STORRS, Conn. (November 21, 2008) - The University of Connecticut women's track and field team has chosen five seniors to lead the way during the 2008-09 season. These five individuals will represent a team that has won seven major championships, including the remarkable "tri-fecta" from last year's indoor season when the Huskies won the BIG EAST, New England and ECAC Championships.
A two-time captain, Amanda Martin (Rowley, Mass.) will headline the handful of leaders as she is a BIG EAST and ECAC Champion in the javelin as well as a NCAA qualifier. Alyssa Evering (Bel Air, Md.) is one of the Huskies top sprinters as she is a NCAA Regional qualifier in both the 400m dash and a part of UConn's 4x100 relay that was the runner-up at the BIG EAST Championship in 2007. Evering currently holds the school record for the 200m dash in indoor competition while holding the record for the 400m dash in outdoor. The senior is also a BIG EAST, New England and ECAC Champion in the sprinting events.
Another stellar sprinter for the Huskies the past three seasons is Jessi Foreman (Wayland, Mass.). Foreman is the UConn record holder in the 60m dash and is a two-time NCAA qualifier and a two-time BIG EAST Champion in both the 60m and 100m dash. She also adds a New England Championship title to her list of accolades.
Monique Hodges (Wethersfield, Conn.) has also been a threat in the Huskies' sprint corps as she is a NCAA Regional qualifier in outdoor competition while qualifying for all three major championships. Last season she competed in each championship, helping the Huskies to their "triple crown" milestone. Rachael Porter (Watertown, Conn.) is one of UConn's most experienced high jumpers, having qualified for all three major championships in indoor competition, while qualifying for the BIG EAST Championship during the outdoor season.
The Huskies' BIG EAST Title in 2008 was their first conference championship since the 1995 season, while their ECAC title during the outdoor season was their first ever. UConn's ECAC Indoor honor was their second consecutive title. With the New England Championship victory, the Huskies picked up their 27th overall title.
Despite the loss of two-time All-American triple jumper, Tamara Highsmith, and versatile sprinter, Kaitlyn Whitlock, to graduation in 2008, the team returns every scorer along with the welcoming of outstanding freshmen who will immediately contribute to the program.
With 45 conference champions in 2008, which led the UConn program to its greatest season in program history, the expectations are even greater as a new year commences.
"The experience of having 10 NCAA Regional Outdoor participants and four NCAA qualifiers from last year's group returning, added to an Olympic Trials represented by some of our present and former student-athletes, only contributes to the excitement of this year's campaign." said head coach Bill Morgan.
UConn's returning student-athletes have accounted for an impressive 15 BIG EAST Conference Championships in the last three years.
Carin Knight (New Rochelle, N.Y.) is one of the Huskies' top performers from the 2008 season as she was named an All-American in the high jump, while winning titles at the NCAA Regional, BIG EAST and New England Championships. Trisha-Ann Hawthorne (Elmsford, N.Y.) had one of the most successful freshman seasons in program history as she was a BIG EAST, New England and ECAC Champion. Hawthorne currently holds the school record in both the 100m and 200m dash and was a NCAA qualifier in her first year at UConn. She also earned a spot on the Jamaican Junior World Team and competed in the 100, 200 and 4x100 relay. Tynisha McMillian (Bridgeport, Conn.) has been one of the Huskies' top scorers in throwing events as she won the ECAC title in the shot put last season while qualifying for the NCAA Championship.
Mandela Graves-Fulgham (Shutesbury, Mass.) holds the UConn record in the 400m as she is a two-time BIG EAST and New England Champion in the 400 and 4x400. Junior Chanell Smith (Bronx, N.Y.) has also done well for the Huskies as she was a New England Champion in the 500m.
The Huskies are welcoming in some talented newcomers to the program this season, led by Victoria Flowers (Providence, R.I.), who was a National Champion in high school and who currently holds the national high school record in the 20-pound weight throw. Danika Ham (Somersworth, N.H.) will also compete in field events as she was a New England Champion in the javelin while Lhayana Dallas (Harrisburg, Pa.) is an outstanding transfer who will dominate the 400m dash and 400m hurdle events.