December 2, 2009

MEN'S AND WOMEN'S INDOOR TRACK & FIELD PICKED NEAR TOP OF POLL

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The America East conference announced Tuesday that the University of New Hampshire men's and women's indoor track and field teams were selected second and third, respectively, in the preseason coaches' poll.

The men, who received one first-place vote and 52 total points, trailed only Albany, which garnered eight first-place votes and 64 points as they were picked to win a record fifth straight title. Binghamton was chosen third with 49 points, while UMBC (41) narrowly edged out Boston University (39) for the fourth-place spot. Rounding out the rest of the poll were Maine (29), Vermont (25), Stony Brook (17) and Hartford (8).

After finishing only five points out of second last year, the men are returning an experienced

Ashlee Lathrop

squad hungry for a championship title. The Wildcats will be led by junior Brice Paey (Milton, N.H.), who won the 2009 shot put championship and set an America East Championship record. Paey's throw qualified him for the IC4A Championship where he placed fourth. Also returning for UNH is senior runner Will Brehm (Pembroke, N.H.), who claimed three top-three finishes at the conference championship in the 200, 400 and 4x400. Brehm also placed second in both the 200-meter and the 4x400-meter relay at the New England Indoor Championship last year. Sophomore William Godfrey (Merrimack, N.H.) returns for the Wildcats a more experienced runner after placing second in the 500 at the 2009 championship and third as a member of the 4x400 relay. The Wildcats lose one of their leaders from last year's championship, Spencer Shaw, a record-setting long jumper, to graduation.

The women, who also received one first-place vote and garnered 52 total points, were edged by Albany with 56 points. Boston University earned six first-place votes and 64 points as they were selected to also capture a record fifth straight title. Maine was fourth with 35 points, while the five through seven spots were separated by a total of just three points. Vermont was fifth with 31, Binghamton sixth at 30 and Stony Brook seventh with 29. UMBC (20) and Hartford (9) rounded out the poll.

The women return a strong group of more experienced athletes ready to compete for an America East title. Both of UNH's individual America East champions return this year, including seniors Rita Ciambra (Hanover, N.H.) and Ashlee Lathrop (Sherburne, N.Y.). Ciambra won the pole vault, breaking the 2004 championship record and qualifying for the ECAC Championship. Ciambra also won her second straight New England indoor pole vault title last year. Lathrop won her title in the weight throw and also qualified for the ECAC meet. The Wildcats also return all the members of their distance medley relay that claimed last year's title. Sophomore Keely Maguire (Georgetown, Mass.) and juniors Catherine Perella (Bedford, N.H.), Allison Letourneau (Kingston, Nova Scotia) and Sydney Fitzpatrick (Billerica, Mass.) won the distance medley last year and qualified for the ECAC meet. Junior Kaitlyn Dugan (Hatfield, Pa.) also scored a top finish for UNH last year, placing second in the pentathlon.

Both squads kick off their seasons Saturday, Dec. 5 at the Jay Carisella Carnival at the Reggie Lewis Center. The women also take part in the Rhody Pentathlon at the University of Rhode Island on Friday, Dec. 4 at 11 a.m.

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