Scrolling Headlines:

Nick Mariano, Zach Oliveri transferring from UMass men’s lacrosse program -

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Four months after banning Iranian students from certain graduate programs, UMass announces new measures to ensure compliance with U.S. law -

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Justin King sentenced to eight to 12 years in prison -

Monday, June 29, 2015

Two future UMass hockey players selected in 2015 NHL Draft -

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Supreme Court ruling clears way for same-sex marriage nationwide -

Friday, June 26, 2015

Former UMass center Cady Lalanne taken 55th overall by Spurs in 2015 NBA Draft -

Friday, June 26, 2015

Second of four men found guilty on three counts of aggravated rape in 2012 UMass gang rape case -

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Boston bomber speaks out for first time: ‘I am sorry for the lives I have taken’ -

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

King claims sex with woman was consensual during alleged 2012 gang rape -

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Wrongful death suit filed in death of UMass student -

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Ryan Bamford uses online Q&A session to discuss UMass football conference search, renovation plans, cost of attendance -

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Opening statements delivered, first witnesses called in second trial for alleged 2012 gang rape at UMass -

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

UMass Board of Trustees approves rise in tuition, student fees -

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Former Minutewoman Quianna Diaz-Patterson named to Puerto Rican national softball team -

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

UMass rowing’s Jim Dietz inducted into CRCA Hall of Fame -

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Jury selection begins Monday in second gang rape trial -

Monday, June 15, 2015

Students turn attention to state legislators as decision on UMass budget looms -

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Alumna and next director of Brooklyn Museum Anne Pasternak ‘created her own path’ -

Thursday, June 11, 2015

UMass graduate crowned head of 600-year-old Indian kingdom -

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Committee recommends UMass increase tuition, student fees for in-state undergraduates -

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

UMass women’s track and field opens indoor season at URI this weekend

Flickr/katie schenk

Massachusetts women’s track and field coach Julie LaFreniere can’t speak highly enough about how hard her team has been working during fall training, and she thinks the new season looks promising.

The Minutewomen will have their first chance to make that hard work pay off when they have their first event of the 2012-13 indoor season at the URI Pentathlon in Kingston, R.I., on Friday.

“The coaching staff is very pleased with how well the fall training has gone and what’s even more important is the commitment that our athletes have made to this program and to each other and we can build on that,” LaFreniere said. “It’s a young team, and we’re looking forward to watching them compete and working with them. I think it’ll be pretty exciting.”

Last year, UMass finished 11th out of 12 teams at the indoor Atlantic 10 Championships. LaFreniere said the A-10, which now has 14 teams with the addition of Butler and Virginia Commonwealth, is a tough conference, but the team is hoping for better results this year.

“We’re looking for our athletes to make it to finals, but be strong enough to improve in the finals and not just make it there and then not perform,” LaFreniere said.

LaFreniere said that injuries may be a problem for the team. Some major players from last year will not be competing this year due to injuries sustained last season, LaFreniere said, but she didn’t give the names of those players.

This year, the team brought in 13 freshmen recruits. LaFreniere said she feels good about the new members, but mainly hopes that they can improve as they make the transition from high school to college.

“We’d like to see them by the end of the season perform at a little bit higher level than they did in high school,” LaFreniere said. “Some people adapt better than others with new training programs, the academics, but we will do whatever we can to get them to perform to their best.”

The team’s freshmen did not take long to make the transition last year. Then-freshman Rebecca Stoyle set the fourth best mark in UMass history for indoor triple jump  at the A-10 Championships, good for fifth place at the tournament.

Stoyle also got the third best outdoor triple jump in team history at the outdoor A-10 Championships, earning third place.

Meghan Landry had success as a freshman last year in the 4×400 meter relay along with upperclassmen Sarah Bitterman, Meghan Leahy and Michelle Jenssen at the Indoor New England Championships, setting the fifth best time in team history.

Katie Powers and Courtney Neves also found their way  into the UMass record books, setting the second fastest time for the indoor 4×800 meter relay with Bitterman and Deanna Julian at the Indoor New England Championships. The pair also won  the Outdoor New England Championships with Leahy and Claire Petit, again setting the second best time in UMass history.

LaFreniere said now that the freshmen standouts from last year are sophomores, not only are the coaches’ expectations higher, but the players’ expectations for themselves are higher as well.

“They’ve got all that initial adaptation under their belt and they’re fit and have higher expectations from what they did as freshmen,” LaFreniere said.

The upcoming pentathlon  consists of five events: 60-meter hurdles, long jump, high jump, shot put and 800-meter run.

The event is not part of the regular track season. Instead, the players take their combined scores from all the events, and those who get the top scores have a chance to qualify for the pentathlon event at the Indoor New England Championships .No UMass athletes qualified for the pentathlon event at the New England Championships last season. However, LaFreniere is still looking forward to the upcoming event.

“We’re looking forward to seeing what the pentathletes are able to do, see how they perform,” LaFreniere said.

After this event, the track team will have to wait another month before the regular season kicks off on Jan. 11 at the GoRhody Invitational.

 

Jesse Mayfield-Sheehan can be reached at jmayfiel@student.umass.edu and followed on Twitter @jgms88

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