Saturday, February 22, 2003

UAlbany Men Capture America East Conference Indoor Track Championship

BOSTON, MA (February 22, 2003) -- University at Albany’s Paul Roche won the 55-meter high hurdles, his third individual event of the meet, to lead his team to the men’s championship at the 15th annual America East Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday, Feb. 22 at Boston University Track and Tennis Center.

The Great Danes, who won their first-ever America East title in a team sport since joining the conference in September 2001, scored 148.25 points, and were well ahead of Boston U. (124) and three-time defending champion Northeastern (119.50).

Roche, a senior captain, sprinted a personal-best 7.60 seconds to win the 55-hurdles and tied for fourth in the high jump (6-4). Roche, who won the pentathlon and long jump on Friday, was named the Most Outstanding Male Field Performer.

Kristof Molnar was a winner in the 1,000-meter run, as he posted an IC4A-qualifying time of 2:29.11. Molnar also anchored the 4x800 relay to a second-place finish in a school-record 7:44.53. Naron Stewart repeated as the America East indoor high jump champion, as he cleared the bar at 6-feet, 10.25 inches.

Freshman Ed Hilts surprised the field by winning the 55-meter dash, as he out-leaned New Hampshire’s Ronald Harvey at the tape in 6.58 seconds. Aggrey Morris was second in the 400-meter dash, and was clocked in a school-record 47.74. Galen Gomes also turned in a second-place effort in the triple jump (46-6).

"I thought we had a shot, but I never believed we would have it wrapped up by the time we got to the relays (the last events)," said Albany coach Roberto Vives, whose team finished second to Northeastern in last year’s championship. "It was a total team effort. Confidence and conditioning were the reasons Paul Roche was able to score in four events. He did his homework and worked hard in the preseason."

In the women’s meet, the Great Danes ended up in third with 76 points behind Northeastern (163) and Boston U. (114). Teresa Covert, who was second in the long jump on the first day, won the 55-meter hurdles in 8.07 seconds and took fifth in the 200-dash in 25.54.

Jennifer Aubin placed second in the triple jump with a mark of 38-feet, 6-inches. Alexis Bowens, Dinnah Decatus, and Zerlinda Martinez each recorded a fifth-place showing in the shot put, 800 and 1,000 events. Bowens, a outside hitter on the UAlbany volleyball team, threw 40-feet, 3.25-inches.

America East Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships

(Final Scores)

MEN – 1. Albany 148.25, 2. Boston U. 124, 3. Northeastern 119.50, 4. New Hampshire 94, 5. Maine 55, 6. Binghamton 38.25, 7. Stony Brook 38.

WOMEN – 1. Northeastern 163, 2. Boston U. 114, 3. Albany 76, 4. Stony Brook 64, 5. New Hampshire 63.50, 6. (tie) Maine and Vermont 60, 8. Binghamton 19.50.

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