Friday, February 23, 2007
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Womens Tennis preview
The last time the Centennial Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships were held at Haverford, Katie Hesselink-Hicks, then a freshman, finished 10th in the high jump. She cleared the same height as the three competitors who tied for sixth but needed more jumps.
Hesselink-Hicks says she didnt grasp the significance of the near-miss at the time, but has come to appreciate it as the Muhlenberg
Now a senior, Hesselink-Hicks is one of the captains who will try to impress on the younger athletes the importance of every place first through eighth when the Mules return to Haverford for the 2007 CC Championships this weekend.
The meet begins with two field events and the mens mile at noon on Saturday. There are six championship finals on Saturday, with 11 more set for Sunday before the meet wraps up in the late afternoon.
The Muhlenberg women are coming off back-to-back second-place finishes, by 1½ points to Haverford last season and by 2½ points to Dickinson the previous year. They were fourth, 3½ points out of third, in 2004.
The mens team has also been scrapping for positions. The Mules were 2½ points out of second place in 2004, then took second by a half-point in 2005. Last year, they slipped back to third, two points behind second-place Dickinson and two points ahead of fourth-place Ursinus.
Everything counts, said Hesselink-Hicks. First place gets all the attention, but seventh and eighth are equally as important. Even if you dont score, you might keep someone else from scoring. If we see a Dickinson or Haverford girl in front of us in a race, we try to catch them.
Based on the CC performance lists, Muhlenberg women are the favorites in two events. Senior Jacquelyn Inverso, the outstanding performer for field events at the CC indoor meet in both 2004 and 2006, has the top triple jump, and freshman Alex Faust is first in the pole vault. Inverso also ranks in the top eight in the high jump, long jump and 55-meter hurdles, while Faust is in the top five in the 200 and 400 and will be an important relay contributor.
Senior Rachel Drosdick, the defending CC indoor long jump champion, is fourth in that event and fifth in the 55-meter hurdles. Junior Erika Koop and Hesselink-Hicks rank third and fourth, respectively, in the high jump.
The men also have a pair of athletes who top the performance lists. Senior Lex Mercado, who won three gold medals last year, is first in the 800 meters, and junior Michael Karchner owns the best long jump. Mercado also will be part of a strong distance-medley relay team that includes junior Dan Steinhart (ranked second in the 200 and 400) and sophomores Stuart Udis (third in the 800) and David Chorney (second in the mile).
The athletes mentioned above are all expected to place in their events, but it is those who outperform their seeds and earn extra points who could make the difference.
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Last updated February 23, 2007