FAIRFAX, Va. May 4, 2012 - Juniors Marissa McDonald (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin East) and Katie Harman (Clarksville, Md./River Hill) captured individual titles in the long jump and 5,000-meter run, respectively, to help James Madison dash out to the overall lead after day one of competition on Friday at the 2012 Virginia 529 Colonial Athletic Association Track and Field Championships hosted by George Mason.
Madison leads the pack with 45 points, followed by a tightly-packed group including Towson in second with 29, William and Mary in third with 26.50 and Northeastern in fourth with 26. Next is Georgia State (25) followed by George Mason (24.5), VCU (22), Delaware (19) and UNCW (17). The championship wraps up Saturday with Dukes having competitors in every event
McDonald's preliminary mark of 6.03 meters was enough to win the long jump without taking a single leap in the finals portion of the competition. By placing first in the event, McDonald earned 10 team-points for Madison in the Dukes' quest for their first ever CAA Championship.
In the 5,000-meter run, Madison placed first and second. Harman won the event with a time of 17:22.32, adding another 10 points to the Dukes' total, while Nobles picked up eight points, finishing second for the purple and gold in a time of 17:25.94.
Head coach Ta' Frias expressed her satisfaction with the Dukes' performance on day one at the competition.
"Overall, I'm very happy with the way we competed today," Frias said. "I am very pleased with our effort and I'm extremely happy for our conference champions. I think we did a great job today and hopefully we can carry that over into tomorrow. We have competitors in every finals event and I look forward to seeing these ladies compete at their best."
In the 10,000-meters, Madison picked up another 12 points on second and fifth-place finishes. Defending 10,000-meter champion, junior Katie Gorman (Lafayette Hill, Pa./Plymouth-Whitemarsh) finished second for the Dukes, crossing the line in 36:19.01 earning eight points and senior Jess Zozos (Glenshaw, Pa./Shaler) finished in fifth place. She turned in a time of 37:19.38, tacking on four more points to the Dukes' total.
Also earning team points for the Dukes was Greene in the javelin competition. Her mark of 37.29 meters was good for fourth place and earned the Dukes another five points.
The Dukes will also have at least one athlete competing in every final on Saturday. In the 1,500-meter run Harman, freshman Kristen Landry (Boonton Township, N.J./Mountain Lakes) and sophomore Erin Lopresti (Cranberry Towship, Pa./Seneca Valley) all positioned themselves advance. Harman finished first in the preliminary round in a time of 4:36.66. She and Landry, who finished fourth overall in the preliminary round with a time of 4:42.43, automatically qualified based on their places finished in each heat. Lopresti, who finished 11th overall in 4:42.87 qualified for the finals as an at-large, based on her finishing time.
Sophomore Jordan Simmons (Plainfield, N.J./Bishop Ahr) moves on to the finals in two competitions on Saturday. Simmons earned the highest qualifying time in the 100-meter dash. Her time of 11.83 was just one-hundredth of a second better than McDonald, who also qualified in the 100-meter finals. In the 200-meter dash, Simmons finished fifth overall in the preliminary round with a time of 24.21.
In hurdles competition, freshman Jasmine Waddell (Mount Royal, N.J./Kingsway Regional) qualified for finals in the 100-meter hurdles with a fourth-place finish in a time of 14.26 seconds. Junior Whitney Staton (Fredericksburg, Va./Chancellor) earned a qualifying mark in the 400-meter hurdles as well. Her time of 1:03.73 was good for third in the preliminaries.
Moving on in the 800-meter competition is junior Annie Reiner (Virginia Beach, Va./Ocean Lakes). Reiner earned the top mark in the preliminary round, finishing the race in 2:11.37.
At the end of day one, junior Jennifer Monk (Bloomington, Ill./Central Catholic) sits in third place in the heptathlon with 2,668 points.
Team Standings Through Day One
1. JMU 45
2. Towson 29
3. William and Mary 26.50
4. Northeastern 26
5. Georgia State 25
6. George Mason 24.50
7. VCU 22
8. Delaware 19
9. UNCW 17