American Track Team Prepares for Patriot League Outdoor Championships


Samia Akbar holds the top time in the Patriot League in the 5,000-meters heading into the outdoor championships this weekend.

WASHINGTON - American University's men's and women's outdoor track teams conclude American's first season of Patriot League competition this weekend.

The Eagles look to improve upon their outstanding performance at the indoor championships held in February. Junior Samia Akbar won the 5,000-meters and the women also returned to Washington with a third and fifth place finish. The men's team claimed four first place finishes and one second place.

Akbar has the top time in the league in the 5,000-meters by nearly 25 seconds. She provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships last weekend at the Penn Relays when she ran 16:44.36. Akbar is also second in the league in the 1,500-meters. She has had a remarkable outdoor season and she now holds four individual school records outdoors.

Sophomore Jen Baclawski is seventh in the league in the 5,000-meters. She will also be running the 10,000-meters on Frieday where she holds the school record. Chanel Spriggs is also ranked in the league, holding the sixth fastest time in the 100-meters.

The men's squad has also had an outstanding outdoor season with three runners being named ECAC Athletes of the Week. Sean Duffy (May 1), Sean O'Brien (March 27) and Matt Seymour (April 10) have all claimed the honor this season.

Duffy has had an outstanding freshman season, beginning with winning the 49ers Classic in the 1,500-meters. He also ran the leadoff leg for both Eagle relays at the Penn Relays and is third in the league in both the 800- and 1,500-meters. O'Brien leads the league in both of these events and is looking to add to his individual indoor title in the mile.

Seymour and classmate Frank Malpigli lead the American distance crew. Malpigli won the indoor 5,000-meters while Seymour was runner-up in the 3,000. Seymour has the second fastest time in the 5,000 while Malpigli is fourth. Malpigli will also run the 10,000-meters where he holds the school record. Seymour and Malpigli are also seventh and eight in the league in the 1,500-meters. Carlos Hunt will be running the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the meet where he currently holds the 15th fastest time in the league.

In the sprints, Andy Ellerhorst looks to lead the way for the Eagles in the 200- and 400-meters. He is currently sixth in the league in the 200 and ninth in the 400. John Campbell will be running the 100-meter dash for American.

The competition gets underway at Lehigh University on Friday at 3:00 p.m. with the field events an on the track at 3:30 p.m. with the 110-meter hurdles. The 3,000-meter steeplechase starts the meet Saturday at 11:00 a.m. The meet concludes with the 4x400-meter relay at 4:15.