17’-02.75”)
Long Jump – Wesley Smith, Louisville, 7.63m (25’-00.50”)
High Jump – Mike Edwards, Louisville, 2.13m (6’-11.75”)
Triple Jump - Tyrone Feeney, Connecticut, 15.57m (51’-01.00”)
Heptathlon – Kelsey Rubeor, Syracuse, 5,680 points
100m – Trisha-Ann Hawthorne, Connecticut, 11.31
200m – Trisha-Ann Hawthorne, Connecticut, 23.51
400m – April Rotilio, West Virginia, 52.71
800m – Renee Tomlin, Georgetown, 2:05.42
1,500m – Sheila Reid, Villanova, 4:23.98
5,000m – Sheila Reid, Villanova, 16:13.29
10,000m – Kate Harrison, West Virginia, 33:59.84
100m Hurdles – Chelsea Carrier, West Virginia, 13.07
400m Hurdles – Chelsea Carrier, West Virginia, 57.48
3,000m Steeplechase – Meghan Cunningham, Connecticut, 10:14.07
4x100 Relay – Pittsburgh (A. Woodford, D. Mills, L. Pugh, C. Jones), 44.93
4x400 Relay – Cincinnati (S. Portis, A. Arnold, K. Klump, A. Rhodes), 3:38.43
4x800 Relay – Georgetown (M. Chambers, E. Menges, L. Borduin, R. Tomlin), 8:35.62*
Javelin – Melissa Fraser, DePaul, 51.95m (170’-05”)
Discus – D’Ana McCarty, Louisville, 52.72m (172’-11”)
Shot Put – D’Ana McCarty, Louisville, 16.72m (54’-10.25”)*
Hammer – D’Ana McCarty, Louisville, 59.59m (195’-06”)
Pole Vault – Denise vonEynatten, USF, 4.21m (13’-09.75”)*
Long Jump – Chelsea Carrier, West Virginia, 6.42m (21’-00.75”)
High Jump – Rachel Gehret, Louisville, 1.81m (5’-11.25”)
Triple Jump – Ieva Staponkute, Syracuse, 12.81m (42’-00.50”)
* meet record