Track Teams Ready For Outdoor Championships
MADISON, N.J. – The Landmark Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championship returns to the scene of the inaugural event as four-time Champions Moravian College serve as host for the meet at Timothy Breidegam Track & Rocco Calvo Field in Bethlehem, Pa.
Competition begins at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday with the men's 10,000-meter run and will wrap up at approximately 4 p.m. Saturday evening. The meet will wrap up on Sunday when competition resumes at 11 a.m. and is scheduled to conclude at approximately 3:30 p.m.
Moravian has dominated the Landmark Championships, earning the men's and women's title in each of the four previous competitions. They will try to maintain those titles against, The Catholic University of America, Goucher College, Juniata College, Susquehanna University, and the United States Merchant Marine Academy. Additionally event winners will be recognized in 19 individual events and a pair of relays.
The women's team competition at the Indoor Championship this past winter was the closest in conference history, which suggests the competition between Moravian and Susquehanna could be extremely tight. Moravian's overall depth and variety of standout performers, led by All-Americans Abigail Schaffer and Micah Leonard make them extremely tough to beat. Susquehanna was within 34 points of the Greyhounds at the indoor meet and are also strong in a variety of areas, particularly in the throws where Jessica Ranck is one of the standouts. Freshman Laura Alleva has also provided a boost with strong efforts in the long sprints.
There was little separating the next three teams at the Indoor Championship, and Goucher, Catholic and Juniata will all try to finish in the top half of the standings and challenge the top two. Led by distance performer Camelia Mayfield and record-holding thrower Kelly Carioto, Catholic was third at the indoor meet. Goucher has benefitted from the addition of freshman Destiny Phillips who is a threat to win multiple events, and they also feature last year's Track Athlete of the Year Jaclyn Kellon. Juniata were the third place team last season with Angela Shaffer earning significant points, and the team also has Katrina Woods who ranks as one of the top mid-distance runners in the Landmark. USMMA produced the highest point total in its history at the Landmark Indoor Championships and has put together a strong outdoor campaign with Lauren Rattan showing well in the long sprints and Tara Mulligan ranking among the Landmark best in the hammer throw.
In the men's competition All-Americans Gary Zack and Steve Ambrosi lead a talented Moravian squad as it looks for a fifth-consecutive title. The distance pairing of Donald Noble and Matt Lutcza are also standouts as the Greyhounds have strength in a variety of events and will try to ride that depth to another title.
A mere three points separated Susquehanna and USMMA in second and third place at the Indoor Championship and both teams will battle again for those positions and try to challenge Moravian for the title. Susquehanna has a talented duo of distance competitors in Joe Zamadics and Ian Quinlan, and Ken Schetroma is capable of winning multiple throwing events. USMMA is led by the dynamic freshmen pairing of Chris Cook and Tomas Sanchez who each won events at the Indoor Championship.
Juniata has finished third at every Outdoor Championship and will also be a threat for the top half of the standings. Ceth Parker has established several new school records this spring, while Nicholas Bauer is the two-time defending long jump champion. Goucher's Joey Negreann has consistently been one of the top distance performers in the Landmark while Doug Falk is a contender in the jumps. Catholic's Sean Brubaker leads a strong group of throwers for the Cardinals and Joe Quigley comes in highly seeded in the long sprints.
Once competition wraps up on Sunday, Landmark teams will compete at various last-chance meets over the next few weeks in attempts to qualify for the NCAA Division III Championships which will be held May 24-26 in Claremont, Calif. hosted by Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges. Last season the Landmark sent nine athletes to the NCAA Championships and had three competitors earn All-America honors.