The men’s and women’s track and field teams spent the weekend in the Mackal Field House at the University of Rhode Island for the Atlantic Ten Conference Championships.
In the meet, both the men and the women placed fourth. The men repeated the same result as last year, but for the women, it was their best showing since 2003.
“It was a great weekend. I feel it went very well,” coach Eric Mobley said. “We went out there and competed well as a team.”
Mobley also said he told his team the same thing he’s been saying all season – just try to win your race – and his players responded by giving it their all.
Senior long sprinter Marquise Stancil led the men’s team through the weekend with two third-place finishes, first with a time of 1 minute, 4.38 seconds in the 500-meter run, then with teammates freshman mid-distance runner Anthony Boone, sophomore sprinter Dimitri Theofanis and sophomore mid-distance runner Aaron Taylor in the 4×400 meter relay.
“I did my best,” Stancil said. “And I’m happy I got the chance to run at the A-10s again.”
Taylor also had a nice weekend with a first-place finish in the 800-meter run with a time of 1 minute, 55.58 seconds, just beating out Charlotte’s senior runner Chase Eckard.
Other male Owls of note were junior hurdler/jumper Joshua Louis and sophomore jumper Miles Dryden. Louis reached a height of 6-08.25 in the high jump, which was high enough for silver behind junior jumper Michael Elliott of Rhode Island. Dryden picked up points for the Cherry and White during the 55-meter dash early in the weekend, while the men’s 4×800 meter relay team also contributed to the point total by finishing in sixth place.
Stancil, who is looking forward to the outdoor season, didn’t shy away from talking about the positive atmosphere that surrounds the team.
“We did a great job on the track and off the track supporting each other,” he said.
The Charlotte 49ers defended both the men’s and women’s titles in Rhode Island. That continues their run of seven out of eight titles on both sides since they joined the A-10. Dayton finished second on the women’s side, followed by Rhode Island, which finished second on the men’s side in front of La Salle.
However, the high point of the A-10 Championships for Temple did indeed come at the end of the weekend, when sophomore sprinter Paris Williams was named the 2009 Indoor Women’s Track Performer of the Year.
Senior thrower Amanda Cole gave high praise to her teammate.
“[Paris] was focused and driven,” Cole said. “She brought her A-game.”
That wasn’t the only thing Williams brought home, as she finished in first place in the 500-meter run with a blistering time of 1 minute, 14.13 seconds. Not long after, she won her second gold of the Championships, anchoring the 4×400 relay team of junior sprinter Carlleen Allison, sophomore sprinter/hurdler Assata Cowart and senior sprinter/jumper Devon DuPont with a time of 3 minutes, 51.76 seconds.
Freshman hurdler Shadaya Bennett, freshman middle distance runner Rebecca Mims, freshman sprinter Brittany OgunMokun and sophomore long sprinter Tashima Stephens grabbed four points in the 4×800 relay, as the young team performed well in its first A-10 Championship together.
Stephens and OgunMokun also finished third and fourth, respectively, in the 800-meter run. Allison’s fifth-place finish in the 400-meter added some much-needed points for the Owls along with sophomore jumper Abigail Blomeke in the high jump and Cole in the shot put.
“We finished higher than we were supposed to,” Cole said, “but we still have work to do.”
That work will continue this Friday at the NYU Fastrack in New York.
Justin Boylan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.