Maya Hinton, Tigers prepare for home meet
Courtesy: Scott Thornton
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Maya Hinton, Tigers prepare for home meet
| @Towson_TFXC Hosts Invitational Saturday
Courtesy: Athletics Media Relations  
Release: 03/29/2012
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    Towson Invitational Records
TOWSON, Md. - The Tigers aim to make the most of their only opportunity to compete on their home track this year when they host the Annual Towson University Track & Field Invitational this Saturday on the oval in Johnny Unitas Stadium.

The non-scoring meet gets underway at 10:30 a.m. with the 10,000 meter run, pole vault and throws. The final event of the day, the 1600 meter relay, is scheduled for 4:15 p.m.

"This is big for us because it's our only home meet of the year," said Tiger coach Roger Erricker. "It's especially important to the seniors - it's a very big meet for them."

The Tigers will entertain track squads from 16 different schools including Bucknell, the 2012 Patriot League indoor champion, and Maryland Eastern Shore, runner up in the 2012 ECAC Indoor Championships where the Hawks were edged 55-54 by team champion Cornell.

Three All-Americans will compete. UMES' Lenora Firmin-Gouin won the ECAC indoor 400 meter dash in 53.19. The Hawks' Andre Walsh was the IC4A indoor champion in the 200 dash with a 20.89 clocking. Bucknell's Ted Heitzman was sixth nationally last year in the javelin with a throw of 236'7".

Heitzman is one of three Towson Invitational record holders to return for the 2012 meet. Coppin State's Jibri Victorian is back to defend his 52.09 record in the 400 hurdles. UMES' Venessa Henry rewrote the shot put mark last year with a put of 46'6". She threw 51'1" at the Navy Invitational earlier this season.

A number of Tigers are back to defend their 2011 first place performances.

Seniors Shianna Smith and Shannel Shivers finished one-two in the hammer with throws of 152'11" and 150'11" respectively. Shivers is the Towson record holder at 166'5" with Smith right behind at 165'1". Shivers also holds the program records in the shot put (43'7" indoors) and the discus (138'6").

Junior Ashley Dabney, sophomore Evan Campbell and junior Jessica Cooke dominated the high jump sweeping the first three places. Both Dabney and Campbell have cleared the bar at 5'7" but captured last year's Invitational high jump with a 5'1" jump.

Sophomore Desiree Vaughn won the 200 meter dash in 25.93. Senior Erika Griffith led the field in the 5000 meter run in 18:27.33. Graduate student Katie Ogden set the pace for all women in the 10,000 meter run in 37:06.90. She's looking to qualify again for the ECAC's.

Elsewhere the Tigers are looking for strong showings by junior Katie Salke in the triple jump. Salke is coming off a medal performance at Navy where she posted a 35'10.5" effort. Sophomore Leslie Miles is hoping for a break through in the 400 meter dash after a nagging injury slowed her during the indoor season. Senior Kaylin Gilmartin-Donohue is a threat in the middle distances. She is the Towson record holder in the 1500 meter run in a time of 4:30.44.

Several newcomers should also contribute to the excitement for the Tigers.

Freshman thrower Alexis Appezzato has burst on to the javelin scene. Her 139'9" at Coastal Carolina vaulted her into second on the Tigers' all-time list. She finished first at Navy, beating runner up Jillian Seamon of Delaware who is the two-time defending Colonial Athletic Association javelin champion, by almost 13 feet. The two will meet again on Saturday.

Freshmen distance runners Elizabeth Tauber and Kara Bucaro should have an impact. Tauber adds depth to the 5000 meter run. Bucaro is emerging in the 800 and 1500.

Graduation nearly wiped out the Tigers' hurdle crew but freshman Emily Wenger has stepped up. Her 1:03.82 earned her a medal at Navy in the 400 meter hurdles. Freshman Kamilah Browne is working the 100 meter hurdles.


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