Providence, RI- The Brown University track & field team embarks upon the 2011 outdoor season as competition begins Saturday, March 19th at the Husky Spring Open hosted by Northeastern University. Both the men and women look to improve upon their stellar performances at the 2010 Outdoor Ivy League Championships at which the women placed second and the men placed third.
"The team is more determined than ever to make its presence felt in the League, said Director of Track & Field Michelle Eisenreich. "The outdoor events match our team's talent much more so than the indoor events and both men's and women's teams should make a significant jump in the standings outdoors."
Led by captains Craig Kinsley, Matt Duffy, Brynn Smith, and Natasha Smith, both the men's and women's teams have several individuals looking to finish at the top of the Ivy League and earn marks that will qualify a large group to the Preliminary Rounds of the NCAA Championships.
"Although as a team we are not satisfied with the seventh place finish at Indoor Heptagonal Championships, individually the men performed with as much guts and intensity as I have ever seen," said senior captain Craig Kinsley. "We are very excited as we move into the outdoor season where the changes in events contested at Heps suit the structure of our team much better."
Senior captain Brynn Smith reiterated the excitement for the outdoor season, "Coming out of indoor, I think everyone is in a great place mentally and physically. I know that with the guidance of our coaches, we will do great things this spring."
At the Indoor Ivy League Championships, the women earned fourth place and the men posted seventh in the team competition. While senior Brynn Smith captured the team's only individual titles in the shot put and the weight throw, overall the Bears saw several promising individual performances.
"The entire men's team is extremely excited about the 2011 outdoor season...The team is poised to score more points in more events than it has in recent history, thanks to an outstanding freshman class and strong development amongst returners," said Junior captain Matt Duffy.
Senior captain Natasha Smith added, "We need to dig deeper to find that extra gear, but what's exciting is that if we can find it as a group and build off each other as the season progresses we'll be in a really great place and put up a tough fight in May."
Following spring break, the Bears will compete at the Bryant Invitational (April 2) and the UConn Alumni Invitational (April 9). The following Saturday Brown will host the first of its two home meets. The Brown Invitational is slated for Saturday April 16th and the Brown Springtime Open will follow three weeks later on Sunday May 1st.
Prior to the Outdoor Ivy League Championships, which will be hosted by Yale (May 7-8), the Bears will send athletes to the LSU Gold Alumni Meet in Baton Rouge, LA (April 23), Princeton's Larry Ellis Invitational (April 22-23), and the Penn Relays (April 28-30).
After sending 11 athletes to the Preliminary Round of the NCAA Championships last year, the Bears look to increase this number for this year's meet which is hosted by Indiana University. The Finals of the NCAA Championships will take place at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, IA (June 8-11).
Check out brownbears.com for each event group's preview next week:
Thursday: Women's Middle Distance & Distance
Friday: Men's Middle Distance & Distance