AKRON, OH - The Rutgers men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams will travel to Akron, OH, for the 2006 BIG EAST Indoor Championships. The meet will be held at the Athletics Field House and is scheduled to begin on Saturday, Feb. 18, at 11:00 a.m. and end on Sunday, Feb. 19, with an award ceremony at 3:00 p.m.
At last year’s championship, the Rutgers men’s team recorded its best showing in school history, finishing in second place, while the women’s team placed seventh.
Last season’s Most Outstanding Field Performer on the men’s side, Trevor O’Grady (Wood Ridge, NJ) headlines a talented Rutgers squad that is looking to be crowned BIG EAST Indoor Champions for the first time in school history (Rutgers is the reigning BIG EAST Outdoor Champion). O’Grady, a senior who won the heptathalon with 5,168 points last season, has already provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships with a 5,277-point performance. Senior All-American Sam Segond (East Stroudsburg, PA), the 2005 conference champion in the 35lb. weight throw, is expected to vie for top honors in the throwing events.
Several other members of the Scarlet Knights are listed among the top of the league’s performance lists, with most of them coming in the sprint events. Junior Joe Porter (Franklin, NJ), one of RU’s top sprinters, will key that group as the nation’s 11th-ranked 200m runner with a time of 21.23. He is also fourth in the BIG EAST in the 60m event with a school-record time (6.82). Sophomore Jamal Ames (Vineland, NJ) has an NCAA provisional mark of 6.70 in the 60m and is first in the BIG EAST in that event. As a team, Rutgers occupies the top four spots in the 200m as well as the third through fifth-best (in addition to Ames, first) marks in the 60m.
On the women’s side, senior All-American Shameka Marshall (Mizpah, NJ) will look to lead the Scarlet Knights to an improvement over last year’s seventh place team finish. The reigning long jump champion with a 6.24m mark last season, Marshall is also among the top league performers in the long jump 60m hurdles and 60m this season. She has already automatically qualified for the 2006 Indoor NCAA Championships in the long jump with a 6.49m leap.
The Scarlet Knights’ 4x800m relay team has the fastest league time this season (9:14.07), and senior Cycerli Ash (Beach Lake, PA) has posted marks listed among the conference’s top five in the 20 lb. weight throw and shot put. Senior Kahima Liverman (Paterson, NJ) can also be among the top three in the triple jump, where she has a season-best 12.32m performance.