Providence, RI- Coming off of a strong cross-country season, the middle distance and distance runners are back training hard for the 2011 indoor and outdoor track seasons.
"We are back into a base phase of training with emphasis on strength and biomechanical work," said women's distance coach Jill Miller. "During the indoor season, I expect our athletes to work hard and learn what it takes to give 100 percent when they're tired."
After jumping up from fifth place to third at the Ivy League Cross Country Championships, the distance squad is poised to use this momentum into the track season.
The women's middle distance squads made a statement last year by winning the 4x800m relay at the Outdoor Ivy League Championships. The women return all four legs of the championship relay team in Kesley Ramsey, Elaine Kuckertz, Rosie Fleming, and Bree Shugarts.
Having solid seasons last year were now-Seniors Samantha Adelberg, Kesley Ramsey, and Lucy Higgins. Adelberg qualified her third consecutive Outdoor NCAA Regional Meet in the 800m with a season-best time of 2:08.90. While being a major contributor in relays, Senior Kesley Ramsey looks to improve upon her 4th place finish in the mile at last year's Indoor Ivy League Championships and her career best times of 2:11.85 in the 800m and 4:54.79 in the mile. Higgins bumped up from the 400m dash to run her first 800m race in 2:12.65.
The Bears will also expect sophomore Bree Shugarts, who ran season bests of 2:11 for 800m and 4:56 in the mile, to contribute greatly. Other middle distance runners the Bears are looking to as point-scorers are Senior Caitlin Clark and Sophomore Olivia Thomas.
The distance runners are a much younger squad but are led by senior Lauren Pischel. Pischel will shoot to better her 5,000m mark of 16:41 after a stellar campaign in which she qualified for the Outdoor NCAA Regional Meet in the 10,000m run last year.
Though Junior Ari Garber's first two seasons at Brown were plagued by injury, she is ready to prove herself on the track this year. Alongside of Pischel and Garber, the distance squad will look to freshmen Margaret Connelly, Heidi Caldwell, and Kat Grimes to make a mark in their first year on the track at Brown. This group all ran in the top-7 during cross country season and showed signs of great potential for the track season.
After Connelly ran the fastest time ever by a Brown woman at the Ivy League Cross Country Championships in October, she will look to improve upon her high school personal bests of 10:34 for 3200m and 4:55 for 1600m.
Caldwell, a two-time New Hampshire Cross Country Champion, 3200m State Champion and 1600m State Champion, will compete in her first indoor season alongside of Kat Grimes who had a very strong first collegiate cross country season.
The middle distance group will be bolstered by Freshman Kate DeSimone and Melanie Fineman. DeSimone boasted personal bests of 2:15 for 800m and 4:54 for 1600m while Fineman finished her high school career as a five-time All-American with personal bests of 2:16 for 800m and 4:53 for 1600m.
Photo: Bree Shugrats by dspics.com