Indoor Track and Field Opens 2013 Slate At West Point

Photo: Kareem Morris (left) and Tynelle Taylor-Chase (right).

ALBANY, N.Y. - Having won 11 indoor conference championships in a 10-year span, the University at Albany indoor men's and women's track and field programs look to continue their proven success as they open the 2013 season this Friday and Saturday at the Carlton Crowell Open at West Point.

The multi-event meet will mark the first intercollegiate competition of the season for the Great Danes, having warmed up with an on-campus intrasquad meet last month. Including the Crowell Open, UAlbany will participate in five indoor competitions, leading up to the America East Championships in Boston, Mass., Feb. 11th and 12th.

THE MEN
After collecting a seventh straight America East indoor track and field championship in 2012, the UAlbany men once again return a strong squad in 2012-13. The Great Danes have also won nine of the last ten years and would tie Northeastern for the most indoor championships in conference history with 10 if they can repeat yet again.
The men have also won three IC4A Championships in the last five years (Indoors 2008-09, 2009-10 and Outdoors 2009).

UAlbany has plenty of firepower coming back from a championship squad that included the Most Outstanding Field Performer and the Coaching Staff of the Year from the America East Championship in 2012-13. Junior Alfonso Scannapieco (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) won the pole vault and the heptathlon en route to winning MOP for the field events. Classmate Kareem Morris (Albany, N.Y.) was third in the long jump and sophomore Alexander Bowen (Beacon, N.Y.) is coming off a first-place showing in the high jump. UAlbany also figures to do well in the distance events as senior Aliaksandr Leuchanka (Clifton Park, N.Y.), also an all-conference performer in cross country, returns after winning the 5000 meter run a year ago.

THE WOMEN
UAlbany fell four and a half points short of Boston U. last season, after winning its first two America East Championships in 2010 and 2011. The Great Danes will once again be in the title hunt this year, led by senior Patricia McNish (Great Neck, N.Y.). McNish won both the long jump and triple jump last year and is the UAlbany record holder in the long jump. Classmate Sherez Mohamed (Albany, N.Y.) is the defending champion in the 500 meter dash and should be a force in the sprints along with senior Allison Rogers (Amherst, N.Y.).

LAST YEAR AT CROWELL
On the men's side, Elijah Pardo clocked an 8.40 60-meter hurdle to place fifth. Alfonso Scannapieco placed first in the heptathlon with 4,956 points, while Matthew Catera earned third (4,771 points). Scannapieco had first-place marks for the long (21-07.25) and high jump (06.25) events as well as in the pole vault (15-03.00). Catera finished first in the 60-meter hurdles portion of the seven-event with an 8.65 second sprint. For the women, then freshman hurdler Michelle Anthony placed fourth in her first collegiate event with a 9.33 second 60-meter hurdle time.

HISTORY OF SUCCESS: UAlbany Track & Field's 26 AEast Championships
▪ Men's Indoor
2002-03, 2003-04, 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12
▪ Women's Indoor
2009-10, 2010-11
▪ Men's Outdoor
2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
▪ Women's Outdoor
2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

RECORD NEWCOMERS
The Great Danes will have a fantastic mix of youth and experience this season with a program-record 40 student-athletes entering their first season with the Danes -- 29 freshmen (15 men, 14 women), nine transfers and two graduate students. Six of the newcomers hail from the Capital Region.

NO PLACE LIKE HOME
A part of that 40-athlete group, the Great Danes welcome two former Capital Region stars back to the area -- graduate student Stephen Crouse (Colonie Central/University of Kentucky) and transfer Brittney Lane (Greenwich Central/Sacred Heart University). Crou
se, a former High School All-American in the triple jump, will add strength in the horizontal jumps as well as the sprints. Crouse has personal best marks of: 50' 4.5" - triple jump, 23' 6" - long jump, 7.09 - 60m, 21.82 - 200m, and 7.57 - 55HH.  Lane also brings a terrific resume, with personal best marks of: 4:41.62 - 1,500m, 4:59.06 - mile, 9:51.47 - 3,000m, 16:57.01 - 5,000m, and 37:34.42 - 10,000m.

SWEEPING DOMINANCE
In 2011-12, the UAlbany men became the first men's team since 1998 (New Hampshire) to sweep the cross country, indoor, and outdoor track and field America East titles.

VIVES ERA
UAlbany's Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Roberto Vives is in his 28th season at the helm. Vives has coached 141 All-America athletes and 14 individual NCAA champions in his tenure. In addition to being a two-time USTFCCCA Regional Men's Coach of the Year, last season Vives headed the Men's Indoor and the Women's Outdoor Coaching Staffs of the Year, representing the 15th and 16th America East Staff honors under his direction.

WALL OF FAME
This fall, the UAlbany cross country and track and field program inducted eight former athletes and coaches into the inaugural Wall of Fame Sept. 29th. Teresa Covert '04, Joe Greene '08, Dr. Tim Hoff '87, Deborah Rohrmiller-Baranowski '79, and Carlo Cherubino '76 were all inducted as athletes, while former coaches Dr. Kevin Williams, Barbara "Bobbi" Palma and R. Keith Munsey were also honored.

UP NEXT
The UAlbany men's and women's indoor squads travel to State College, Pa. where they will compete in the Nittany Lion Challenge Jan. 12th.