Track and Field Looks Ahead to AE Championships

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Senior Ellen Bridgman competes in the high jump at a home meet against University at Albany April 12. The team will compete in the America East Championship May 7 and 8

The Catamounts’ track and field team has carried momentum from a successful winter season into their spring season. Under the leadership of head coach Matt Belfield, the track and field team has shown trends of improvement in his 13th season at the helm of the program. Coming off a fourth-place finish in the America East Indoor Championships – their best finish at the meet in the last 12 years – the men’s team has had many impressive performances in the outdoor season thus far. Senior distance runner Dan Moroney had great performances in the spring season, highlighted by his performance at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Quad Meet April 9. Moroney won the 5,000-meter race with a time of 14:45:36. With this time, Moroney was able to win the race by 36 seconds, according to UVM athletics. The men’s team has seen impressive contributions from underclassmen in meets this season. “We have some young guys who have a lot of potential,” Moroney said. “Taylor Kracher just had a great 800 at Dartmouth,” Moroney said, referring to Kratcher’s impressive victory in the 800-meter race with a time of 1:53:35. “I can’t wait to see how he and the other freshmen develop over the next few years.” Senior thrower Isaac de La Bruere had an impressive performance in the javelin throw at the Dartmouth Outdoor Classic April 16. De La Bruere won the throw with a best throw of 63.54 meters, a career best. This was the second-best throw in America East this season, and was just shy of the UVM record in the event, according to UVM athletics. These accomplishments helped de La Bruere win the TD Bank Student-Athlete of the Week award April 18. The women’s track and field team has also seen success as of late, with a second-place finish at the Dartmouth Outdoor Classic. Senior runner Dana Gaetani broke UVM’s ten-year-old record in the 400-meter race at the Duke Invitational April 22. Gaetani finished the race in 55.79 seconds, breaking the previous UVM record by nearly one second, according to UVM athletics. The team is now nearing the end of their season, with growing anticipation for the America East Championships. Known as one of the most important meets of the season, the league championships will be held at UVM May 7-8. Familiarity with the track will be a huge advantage for the Catamounts, junior Ian Weider said. “Being able to compete in the biggest meet of the year on the track that we practice on five to six days of the week will be very helpful to our team’s overall success,” Weider said. The “home-track advantage” will play a factor for Moroney. “There’s nothing better than running in front of a big home crowd,” he said. For Weider, defending America East long jump champion, competing in the America East Championships in his home state of Vermont makes the event even more important, he said. “As a native Vermonter who is attending his state school, it means the world. I never thought I would be able to compete at a Division I level, and now I’m approaching what is likely my last major meet in my home state,” Weider said. “I want more than anything to keep the long jump title in the Green Mountain State.”