Rams Open Season with Blue-White Alumni Meet on Saturday

Rams Open Season with Blue-White Alumni Meet on Saturday

KINGSTON, R.I. - The University of Rhode Island Men's Track & Field team opens up its 2016-17 season and looks to begin its Atlantic 10 Indoor Championship title defense with the annual Blue-White Alumni Meet this Saturday at Mackal Field House beginning at 1 p.m.

All-Conference Returners

Numerous Newcomers

Returning Coaching Staff

  • All three coaches from the men's track & field coaching staff last season return for this year.
  • Headlining the staff is head coach John Copeland for his 35th year at URI.
  • The 2015-16 season saw Copeland add to an already impressive resume with an A-10 Indoor title and a New England Indoor title.
  • Those were the 20th overall A-10 title and 15th overall New England title of his coaching career at URI.
  • Coming back for his ninth season at Rhode Island to coach the jumps and multi events is Rob Whitten.
  • Since joining the coaching staff in 2008-09, Whitten has helped coach Rhody to five A-10 Indoor titles, three A-10 Outdoor titles, four New England Outdoor titles and one New England Indoor title.
  • Returning for his seventh season as throws coach is Ben Carroll.
  • In his first six years at Rhode Island, Carroll has coached throwers that have captured 12 individual Atlantic 10 Conference titles, seven team championships, 35 All-Conference selections and two A-10 Field Performer of the Meet awards.

School Records Broken

  • Last indoor season saw one record broken.
  • Last year, Michael DiMambro set the school record in the heptathlon with 5,531 points at the New England Championship.
  • As for outdoor season, only the discus record fell.
  • Sam Snyder threw the discus 54.03 meters at the Brown Open, breaking URI's 34-year-old record in the event.
  • Snyder would go on to break his own record later in the season and set a new Atlantic 10 record in the discus with a throw of 56.79 meters at the A-10 Outdoor Championship.

Staying Injury-Free

  • According to Copeland, the Rams staying injury-free is a big key to staying competitive in the Atlantic 10 and in New England this season.
  • Last season, Rhode Island injuries led to athletes missing time, which Copeland says had an impact on the team's championship pursuit in the spring.

All Around the Map

  • There are 28 members of this year's men's track & field team that reside outside of Rhode Island.
  • After Rhode Island (23), the most represented state is New Jersey (11) followed by Connecticut (9).
  • Two members of the track & field team come from other countries: Ray Cuse (France) and Ondrej Honka (Czech Republic).
  • In total, there are 12 states and two countries represented on the roster.

No Home Field in A-10 Indoors

  • For the first time since its inception in the 1992-93 season, the Atlantic 10 Indoor Championship will be held somewhere other than Mackal Field House.
  • The Rams saw major success in that time at the A-10 Indoor Championship.
  • Rhode Island finished fifth in the inaugural event. Since then, Rhody hasn't finished lower than third.
  • Rhode Island has won the A-10 Indoor Championship 10 times: 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
  • This year, the A-10 Indoor Championship will be held at the George Mason Field House in Fairfax, Va.

Blue-White Alumni Meet

  • The annual event serves as an inter-squad competition with alumni as the team continues to prepare for the upcoming regular season.
  • Past URI track athletes are encouraged to return to Mackal, where they will have an opportunity to compete against current Rhody student-athletes.
  • The Blue-White Alumni Meet gives the Rhody student-athletes a chance to let loose in a competitive atmosphere before beginning the rest of the indoor schedule.

Order of Events for the Blue-White Alumni Meet

Field Events:

1 p.m.
Long Jump
Triple Jump
35 lb. Weight Throw
16 lb. Shot Put
High Jump

1:30 p.m.
Pole Vault

Track Events:

1:15 p.m.
60-Meter Hurdles (Trials)
60-Meter Dash (Trials)
60-Meter Hurdles (Finals)
60-Meter Dash (Finals)
200-Meter (Alumni)
4x400-Meter Relay
4x200-Meter Relay