Bucknell's Christian Lupica
Jan. 15, 2013
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Bucknell and Navy shared the top spot in the men's indoor track and field poll in November, and the pair is living up to expectations with their performances thus far this season.
A student-athlete from either Bucknell or Navy has the top mark in the Patriot League this season in 14 out of 20 events. Each team has top billing in seven different categories, with five of Bucknell's top marks coming over the weekend at the Gulden Invitational. Christian Lupica recorded the top time in the 200-meter run and Leonard Joseph set another standard in the weight throw as each student-athlete received a Patriot League weekly award on Monday. For Navy, Steve Schroeder recorded the top time of the year in the 3,000-meter run on Saturday and was named Patriot League Rookie of the Week on Monday.
On the women's side, six different schools have a student-athlete with the top time or mark in the Patriot League this season. Army leads the way with seven top marks, while Lehigh, Lafayette and Navy have three and Holy Cross and Bucknell each hold a pair. Ten of the top marks in the Patriot League were set over the weekend, including Navy's Brigid Byrne in the 5,000-meter run and Lehigh's E'Lana Lemon in the weight throw to earn weekly awards on Monday.
Patriot League Track and Field Weekly Awards
M-F ATHLETIC MALE TRACK ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
CHRISTIAN LUPICA, BUCKNELL So., Newtown, Pa.
Lupica easily eclipsed a pair of individual IC4A-qualifying times and was also part of a 4 X 400 relay team that set a qualifying mark as he was named Most Valuable Runner at Bucknell's Gulden Invitational on Saturday. Lupica qualified in the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.46 and 60-meter hurdles which he ran in 8.05 (converted). Both marks are the best in the Patriot League this season, and the 200-meter time was a Gerhard Fieldhouse Record. Lupica wins his second Patriot League M-F Athletic Track Athlete of the Week honor of the season.
M-F ATHLETIC FEMALE TRACK ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
BRIGID BYRNE, NAVY Sr., Vienna, Va.
Byrne shattered the ECAC-qualifying mark in the 5,000-meter run with a converted time of 17:02.12 at the Maryland Invitational on Saturday. The ECAC standard is set at 17:33.64, and Byrne's time is ranked second on the ECAC performance list this season and first in the Patriot League. It is also a personal best and the second-fastest time in Naval Academy history. Byrne claims her first Patriot League M-F Athletic Female Track Athlete of the Week honor of the season and second in her career.
M-F ATHLETIC MALE FIELD ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
LEONARD JOSEPH, BUCKNELL Sr., Whitesboro, N.Y.
Joseph's dominance in the weight throw continued with a mark of 19.16 meters to win the event at Bucknell's Gulden Invitational on Saturday. He is undefeated in the event this season and the throw was just 1 ½ inches off his personal best while ranking fourth in program history and as the best mark in the Patriot League this year. It was his third-consecutive IC4A-qualifying distance this season. Joseph earns his third Patriot League M-F Athletic Male Field Athlete of the Week honor of the season and seventh of his career to match Bucknell's Tyler Hoffman (2003-07) for the most in League history.
M-F ATHLETIC FEMALE FIELD ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
E'LANA LEMON, LEHIGH Sr., West Orange, N.J.
Lemon earned her third Patriot League M-F Athletic Field Athlete of the Week honor of the season, and 11th in her career, after outdoing herself in the weight throw on Saturday at Angry Birds at Lehigh. She recorded a mark of 17.95 meters to win the event with the best distance in the Patriot League this season. It surpassed her personal best of 17.66 meters set just last week.
M-F ATHLETIC MALE ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
STEVE SCHROEDER, NAVY Fr., Monticello, Ill.
Schroeder coasted to a win in the 3,000-meter run against Temple and Delaware State on Saturday with an IC4A-qualifying time of 8:19.08. Schroeder's time is ranked first in the Patriot League this season and he is the only freshman in the League that ranks at the top of a running event. He is the fourth different Navy freshman to win the Patriot League M-F Athletic Male Rookie of the Week honor this season.
M-F ATHLETIC FEMALE ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
HALEY WINTERS, ARMY Fr., Spanaway, Wash.
Winters placed in the top five in both the 60-meter and 200-meter runs at the Harvard Challenge on Saturday, and was part of Army's distance medley relay team which posted an ECAC-qualifying time of 11:59.01 (converted). Winters wins her first Patriot League M-F Athletic Female Rookie of the Week honor.
CAROLINE TOLLI, BUCKNELL Sr., Lockport, N.Y.
Tolli ran ECAC-qualifying converted times in the mile (4:57.31) and 1,000-meter run (2:56.20) at Bucknell's Gulden Invitational on Saturday.
JENNIFER COMFORT, ARMY So., Doylestown, Pa.
Comfort posted an individual ECAC-qualifying time in the 1,000-meter run (2:52.99) and was also part of Army's distance medley relay squad that put up a qualifying time of 11:59.01 (converted) on Saturday at the Harvard Challenge.
KYLER MARTIN, ARMY Sr., Vacaville, Calif.
Martin posted an IC4A-qualifying mark with a time of 8.12 in the 60-meter hurdles at the Harvard Challenge on Saturday.
ELISE BUFFINTON, LAFAYETTE Jr., Lewisburg, Pa.
Buffinton set an ECAC-qualifying mark and Lafayette school record in the pole vault with a leap of 3.75 meters to win the event on Saturday at Bucknell's Gulden Invitational.
JOHN WESTWOOD, BUCKNELL Fr., Sewickley, Pa.
Westwood ran IC4A-qualifying converted times in the 800-meter run (1:54.44) and 4 X 800 relay (7:49.64) at Bucknell's Gulden Invitational on Saturday.
JILES MANESS, NAVY Fr., Winston Salem, N.C.
Maness won the pole vault against Temple and Delaware State with an IC4A-qualifying mark of 4.80 meters. It was his third IC4A mark in the event this season.
Patriot League Notebook
Throwing their Weight
Bucknell's Leonard Joseph and Lehigh's E'Lana Lemon are on their way to being known as two of the top field performers in Patriot League history, and they have the hardware to prove it. The weight-throw specialists each hit the top marks in the Patriot League this season over the weekend, with Lemon setting a personal high with a toss of 17.95 meters and Joseph just missing his personal-best with a throw of 19.16 meters. On Monday, Joseph, the defending Patriot League champion in the weight throw, set the men's record with his seventh-career M-F Athletic Male Field Athlete of the Week award. Lemon won the honor on the women's side for the 11th time in her career, just one off the League record.
More Top Marks Set Over the Weekend
On a weekend where all of the Patriot League teams competed, nearly half of the top times and marks in the conference this year were turned in on Friday or Saturday. The list included 10 of the 20 top marks on the women's side, with Army putting up four of those while Bucknell and Lehigh each accounted for a pair. Seven men's top marks were posted over the weekend, with five of those coming from Bucknell. For all of the top performances in the Patriot League this season, go to the Direct Athletics website here
Six individuals with multiple top times
Five Patriot Leaguers stand out among their competitors with the top mark in more than one event. Bucknell's Christian Lupica added his name to the list on the men's side over the weekend by recording the top time this season in the 200-meter run to go with his mark in the 60-meter hurdles. The only other men's performer with two top marks is Lehigh's Ryan Paquin with the top long jump this season and the highest score in the heptathlon. For the women, Army's Lisa Junta has the top time in the mile and 3,000-meter runs, and is just over a second away from the best mark in the 5,000-meter run. Holy Cross' Stephanie Okpoebo has the fastest time in the 60 and 200-meter dashes while Lehigh's Brooke Astor has the top 60-meter hurdle time as well as the best pentathlon score.
Navy, Bucknell top preseason polls
Navy and Bucknell have battled for supremacy in Patriot League track and field in recent seasons, and coaches and sports information directors expect it to be no different in 2013 by placing the squads at the top of both the men and women's indoor preseason polls on Nov. 30. The teams shared top honors in the men's preseason poll, each garnering 92 points and eight first-place votes to tie for first place. Army (74), Lehigh (62), Lafayette (50), Colgate (33), American (30) and Holy Cross (15) completed the men's rankings. Navy took first place on the women's side, pulling in 95 points and 11 first-place votes to finish ahead of the Bison with 89 points and five first-place votes. Lehigh (71), Army (58), Holy Cross (51), Colgate (38), Lafayette (32) and American (14) filled out the preseason rankings. The men and women's preseason polls were voted on by the Patriot League Indoor Track and Field head coaches and sports information directors, who were not permitted to vote for their own teams. The Patriot League Indoor Track and Field Championships will be held at West Point from Feb. 15-17.
The Week Ahead
For the second straight time, all eight Patriot League schools will compete this weekend. The slate is busy on Saturday with events including the Lafayette-Lehigh dual, the Navy men at home for the Wesley A. Brown Invitational and Bucknell wrapping up the two-day Bison Open & Multi in Lewisburg.
For the full indoor track and field schedule, go here