Feb. 16, 2006
2006 Patriot League Indoor Track & Field Championship Central
Army and Navy appear to be the front runners for the 2006 Patriot League Men's Indoor Track and Field Championships as the Black Knights look to capture their 11th overall title, while the Mids look for their third-straight. The indoor championship is set to take place Feb. 17-19 at Halsey Fieldhouse on the campus of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. Navy was selected to finish first at this culminating meet, with Army picked a close second by head coaches and sports information directors at the beginning of the season.
The Mids return 2005 Patriot League Championship Track Athlete of the Meet Jamar Green (Pineville, La./Pineville). At last year's Patriot League championship the senior won the 200 and 400-meter events and helped the 4x400-m relay team to another first-place finish. Last year Joshua Sink (Welcome, N.C./North Davidson) set the Patriot League record in the 3,000-meters (8:21.25).
In field events, Navy also returns junior pole vaulter Kelly Stephens (Houston, Texas/Memorial) who won the event at the Patriot League championship last season with a height of 4.80 meters. Last season's shot put champion, Darryl Hunter (Des Moines, Iowa/Dowling Catholic), returns to defend his 2005 title.
Army comes into this season with six members back from the All-Patriot League teams including Rookie of the Meet Michael Peck (Fenton, Mich./Fenton). Last season Peck finished second in the 60-meters and third in the 200-meters. Sophomore Adrian Perkins (Shreveport, La./Captain Shreve) also returns for the Black Knights as the 500-meter champion. Junior long jumper Rudy Mejia (El Paso, Tex./Mountain View) also returns as the defending champion after leaping 7.19 meters at last year's Patriot League championship.
American will show its strength in distance events, led by senior Phil Gaeta (Herndon, Va./Oakton). Gaeta returns as the 1,000-m run champion from last season. The Eagles also were the 4x800-meter relay and distance medley relay champions in 2004-05. This season each team returns half of its members from those teams. In the 4x800, junior Alex Caudana (Irvine, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) and junior Dustin Emrani (Great Neck, N.Y./Great Neck North) return and in the distance medley relay junior Rob Hofmann (Wantagh, N.Y./W.C. Mepham) and junior Brendan Fennell (Pearl River, N.J./Pearl River) return.
Last year's fourth-place finisher Lehigh welcomes back two All-Patriot League members after placing fourth a year ago. The Mountain Hawks are led by senior heptathlon champion Vaclav Malek (Rockville, Md./Walter Johnson). Last season Malek scored 4,848 points in the event. Junior Brian Ahearn (East Hampton, N.Y./East Hampton) also returns after a second-place finish in the 500-meters last season.
Lafayette comes into this season championship with one Second Team All-Patriot League performer from last season in junior jumper Stephan Ekema-Agbaw (Bloomsburg, Pa./Bloomsburg). At last year's championship he took second in the men's triple jump (13.89). Junior thrower Tyler Jones (Bethlehem, Pa./Freedom) finished second in last year's championship and will look to turn the corner this year.
Bucknell returns two All-Patriot League to this season's championship in sophomore Wallace Campbell (Montgomery, Ala./Montgomery Academy) and senior Kevin Brown (Cranfrod, N.J./Cranford). Last season Campell and Brown were part of the distance medley relay team that finished second. The Bison also expect sophomore thrower Tyler Hoffman ( Lewisburg, Pa./Lewisburg) to compete for a championship in the weight throw.
Colgate should get strong contributions for junior distance runner Michael Hanolon (Ann Arbor, Mich./Ann Arbor Huron) to have a strong race in the 5,000-meters. Hanlon won the Male Track Athlete of the Week this season for 14:40.95 in the 5,000 at Colgate's Class of `32 Invitational.
Holy Cross will look for senior sprinter Robert Leader (Leominster, Mass./Leominster) to have a strong race at this season championship. At the 2005 championship he finished third in the 400-meters.