URI’s Franklin Stallworth (right) runs at the Sorlien Invitational

Photo by Mike Scott

Both University of Rhode Island men’s and women’s track and field programs competed at the John Thomas Terrier Classic in Boston this past weekend.

The women recorded six top-10 finishes and 15 seasonal or personal bests. On the men’s side, an equal amount of top-10 finishes and seasonal or personal bests were achieved.

Senior Karlee Fowler led the way for the Rams, as her pole vault finish not only earned her first place, but set a new school record. Her jump measured 12 feet 10 inches, just squeaking by the old school record of 12 feet nine and a half-inches which was set in 2016. “There is a good chance that’s leading the A-10, and is certainly one of the top jumps in all of New England,” assistant coach John Melnick said. “It was a great breakthrough.”

In addition to Fowler, senior Courtney Hawkins recorded a time of 10:05, making her the 10th best URI individual to ever run the event.  Overall, five athletes qualified for the New England Championships which will take place on Feb. 2 in Boston. Among those qualifiers are freshman Ashley Evans and Kelly Iocca, along with junior Shelby Aarden.

Evans and Iocca are both freshman, who both qualified in the 3000 meters. Aarden also qualified in the 3000 meter race. “Historically it has been a great venue for us to perform in,” Melnick said. “The season has gotten off to a great start for us, and we do have another meet this weekend, but it’s all about getting ready for the Atlantic 10 championships.”

The men had an equally successful weekend, with a multitude of athletes qualifying for the New England Championships. Senior Brandon Amo earned A-10 field athlete of the week for his second-place finish in the 35-pound weight throw.

Amo’s longest throw, which reached a striking 63 feet and four and one-quarter inches, ties him for eighth all-time in University history. “That was the best throw of his life,” head coach John Copeland said. “Currently we are counting on him to be an important part of our attack going into New England Championships.”

Ryan Wilkes was also a key athlete towards the Rams success, as he placed first in the pole vault competition. Nigel Hill also had a very successful meet, sprinting a 21.41 second 200 meter, his fastest time ever posted this early in the season.

“Everybody ran very well, and we are very pleased with that,” Copeland said. “As we look at the NE championships, up front will be Connecticut, Dartmouth, URI, Northeastern. Those will be the top four and it will be a very tight battle. We will be represented in the majority of the events up through the 1000 meters, and we will have representatives in all of the field events. We have won the meet 21 times so were looking to do as much damage as we can this weekend.”

Both men’s and women’s programs will compete in the New England Championships this weekend in Boston, Massachusetts.