Feb. 19, 2005
KINGSTON, R.I. - The University of Rhode Island scored 200 points to win its second-straight Atlantic 10 Men's Indoor Track & Field Championship on Saturday in Mackal Field House on the URI campus.
The Rams registered 15 personal bests on the day in cruising to their fourth A10 Indoor Championship in the last five years, finishing 57 points ahead of second-place La Salle (143) and 106 points in front of third-place finishers Fordham (94) and Saint Joseph's (94). Rhode Island has won the last four A10 Men's Outdoor Track & Field Championships, giving the Rams eight of the last nine conference track & field titles.
"We're very pleased to repeat, it's always nice to defend your title," Rhode Island head coach John Copeland said. "You're sitting there with a target on your back, so we're fortunate to get it done. We had a great all-around day, but one of the areas we are extremely happy with is the middle distances. That's an area where we haven't scored well in the past, but we scored in five middle distance events today."
Sophomore Ashhad Agyapong (Trenton, N.J.) was named the meet's Most Outstanding Track Performer after winning the 200-meter dash in a personal best time of 21.51 seconds and taking first in the 400 dash in 48.92 seconds. It was the third A10 Indoor title for Agyapong, who was the Most Outstanding Rookie at the 2004 A10 Indoor Championships after winning the 500 dash.
"For a sophomore to win both the 200 and 400 and be on the winning 4x4 team is tremendous," Copeland said. "His performance was excellent for the second year in a row."
Senior Andre' Reid (South Windsor, Conn.) defended his conference shot put title with a meet record heave of 57-feet-4 ¼ inches and took second in the weight throw with a personal best toss of 55-6 ¼ to earn the Championships' Most Outstanding Field Performer award.
"My teammates pushed me a lot, from the spring all the way until this meet and it paid off," Reid said. "It means a lot to me. We have worked very hard since September and it was a great team performance today."
"Andre' continued to do the things he can do," Copeland said. "He absolutely deserved to earn the Most Outstanding Field Performer."
Rhode Island repeated its dominance of the field portion of the championship from a year ago with individual winners in five of the six field events Saturday. The Rams had the top three finishers in the weight throw and three of the top four in the shot put. Sophomore Dan Godin (Coventry, R.I./Bishop Hendricken) won the weight throw with a toss of 58-6, Reid took second and sophomore Paul Chobanian (Providence, R.I.) was third with a personal best throw of 53-9 1/4.
Following Reid in the shot put were senior Sean Bramley (New Paltz, N.Y.), who took third with a toss of 48-0 ¾ and freshman Ryan McCarthy (Worcester, Mass.), who finished fourth with a throw of 46-8 ¾. Sophomore Denis Street (Slate Hill, N.Y.) repeated as the Atlantic 10 Indoor long jump with a leap of 23-0. Street also placed third in the triple jump with a personal best leap of 46-6 ¾.
"Denis Street did a great job today winning the long jump and getting a P.R. in the triple jump, despite missing most of January and February because of mono and having strained hamstrings," Copeland said.
Senior Evan Lima (Warwick, R.I.), who missed last years Indoor Championship due to an injury, returned to win his second Atlantic 10 Indoor high jump title in three years, clearing 6-7. He also added a sixth-place finish in the triple at 44-4 1/4.
Junior Adam Zucconi (Marlton, N.J.) defended his title in the pole vault, winning with a personal best height of 15-3 and sophomore Christopher Adams (Selden, N.Y.) won the 55 hurdles in a personal best 7.75 seconds. The Rams won the 4x400 meter relay in a time of 3:20.60 with a team of sophomore Darnell Douglas (Delmar, N.Y.), junior Robert Johnson (Rumford, R.I.), junior Eric Groce (Rutland, Vt.) and Agyapong.
Groce finished second behind Agyapong in the 200 dash in 21.83 seconds and finished eighth in the 55 dash in 6.52 seconds. Sophomore Dennis Sheppard (East Bridgewater, Mass.) placed second in the 800 in 1:56.96 and Douglas was the runner-up in the 500 with a personal best 1:04.97.
Senior Taylor Majewski (Warwick, N.Y.) took second in the pole vault (14-9) and freshman Patrick Griffin (Olean, N.Y.) was third with a P.R. of 14-3 1/4. Sophomore LaeJon Brooks (West Orange, N.J.) placed second in the 55 hurdles in 7.77 seconds. Johnson finished third in the 400 dash in 50.16 seconds, while sophomore Bremen de Haan (Galloway, N.J.) finished fourth in the 55 hurdles with a P.R. of 7.82 and took sixth in the long jump with personal best leap of 21-3 1/4.
The Rams' distance medley relay team of junior Andrew Poland (North Scituate, R.I.), freshman Stephen Mateka (Sewell, N.J.), freshman Ryan Moore (Ledyard, Conn.) and sophomore Thomas Stepan (Nashau, N.H.) placed fifth in 10:43.08. Rhode Island's 4x800 relay team finished sixth in a time of 8:08.66 with a team of freshman Matthew Klaas (Latham, N.Y.), junior John Hoffman (Fort Plain, N.Y.), Sheppard and senior Luis Rodrigues (Pawtucket, R.I.).
Rodrigues finished sixth in the 500 run in 1:06.93 and freshman David Delude (Pawtucket, R.I.) finished seventh in the high jump with a leap of 6-1 ¼. Stepan placed seventh in the 1-Mile Run in 4:24.99 and freshman John Cuoco (Wilmington, Mass.) took seventh in the 1,000 with a personal best time of 2:35.92.
Mateka took 10th in the 400 dash in 51.46, Moore ran a personal best 2:37.85 to take 10th in the 1,000, Andrew Poland placed tenth in the 3,000 run with a personal best 8:56.23 and Kyle Poland (North Scituate, R.I.) took 10th in the 5,000 with a personal best 15:22.27.
The Rams will now look for the elusive New England Indoor Track & Field Championship next weekend in Boston. Rhode Island won the 2004 New England Outdoor title, but finished second indoors.