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Providence, R.I. – With the regular season finished, BIG EAST teams will be traveling to Florida for the 2012 BIG EAST Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The Championships will be held at USF Track & Field Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on May 4-6. The championship field will consist of 15 teams on the women’s side and 13 on the men’s side. In 2011, the Connecticut men and Louisville women each captured team titles. Entering the meet, only one women’s team is ranked in the USTFCCCA top 25, as Louisville comes in at No. 16.
Last year Derrick Hopkins of USF was the 100m champion with a mark of 10.44. The Bulls look to be the favorites to win the event again this year with the two fastest marks on the season. Kayvon Webster recorded a time of 10.50 while teammate Lindsey Lamar posted a mark of 10.54.
Jarret Eaton became the first Syracuse individual NCAA Champion with his first place finish in the 60-meter hurdles at the 2012 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships. He holds the BIG EAST’s fastest time of the year this season in the 110m hurdles with a time of 13.75.
David Aristil of USF will look to defend his title in the 400m hurdles. Last year he won the championship with a time of 50.03. His best mark to this season was 50.68 at the USF Bulls Invitational in March.
Jeremy Rae of Notre Dame will look to defend his title from last year. His time of 3:46.38 was good enough for first place. His best mark this season is 3:40.93 which he posted at the Mt. SAC Relays. Rae took first place in the mile at the Indoor Championship with a time of 4:05.48. He will face a talented field that includes Providence’s David McCarthy who finished fourth in the event last year but has posted the best time conversion time this year at 3:38.29. Another sub-four minute miler is Villanova’s Sam McEntee who registered a conversion time of 3:40.24
Tito Medrano and Pat Dupont of Syracuse have the two fastest times in the BIG EAST this season. Both posted season best marks at the Stanford Invitational. Medrano registered a time of 29:07.73 while Dupont posted a mark of 29:14.83.
A familiar face will once again be the athlete to be in the pole vault. Notre Dame’s Kevin Schipper is looking for his sixth BIG EAST crown. He is the three time defending champion in the Indoor event and two-time defending champion in the outdoor event. He posted a mark of 5.45 meters at the NCAA Indoor championship and will look to beat last year’s winning mark which was 5.25 meters.
Nedow won the 2011 BIG EAST outdoor championship and will look to defend his title. At the Drake Relays he registered a season best throw of 58.30m. He also took first place in the shot put at the Indoor Championship in February. Jared Thomas of USF posted the second best mark this season with a throw of 57.05m at the FSU Invitational.
Connecticut’s Aaron King was named the Men’s Field Most Outstanding performer at last year’s meet. His first-place points in the event allowed the Huskies to win the men’s team title. The Huskies will look to Jake Waruch, Ben Waruch and Samuel Smith to place will in the event this year.
100m and 200m
Cambrya Jones of Pittsburgh enters the Championships with the best times in both the 100m and 200m dash this season. She posted a time of 11.49 in the 100m and 23.10 in the 200m this season.
1,500m and 5,000m
Heather Wilson of Connecticut has dominated the 800m this year and was able to grab fifth place in the Olympic Development Women's Mile Run last weekend at the Penn Relays, crossing the finish line with a time of 4:40.92.
Last year, Villanova’s Sheila Reid was the national champion in both the 1500 meters and the 5000 meters, becoming the first woman ever to double up in winning both of those events at the same NCAA meet. She also won individual titles at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in 2010 and 2011. Georgetown’s Rachel Schneider posted a time of 4:16.21 in the 1,500m at the Mt. SAC Relays. She enters the championship with the best time in the event this season.
Syracuse’s Heather Stephens ran the BIG EAST’s fastest time in the steeple this season with a time of 10:11.51. Her teammate Katie Hursey has the third fastest time this at 10:16.57. Last weekend Providence’s Hannah Davidson placed first at the Penn Relay’s with a time of 10:13.07.
Shot Put and Discus
Louisville will rely heavily on its throws as it hopes to defend its title from last year. Chinwe Okoro enters the Championships with the season’s best marks in both the shot put and the discus. Her best mark in the shot put was 17.16m at the Lenny Lyles-Clark Wood Invitational. Her two teammates, Khadija Abdullah and Amashi-Ali Kendall have the second and third best puts this season. Okoro’s best discus throw of the year was 56.40m. Abdullah has the second best conference throw this season at 54.75m.
Connecticut will depend upon an outstanding performance from Victoria Flowers. Flowers has had a great season so far, setting a school record in the hammer throw with a toss of 63.24m. The mark is the best in the BIG EAST this season followed by Kendall of Louisville who registered a mark of 57.69m.
Last year’s defending champion in the 100m hurdles, 400m hurdles and the long jump was West Virginia’s Chelsea Carrier-Eades. For her efforts she was named the women’s most outstanding track performer. She enters the meet with the highest point total this season in the heptathlon with a score of 5,821 at the 2012 Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. At that meet she defeated Notre Dame’s Maddie Buttinger who enters with the second highest point total this season at 5,329.
10 BIG EAST Schools Earn Season’s Weekly Awards
Each week of the season, the BIG EAST selected men’s and women’s Track and Field athletes of the week. A total of 24 awards were received by 10 different schools. Individually, Louisville senior Chinwe Okoro led all competitors with three awards.
Men’s Field Athlete of the Week
March 27 – Jared Thomas, USF
April 2 – Jared Thomas, USF
April 10 – Tim Nedow, DePaul
April 17 – Kevin Schipper, Notre Dame
April 24 – Kevin Schipper, Notre Dame
May 1- Tim Nedow, DePaul
Women’s Field Athlete of the Week
March 27 – Shaniel Chambers, USF
April 2 – Chelsea Carrier-Eades, West Virginia
April 10 – Chinwe Okoro, Louisville
April 17 – Chinwe Okoro, Louisville
April 24 – Chinwe Okoro, Louisville
May 1 – Jessica Molyet, Cincinnati
Men’s Track Athlete of the Week
March 27 – Tashaun Hill, Pittsburgh
April 2 – David Aristil, USF
April 10 – Jeremy Rae, Syracuse
April 17 – Brycen Spratling, Pittsburgh
April 24 – Calvin Arsenault, Louisville
May 1 – Claudio DelliCarpini, Connecticut
Women’s Track Athlete of the Week
March 27 – Melissa Fraser, DePaul
April 2 – Brigitte Mania, Connecticut
April 10 – Cambrya Jones, Pittsburgh
April 17 – Cambrya Jones, Pittsburgh
April 24- Katie Hursey, Syracuse
May 1 – Hannah Davidson, Providence
BIG EAST Web Coverage/Live Streaming
BIGEAST.tv will be streaming live coverage of the 2012 BIG EAST Outdoor Track and Field Championships. For all of the BIG EAST’s coverage of the Outdoor Track and Field Championships, visit the 2012 Championship Central page at the link below.