NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The Rhode Island Men’s Outdoor Track & Field team will look to defend its A-10 title this weekend as the University of Massachusetts hosts the 18th Annual Atlantic 10 Men's and Women's Outdoor Track & Field Championships at the UMass Track & Field Complex.
The Rams are led by several individuals that currently sit a top the A-10 standings, including senior Trent Baltzell (Decathlon), juniors Jalen Young (200 meters) and James Strawderman (Pole Vault), sophomores Kebba Nasso (400 meters) and Ben Ezike (Long Jump) and freshman Nick Danner (Javelin) and Mahlik Handley (Hammer Throw).
After finishing second at this year’s Indoor Championship, George Mason will look to capitalize off a strong spring season as it searches for its first A-10 Outdoor title. The Patriots are led by senior George Empty, junior Anthony Williams and sophomore Jimi Tele. Empty, a two-time A-10 Performer of the Week this season, currently leads the A-10 in the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 51.82. Williams leads the A-10 in the 110 meter hurdles (14.06) while Tele tops the A-10 in the Triple Jump (14.85 meters).
Alfredo Santana, the Most Outstanding Track Performer at last year’s championship will look to lead the Explorers as they hope to improve upon last year’s seventh place finish. Also contending for this year’s championship are Duquesne, Fordham, Massachusetts, Saint Joseph’s, Saint Louis and VCU.
On the women’s side, Rhode Island will look to build off of last year’s second place finish and capture their first A-10 Outdoor title since 2005 while George Mason, winners of the Indoor championship, is looking for its first ever A-10 Outdoor title. Also in contention for this year’s championship are Duquesne and VCU, who tied for third last year.
The Dukes are led by senior Hailey Pisarcik, who currently leads the A-10 in the 1,500 meters (4:26.64).
VCU’s squad is highlighted by returning All-Americans Kiara Porter and Jaleesa Williams. Porter, the 2013 Most Outstanding Track Performer, currently leads the A-10 in the 100 meters (11.38), the 200 meters (23.70) and the 400 meters (52.50). Williams tops the A-10 in both the Shot Put (48’ 0.5”) and the Discus Throw (169’ 6”).
Vying for the women's title along with Duquesne, George Mason, Rhode Island and VCU are Dayton, Fordham, La Salle, Massachusetts, Richmond, Saint Joseph's and Saint Louis.
The Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be split over two days, with action starting at 9:00 am on Saturday. Complete coverage including live results and photos will be available online on Atlantic10.com.