The American University outdoor track and field teams are poised for a big weekend as they compete in the 2011 Patriot League Championships Friday and Saturday, May 6-7 in Easton, Pa.
The men's team returns two conference champions and a third All-Patriot League selection from last year's meet. Colin Eustis was first to capture an individual title, winning the 10,000 meter run for the first outdoor championship of his career. Zach Wright followed Eustis with a winning performance in the high jump on the second day of competition, marking American's first-ever field championship. Jeff Brannigan, meanwhile, fell just short in his championship bid, placing second in the 5,000 meter run to earn second team all-conference honors.
Brannigan has led the Eagles on the track this season and enters the championship meet having posted the fastest 1,500 meter run in the conference. His time of 3:49.04 is also the 10th fastest in program history. Conor Sullivan ranks seventh in the conference in the 1,500 meter with a time of 3:53.37 while Craig Brown is ninth with a time of 3:54.65.
Eustis currently holds the third-fastest 5,000 meter time this season with a 14:13.79 while Josh Olsen ranks seventh (14:24.51) and Brannigan 10th (14:27.33). Eustis also owns the eighth-fastest 10,000 meter time of 31:18.06. Wright, meanwhile, is tied for third in the high jump with a season-best 6' 8.25".
Erin Koch and Octavia Rinehardt will headline American's entries on the women's side. Koch has twice broken the school record in the 1,500 meter run this season with her most recent performance of 4:22.56 ranking as the fastest time in the conference. Koch also ranks second in the school record books and conference in the 800 meter run (2:10.78).
Rinehardt, who won both the 3,000 and 5,000 meter runs at the Patriot League Indoor Championships earlier this year, owns the top 5,000 meter time in the conference at 16:32.75. She also ranks ninth in the 1,500 meter with a time of 4:41.61 while Alexandra Tyburski ranks 10th with a 4:42.11.
Competition at the 2011 Patriot League Outdoor Track and Field Championships begins Friday morning and concludes Saturday afternoon. For more information on the meet, including a complete schedule, click here.