June 6, 2008
DAYTON, Ohio - In only his first year at the helm of the UD women's track and field team, head coach Adam Steinwachs guided the 2007-2008 squad to its best-ever finishes in both the Atlantic 10 Outdoor and Indoor Track & Field Championships.
The 2007-2008 season could be easily labeled one of the most successful in program history as Dayton finished second in both conference championships.
The second place finishes marked the first time in school history that the Flyers took one of the top slots in the A-10. Dayton's previous finishes were as high as fifth at the Indoor Championships and fourth at the Outdoor Championships.
UD was led throughout the season by its throwers. Freshman and A-10 First Team selection Johnna Zaccari picked up the shot put title at the Indoor Championships, while fellow teammate Sarah Allen, also a first team and all-academic honoree, won the outdoor title.
The Flyers had a tremendous indoor season that set the tone for the rest of the year. Dayton won two of its seven indoor meets and placed a program-best second out of 12 at the A-10 Indoor Championship. The other five meets were not team scored.
Flyer freshman Ashley Cattran broke a school record in her collegiate debut at the Findlay Oiler Open to start the season. Cattran outdistanced more than 16 runners for a program-best 42.40 time in the 300 meter dash.
In UD's second meet of the year, more than five top 10 finishes were recorded at the Hoosier Open.
Dayton then went on to notch a first-place finish scoring ahead of six other teams at the Ohio Northern University Friday Night Series on Jan 19. Eight Flyers took the top spot in their individual events including Lauren McCormick who was the lone Flyer to take two titles; in the 55 meter dash (7.15) and the 200 meter (26.41).
UD was impressive across the board as distance runner Maureen Bulgrin took the top spot in the one mile run with a final time of 5:19.78. Anne Oltman's time of 19:00.99 gave her the crown in the 5,000 meter run as Dayton also took titles behind Sydney Hubbard, Cattran, Tiffany Maske, Andrea Funk, and Zaccari.
Next up for the Flyers was the Findlay Classic where the squad collected three individual titles, two of which were earned by McCormick once again. The sophomore earned first place in the 60 meter dash with a personal best 7.66 and grabbed her first-ever long jump title, tying her previous best mark of 17 feet.
Dayton dominated the Tiger Indoor Invitational on Feb. 1. The Flyers cruised to a team score of 265.5 points en route to their second team victory of the season. UD won 11 events total at the competition and took the meet by 183.5 points.
Freshman Mallory Barnes performance in the weight throw highlighted the success of the meet as she set a new school record (56-10.00) and finished first.
With such success leading up to the A-10 Indoor Championships, the Flyers were poised to make a run in the conference, and that's exactly what they did.
Twelve Flyers posted personal bests and Dayton received top-five finishes in 11 events at the tournament. The team tallied 91 points overall as the Flyers finished second to defending champion Charlotte 49ers, who were heavily favored.
Zaccari edged 19 throwers to take the A-10 shot put crown; she was named First Team All-Atlantic 10 for her toss of 46-04.25. Allen, who finished only second to Zaccari in the shot put (44-09.00) was named to the A-10 Academic All-Conference team.
Fresh off the team's second place finish at the A-10 Championships, UD took part in the Coastal Carolina Invitational where the team started off the outdoor season with 19 top-ten finishes.
Dayton finished up third at the Southern Cup Invitational on March 29 and amid injuries placed fifth at the Miami Team Challenge on April 12, and 10th at the All-Ohio Championship Meet on April 19.
Heading into the Conference Outdoor Championships, hampered by injuries, the Flyers were unsure if they would match their second place indoor championship finish. When they did, it came as quite a surprise, and put the finishing touches on the best season in program history.
Two school records were broken at the meet as the team finished tied for silver with the University of Rhode Island. Dayton nabbed 110.5 team points, while Charlotte earned its third-straight outdoor title with 203 overall points.
Oltman cut significant time off her previous 3,000 meter steeplechase time to establish a new school record of 11:15.73, good for fifth place.
Running for the first time in the season, the 4x800 relay team finished sixth overall en route to a program-best time of 9:12.10. Allen captured her first conference title with a personal best and team best throw of 46-03.25 in the shot put.
In the jumps, senior Megan Sweeney capped of her Flyer career notching one of the Flyers' highest finishes of the meet. Sweeney leaped 5-05.00 in the high jump placing second. Teammate Pembroke Strickland also grabbed a second place finish in the pole vault. Despite tough conditions, Strickland finished with a mark of 10-06.00.
UD also had three top 10 finishes in the discus throw, freshman Emily Overmyer placed fourth (137-02.00), while sophomore Molly McCarty set a personal record with her toss of 128-08.00, good for the fifth. Mallory Barnes also placed finishing 10th with a throw of 117-07.00.
The Flyers also boasted three of the top seven performers in the heptathlon. Amy Kremer finished second with 4,117 points. Emma Steinmetz</a> followed in third with 4,073 points and Emily Krizmanic placed seventh collecting 3,693 points.
Dayton's track team accomplished in a year what most squad's could only hope for. The 2007-08 campaign featured a number of individual and team accomplishments that easily qualifies the year to be labeled the best ever in the history of the program.
The Flyers lose only two seniors in Sweeney and Emily Deet. With a strong group of returnees and a solid foundation laid UD will only be able to build upon its successes in the upcoming year.