RELEASE DATE: 1/30/07
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Mountaineer Track and Field Athletes Fair Well on PSAC Leader-board at Midway Mark of Season
MANSFIELD – Five members of the Mountaineer track and field squad are sitting in the top three on the PSAC leader-board and many more members are amongst the top 10 and top 20 at the midway point of the season.
"Our athletes have been doing some great things this early in the season," said head coach Mike Rohl. "I'm very pleased with how they are approaching competition this season. Everyone is eager to learn how to compete and to learn more about the sport they love."
Rohl, who has steadily improved the program since taking over the reigns in the 2001-02 academic year, continues to bring the program to more of a complete team. "Our throwers and sprinters are improving everyday," says the eager head coach. "We're becoming so much more of a rounded program."
Amongst the Mountaineer standouts this season are PSAC leaders Bryan Morseman, Nicole Dann, and Rachel Hall, along with Mansfield's two National Qualifiers thus far, Dave Sanford and Katrina Brumfield.
Sanford, who broke his own record in the 800 this weekend when he won the PSU National Invite with a time of 1:53.97, narrowly placing him inside the NCAA provisional qualifying standards, sits second on the PSAC leader-board behind only Sean Strauman of IUP. Strauman is an All-American 800 runner who is undefeated in 800 meter races at the PSAC Championships throughout his career.
Dave was honored with the PSAC Male Runner of the Week honor for his efforts.
Bryan Morseman sits atop the PSAC leader-board in the 5000 meter run with his near National qualifying performance of 14:57.20, an impressive 20 seconds quicker than the current second fastest time. Morseman also sits sixth on the list for the 3,000 meter run with a time of 8:50.46.
Nicole Dann, who shocked the PSAC last season when she bumped up in distance and hit a provisional qualifying time in the 1500, has continued to improve her stellar mid-distance running. The senior shattered the school record in the mile this past weekend when she ran 5:07.00 at the PSU National Invite, taking down the previous mark set by Charity Learn in 2003 by over five seconds. Dann also sits atop the leader-board in the 800 where her time of 2:20.78 is nearly a second faster than the next closest performance. "Nicole is a special athlete," adds Rohl. "She is one of the most dedicated and driven athlete's I've ever worked with."
Rachel Hall has been a standout at Mansfield since her freshman season. Now a senior, Hall has stepped out of the shadow of Charity Walker in a big way. The senior captain leads the PSAC in the 5000 meter run with her time of 18:10.72, six seconds faster than the next competitor. Hall also sits second on the leader-board in the mile where her 5:12.68 comes in right behind teammate Nicole Dann. Two events is not enough for Hall however, she ranks third in the 3,000 meter run with a time of 12:25.85, only a second off the second place performance.
Katrina Brumfield has made her mark over her first two seasons after earning All-PSAC honors in the high jump as a freshman and continues to soar higher. Now a junior, Brumfield has improved her high jump to 5'4.75", good enough for second highest in the PSAC thus far and good enough to provisionally qualify her for the NCAA meet. Brumfield also ranks 15th in the 55 meter dash with a time of 7.62 seconds.
Freshman thrower Mike Gray is putting the Mountaineer throwers on the indoor map for the first time since the 2003 season when Aaron Fiacconi shocked the PSAC in the weight throw. Gray tossed a career best 48'0.75" in the shot put earlier this season ranking him fifth in the PSAC thus far.
Joining Gray on the leader-board from the men's team is junior transfer Rickey Jones. Jones, who played defensive back for the Mountie football squad this fall, has qualified for the PSAC meet in the 55 meter dash with a time of 6.73 seconds, ranking him 15th in the conference.
The men's distance squad has also put together some stellar relays, setting school records in the 4x800 meter relay and the distance medley relay. Mansfield ranks second in the PSAC in the 4x800 with a school record time of 8:02.40 and third in the DMR with a record time of 10:21.65, only one second off the second place time and only three seconds off the NCAA provisional qualifying standard.
The women's squad also fairs well on the PSAC leader-board at the midway point in the season. Joining Dann, Hall, and Brumfield amongst the conference leaders is Marisa Fronczkiewicz. The sophomore sensation ranks fifth in the PSAC in the 400 meter dash with a time of 1:00.72 and ranks 15th in the 55 meter dash with a time of 7.62 seconds.
Amanda Fedish, returning to full health for the first time since the 2004-05 season where she earned All-PSAC honors in the 100, is improving more and more every week. "She's really getting back to true form," says Rohl. The junior ranks 14th in the PSAC in the 55 meter dash with a time of 7.60 seconds.
The Mountie women have also put together stellar relay squads in the early season. Mansfield ranks second in the PSAC in the 4x400 meter relay with a school record time of 4:04.38 and second in the DMR with a time of 12:37.34, 16 seconds faster than number three on the list.
"We're extremely excited to come down the stretch into the championship season," adds Rohl. "We have a solid chance at getting some CTC Championship performances as well as some PSAC Champions. Team wise, I think we can put up the highest point totals at the conference meet in the history of the program."
Things are certainly looking up for the young Mounties as only Rachel Hall and Nicole Dann will graduate after the spring.
"The future of MU track and field is bright," says Rohl. "Real bright."
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