Track Teams Look to Move Up

Track Teams Look to Move Up

Dec. 4, 2009

NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's indoor track and field teams are looking to improve as they begin their schedule this Saturday. They will participate at Northeastern's Jay Carisella Track and Field Invitational at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston.

"I think we'll be improved in both genders," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Steve Gardiner. "We should be better, if the pre-season workouts are any indication."

"Our women's team graduated only (senior) Hilary Baker T(Middleborough, MA/Middleborough HS, who scored in the Little East Conference meet indoors in the shot put," said Gardiner. "We return some others, and we added few promising freshmen as well. (Senior) Jess Carpenter (Rutland, MA/Wachusett Regional HS), who will be a middle distance runner; (junior) Linee Mello-Frost (New Bedford, MA/New Bedford HS), who was the conference champion indoor in the hurdles; and (junior) Briley Morrill (Whitman, MA/Whitman-Hanson Regional HS), who leads our sprinters, will be our captains. Joining us from cross country will be (sophomore) Caitlin McGarigal (Shutesbury, MA/Amherst-Pelham Regional HS), who pretty much burst on the scene this fall with nor organized running experience and had a really fine season. We expect her to be a valuable runner at 3000 and 5000 meters during the year. We also have (junior) Jermai Harrison (Brockton, MA/Brockton HS), the conference meet record holder in the shot put and the conference champion indoors and outdoors, and (sophomore) Brittany Cole (Dartmouth, MA/Dartmouth HS), who scored both indoors and outdoors in the shot put. Both of them have had really good off-seasons, and made major progress this year."

Some newcomers will also be counted on. "Our promising freshmen include Jillian Van Ness (Agawam, MA/Agawam HS), the state Division II champion in the 55 meter dash, and her teammate, (freshman) Alison Black (Feeding Hills, MA/Agawam HS), who will be running sprints and long jumping for us. Another freshman is Kim Urena (Marlborough, MA/Marlborough HS), who will make her presence felt in the conference running the 400 through the 800. Also returning are (sophomore) Kristina Lundquist (Yarmouthport, MA/Dennis-Yarmouth HS) in the hurdles, (sophomore) Megan Oliveira (Somerset, MA/Somerset HS) in the middle distance races, and (sophomores) Stacey Dybel (Littleton, MA/Notre Dame HS) and Tessa McGrail (Shrewsbury, MA/Shrewsbury HS) in the distance races."

The men's team has several key performers returning. "We will return the majority of our men's team, with the exception of two conference champs, (senior) Tyler Buck (Valley Center, CA/Valley Center HS) at 600 meters and (graduate student) Eric Holmes (Abington, MA/Abington HS), a three-time conference champion in the steeplechase outdoors."

The hurdles should be a strength. "All five of our hurdlers qualified for the Division III New Englands, and they all return," said Gardiner. "We'll have (juniors) Jeff Beal (Townsend, MA/North Middlesex HS), Nick Deininger (North Attleboro, MA/North Attleboro HS), James Morgan (Stoneham, MA/Stoneham HS/Assumption) and Marcus Williams (Worcester, MA/Doherty HS) and (sophomore) Brian McArdle (Winchester, MA/Winchester HS), so we'll be pretty deep there. We have (sophomore) Hymlaire Lamisere (Newton, MA/Newton North HS/Iona) in the long sprints, as well as two freshman recruits who have done well at the state level. Paul Connor (Milton, MA/Milton HS) was the state champion in 2008 at 400 meters, and Paul Grafov (Dartmouth, MA), from Dartmouth HS. In the middle distance events, we have three more freshmen in Scott Connolly (Sharon, MA/Sharon HS), Matthew Ford (Pembroke, MA/Pembroke HS), and Chris Harney (Mansfield, MA/Mansfield HS). In the distance events, we return (seniors) Matt Lemanski (East Longmeadow, MA/East Longmeadow HS), Tim Whelan (Abington, MA/Abington HS), and Derek Stevens (Swampscott, MA/Swampscott HS), who placed in the conference championships last year at 3000 meters indoors, as well as (juniors) Andrew Yingling (Centerville, MA/Barnstable HS/Cape Cod CC), Nick Santoro (Shrewsbury, MA/St. John's HS), who was our top cross country runner, Eric Nygaard (Medway, MA/Medway HS), who scored indoors and outdoors in the conference, and Steve Burke (Norwell, MA/Norwell HS), as well as sophomore Kevin Gilmore (Hanson, MA/Whitman-Hanson Regional HS). In the jumps, we will feature (junior) Kevin Markie (North Attleboro, MA/North Attleboro HS/Nichols), the conference outdoor champion in the triple jump, and we'll be led in the throws by (sophomore) Robert Yarbough (Fall River, MA/Durfee HS)."

Gardiner hopes that increased depth will lead to success. "On the women's side, we're in the process of building the numbers up," said Gardiner. "We've increased the size of our squad 50 per cent since last year. The men's team has depth, but we're not balanced, and we need to develop more athletes in a few events. The goal for both teams is to move up in the conference and the alliance."