NEW YORK, N.Y. (February 24, 2008) - The University of Connecticut women's track and field team captured the 2008 BIG EAST Championship title on Sunday at the New Balance Track and Field Center in New York, N.Y. The victory marks UConn's first Indoor BIG EAST Championship.
The Huskies took the title in dominate fashion with 103.50 points. Georgetown finished in second with 92 points, while Louisville rounded out the top-three teams with 79 points.
The UConn men’s track and field team also took home the 2008 Indoor BIG EAST title, earning the crown for their first team title since 2006. It is also the first time the same school has won both team titles since the Georgetown Hoyas accomplished the feat in 2001.
Senior Tamara Highsmith (East Haven, Conn.) led the way for the Huskies this weekend as she dominated in the triple jump finals, taking first place with a score of 13.31m while earning a NCAA automatic qualifying finish. Her finish also recorded a new school record, beating out the previous mark in which she set earlier this season. Her finish also places her at the top of the NEICAAA performance list and in the top-10 in the nation for the triple jump. Highsmith also finished in third in the pentathlon and earned a NCAA provisional qualifying mark with 3,831 points. Ellen Powers (Hudson, N.H.) finished in fourth with a score of 12.21, another ECAC qualifying mark for the Huskies.
Mandela Graves-Fulgham (Shutesbury, Mass.) finished in first place in the 400m dash with an ECAC qualifying time of 54.58 while teammate Carin Knight (New Rochelle, N.Y.) took first place in the high jump with a leap of 1.80m. Knight's NCAA provisional qualifying mark also represents one of the top-five marks in UConn's all-time performance list. Rachael Porter's (Watertown, Conn.) finish of 1.75m in the high jump was also an ECAC qualifying mark.
Phylicia George (Markham, Ont.) recorded an ECAC qualifying mark in both the 60m hurdles and the 60m dash with her finishes in the championship. Teammate Trisha-Ann Hawthorne (Elmsford, N.Y.) picked up a second place finish in the 60m dash with a time of 7.55, while Monique Hodges (Wethersfield, Conn.) finished right behind in third with a 7.59 finish. Both times were ECAC qualifiers. Hawthorne also came in second in the 200m dash with a time of 23.98.
Sophomore Tynisha McMillian (Bridgeport, Conn.) took a third place finish in the shot put with a mark of 15.41 (50-06.75) after her fourth place finish in the 20lb weight throw on Saturday. With her throw in the shot put, she earned a NCAA provisional qualifying mark.
The UConn coaching staff was also successful this weekend, as head coach Bill Morgan, distance coach Kim McGreevy and sprint and hurdles coach Clive Terrelonge, earned the 2008 BIG EAST Staff of the Year honors.