Lafayette Women Picked Second In Patriot League Track & Field Preseason Poll
March 20, 2008
EASTON, Pa. - The Lafayette women's track & field team has been selected second in the Patriot League preseason poll. The Leopards collected four first-place votes and 86 points overall. The team begins its outdoor season on Friday at the Shamrock Invitational, hosted by Coastal Carolina University.
The women boast three defending league champions in seniors Ashley Harbin (hammer) and Kristen Kalinowski (heptathlon) and junior Osasumwen Izevbigie (shot put). All three athletes also picked up league titles at the Patriot League Indoor Championships last month and Harbin became the first Lafayette female to qualify for the NCAA Championships, where she finished 12th in the 20lb. weight throw.
The women's team is coming off a second-place finish at the Patriot League Indoor Championships. Freshman Janica Austin was named the Female Rookie of the Meet after winning the 60-meter hurdles and scoring points in the 60 and 200-meter dashes. Kalinowski was honored as the Field Athlete of the Meet for her wins in the pentathlon and high jump, and head coach Julio Piazza was named the Patriot League Coach of the Year.
The men's team was picked to come in seventh in the preseason poll, earning 38 points overall. Sophomore Kyle Clayton was an integral component of the team's success in the indoor season, picking up league titles in the 60 and 200 meters. The Manasquan, N.J. native also broke the school record in the heptathlon by scoring 4, 769 points at the Bison Open on Jan. 26. Clayton finished fifth in the decathlon at last year's outdoor championships.
The men's 4x800m relay team broke the indoor school record at the IC4A Championships on Mar. 9 with a time of 7:32.00 to earn All-East recognition for a second consecutive year. Seniors Brian Vail, Aaron Buchman and Pete Reynolds and sophomore Sean Casey will continue to work together throughout the outdoor season with assistance from sophomore Rob Blum.
Lafayette travels to Conway, S.C. over spring break to participate in the Shamrock Invitational. The heptathlon and decathlon events begin on Thursday, while the rest of the track and field events are scheduled to begin on Friday. Sean McAuley and Matt Crystal will be the first Leopards to compete in the Invitational, participating in the men's hammer throw on Friday at noon.