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Terriers look to improve upon successful 2011-12 campaign

The 2012 indoor season for the Boston University track and field team featured multiple new school records, several America East individual titles and two All-Americans. With several key athletes returning and a few fresh faces, the 2013 team looks to continue this dominant performance.

BU is ineligible to compete in the America East Championship Tournament this season, which Robyne Johnson, BU’s director of track and field, said was disappointing, as BU has had recent success in the tournament, including a team victory for the women in 2012.

“Usually that’s one of our big goals, to win the conference,” Johnson said.

For the time being, however, Johnson said it was important to focus on other competitions.

“We are really just focused on getting our kids better, and trying to qualify for some of the major championships.”

There are several Terriers who could qualify to compete at the national level, including senior jumper Allison Barwise, who will look to carry her success from 2012 into this season. Last season, Barwise was named a U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association First Team All-American after placing fifth in the NCAA Championships.

This year, Johnson says she has high expectations for Barwise, who also qualified for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in the high jump, where she placed 11th.

“[We want her to] just continue on that general path she’s been on of competing at a very high level,” Johnson said.

As for the rest of the field events, Johnson said the team has a lot to anticipate.

“Everybody’s looking pretty good,” Johnson said. “We’ve always been a pretty strong field event team. We’ve recruited towards that end as well.”

One of the top recruits this year is freshman thrower Reuben Horace, who was one of the top hammer throwers in the nation. In high school, Horace threw over 212 feet.

“I look forward to seeing all of my freshmen compete,” Johnson said. “We have a great class that has come in this year, and we look forward to seeing everyone reap the fruits of working all first semester.”

Distance has historically been a strong event for the Terriers, and this year is expected to be no different. Several top runners from last season will be lacing up their spikes again in 2013.

Junior Rich Peters had considerablesuccess last season as one of the nation’s top milers.

He was named a USTFCCCA First Team All-American as the national runner-up in the mile (4:01.78).

He also broke his own conference record with a time of 3:59.24 at the America East Championships, and broke his own school record with a time of 3:57.83. On the women’s side, graduate student Katie Matthews will also play a key role in the Terriers’ success. Last season, she set a new school record in the 5000 meters with a time of 15:52.8 and was an All-American in 2011.

Other top returning distance runners include seniors Matt Paulson, Elliot Lehane, Robert Gibson and juniors Monica Adler and Rosa Moriello.

Johnson said the continued success of the distance runners is largely due to the efforts of their coach.

“Bruce Lehane coaches our distance kids, and he’s done a fabulous job per usual,” Johnson said. “Over the years, he’s gotten our kids prepared, getting ready to really step it up to that next level, and the kids have responded.”

Johnson said she also anticipates a strong effort from the athletes competing in shorter distances.

The sprinters will be led by senior RJ Page, whom Johnson described as a “a very intense person [and] a very hard worker.” Last season, Page placed first at the America East Championships in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.84 and also set school and conference records in the 200 meters (21.29).

Senior Shelby Walton will likely continue her success, as well. Last year, Walton had an excellent showing at the America East championship, winning the 200-meter dash (23.99) and placing second in the 60-meter dash (7.61).

Johnson noted freshman Sophie Jacsurak, senior Julia Mirochnick and graduate student Zachary Ray as potential threats in the sprints and hurdles. According to Johnson, senior Tewado Latty, a 400 runner, could have a breakout season, as well.

“He’s ready to show us what he’s got,” Johnson said of Latty. “We’re ready to see that. He’ll run very well.”

The Terriers will host their first competition of the season, the Multi-Team Meet, on Jan. 17 at the Track and Tennis Center. Johnson said she is excited to see how her team stacks up against the competition after months of training.

“It’s hard [to prepare] in track and field because you wait for a long time. We start training in October,” Johnson said. “It’ll be nice to get them out there on the track, and see what they’re doing … I think we’ll be happy with what we see.

“We have a lot of good people … they’ve been putting in a lot of work this first semester. We’re anxious and excited to see how they’ve progressed this year.”

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