Feb. 16, 2006
2006 Patriot League Indoor Track & Field Championship Central
Bucknell will head into the Patriot League Indoor Track and Field Championship seeking its fifth-consecutive title. The championship will take place Feb. 17-19 at Halsey Fieldhouse on the campus of the United States Naval Academy. The Bison were tabbed as the preseason favorite by head coaches and sports information directors, receiving 11 first-place votes. Army and Navy were tied for second with the Mids receiving three votes and the Black Knights garnering two.
Bucknell has never placed lower than third at the championship in Patriot League history and have claimed nine titles, including seven of the last eight. Eight All-Patriot League performers are back this season including junior Lauren Bricker (Greensburg, Pa./Hempfield Area). At last season's championship Bricker won the 800-meters with a time of 2:15.45 and took home bronze in the triple jump. Other returning winners for the Bison include senior distance runner senior Kayla Haloran (Norwell, Mass./Norwell), who won the 5,000-meters (17:32.89), and junior Marjorie Grap (Van Etten, N.Y./Spencer-Van Etten), who was a double-winner in both the 20-pound weight throw and the shot put. Earlier this season Grap qualified for the NCAA Championship in the weight throw with a heave of 62-feet, 6.5-inches.
Navy, always poised to make a run at a Patriot League championship, welcomes back seven members from the 2005 All-Patriot League team including Rookie of the Meet Jackie Charnigo (Medina, Ohio/Buckeye). Last season Charnigo finished second in the high jump (1.65) and the pole vault (3.60). Sophomore Kristen Andrews (New Holland, Pa./Garden Spot) returns as the 60-meter hurdles champion (8.91) and the pole vault champion (3.75).
Army has won five Patriot League crowns all-time with the last coming in 1997. The Black Knights return seven members from last year's All-Patriot League team including their entire distance medley team that finished second, those team members included junior Margaret Clark (Waukesha, Wis./Waukesha North), junior Heather Owney (Pine Bush, N.Y./Pine Bush), senior Ann Lee Cole (Blackstone, Va./Nottoway), and senior Ashley Urick (Carmel, Ind./Carmel). The Cadets also return two members from the second-place 4x400-meter relay team in junior Meghan Venable-Thomas (Allentown, Pa./Emmaus) and sophomore Katelin Grant (Lodi, Calif./Lodi).
After a fourth-place showing at last year's Patriot League championship, the Mountain Hawks were chosen to finish in that slot again. Senior K.T. Hessler (Walkersville, Md./Walkersville) will look to win her third-straight individual championship in the high jump. Junior Jennifer Schappert (North East, Md./Rising Sun) will try to build on strong cross country season to contribute in distance for the Mountain Hawks. Last season she finished third in the 3,000-meters and second in the 5,000-meters.
American brings back its strong distance running contingent including last year's Female Track Athlete of the Meet Keira Carlstrom (Oakton, Va./Oakton). The senior took the one-mile (5:02.28), the 3,000-meters (10:09.42) and helped the 4x800-meter relay team and distance medley relay teams to titles last year. Senior Zaia Wharton (Elkins, W. Va./Elkins) finished second in the 1,000-meters last season.
Lafayette lost its two 2005 All-Patriot League athletes to graduation, but will hope for strong contributions from sophomore distance runners Katie Schultes (Woodbury, N.J./West Deptford) and Meghan Baker (Medford, N.J./Bishop Eustace). This season Schultes won the 3,000-meters at the NYC Gotham Cup, while Baker finished in the 800-meters at the League Championships.
Junior Hannah Falling (Deerfield, N.Y./Whitesboro) will look to build on her second-place finish at last year's Patriot League championship in the one-mile for Colgate.
Senior Jessica Fallon (Nashua, N.H./Bishop Guertin), who finished fifth at last year's championship in the pole vault, clearing a height of 3.45, meters leads the Holy Cross contingent at this season event.