April 23, 2010
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Athletic Complex will be the venue for the Little East Conference and New England Alliance Track and Field Championships Saturday.
Fourteen teams will compete in the meet, which will determine the conference championships for the LEC and the Massachusetts Collegiate Athletic Conference, as well as the New England Alliance. The Corsairs will battle Eastern Connecticut State, Rhode Island College, Keene State, UMass Boston and Southern Maine from the LEC, as well as MASCAC members Westfield State, Fitchburg State, Worcester State, Salem State, Bridgewater State and Massachusetts Maritime.
"We're pleased to be hosting the meet," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Steve Gardiner. "We hope to allow the student-athletes in the Little East and the MASCAC to perform at the highest level they can perform at. We want to be able to provide an environment for everyone to be as successful as possible, for the meet to run as smoothly as possible, and provide a great opportunity for competition."
Last year, the Corsair men were third in the LEC and fifth in the Alliance, while the women were fifth in the LEC and eighth in the Alliance, and they hope to move up this season. "We want to improve on how we did last year," said Gardiner. "We want to build on what we did indoors, and we think the team is coming together to be able to give us an opportunity to do that."
The competition will be tough. "In the Little East, the favorite will be Southern Maine, on both the men's and women's side," said Gardiner. "Southern Maine's men were the Alliance champions last year, and Westfield State's women won the Alliance title over Southern Maine. This year, Worcester State's women unseated Westfield indoors, while Southern Maine's men and women won the LEC titles. "Southern Maine is the favorite in the Little East and should battle Westfield for the Alliance title," said Gardiner. "Worcester State is an up and coming program."
In February, UMD's men finished second and the women were third in the LEC Championships, and Gardiner is hoping for similar success Saturday. "I'd like to see us repeat what we did indoors," said Gardiner. "We'd like to try to position ourselves to be one of the top teams in Alliance. We have to have a good performance from everyone on Saturday."
UMASS DARTMOUTH TRACK AND FIELD