Lafayette Track and Field Gears Up for Patriot League Championships
Feb. 21, 2008
EASTON, Pa. - The Lafayette track and field team will travel to Bucknell for the Patriot League Championships that on Friday through Sunday. The Leopards bring four ECAC qualifiers and five IC4A qualifiers as well as seven school record holders to the event.
"We are excited about the championships," said head coach Julio Piazza. "On the women's side we feel we have a chance to finish in the top three. The men's team has had a great year of practice and they are really looking forward to showing themselves and the rest of the league what they can do."
Senior Ashley Harbin and junior Osasumwen Izevbigie will lead the throwers on the women's side. Harbin broke her own school record in the weight throw (64'8") at the Crowell Open on Jan. 12 to qualify for ECACs. She also hit the NCAA provisional standard which puts her in the pool for the NCAA Championships. Harbin finished second in the weight throw last year at both the Patriot League Indoor Championships and ECACs and will be looking to take the title in this year's competition.
Izevbigie has qualified to compete in two events at ECACs, hitting the standards in both the weight throw and the shot put. She broke the indoor school record in the shot put at Lafayette's opening meet on Dec. 7 with a throw of 48'. Recently, Izevbigie took home titles in both events at the Lafayette/Rider Invitational on Feb. 15.
Sophomore Connor McGee will represent the men in the shot put, along with junior Sean McAuley and freshman Matt Crystal. McGee threw a personal best 52'2" at the Lafayette Invitational to hit the IC4A qualifying mark.
In the sprints, Janica Austin has set two school records in her freshman year. The three-time Patriot League Rookie of the Week first broke the 60-meter hurdles record at the Penn State Invitational on Jan. 26 with a time of 8.72 seconds, qualifying her for ECAC competition. She later broke her own record at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational on Feb. 9, lowering her time to 8.69. The same weekend she set a new Lafayette record in the 200-meters (25.51).
Sophomore Kyle Clayton also qualified for IC4A competition in the sprints, running the 60-meter dash in 6.97 seconds at the Lafayette/Lehigh Dual to tie his personal record. The previous week Clayton set a new school record in the heptathlon (4,769 points) at the Bison Open, surpassing the school record he set at last year's Patriot League Indoor Championships by 455 points.
Three Leopards have qualified for IC4As in middle-distance events. Seniors Pete Reynolds and Alex Wechsler hit the qualifying standard in the 1,000-meters at the NYC Gotham Cup at The Armory in New York City on Jan. 12. Sophomore Matthew DeBlander later joined them by qualifying in the same event at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational on Feb. 9. Reynolds also qualified in the 800-meters last week at the Lafayette/Rider Invitational, running 1:53.26 to place eighth.
Junior Jessica Buzzell, who holds the indoor school record for the long jump, leapt a distance of 18' 9¾" to qualify for ECACs as she took first place at the Lafayette/Lehigh Dual. Buzzell finished second in the long jump at the Patriot League Indoor Championships last season.
The action begins at noon on Friday with the women's pentathlon and the men's heptathlon. For more information, visit the 2008 Patriot League Indoor Championships page at www.patriotleague.com.
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