GORHAM, Maine -- Veteran University of Southern Maine women's track and field head coach George Towle recently announced that five seniors have been named captains for the 2011 outdoor season. Returning from the Huskies spring break trip to Florida, Towle announced that Vanessa Baird (Dover-Foxcroft, Maine), Carly Dion (Biddeford, Maine), Rachel Fisk (Kennebunk, Maine), Erin Garvey (Haverhill, Mass.) and Hillary Hall (Waldoboro, Maine) would share the captain's duties this spring.
All five played key roles last spring in the Huskies winning the Little East Conference title for the 11th consecutive year and capturing the New England Alliance crown for the 10th time in the past 11 seasons.
Baird is off to a strong start this spring recording a personal best in the shot put last weekend at the Florida State Relays. Baird had a mark of 11.60 meters (38 feet, 3/4 inch) to place 14th in a field primarily composed of Division I level athletes. That mark qualified her for the New England Division III and ECAC Division III Championships in May. Last year, Baird received All-Alliance recognition in three events, and All-Little East citations in two.
Coming off an excellent indoor season that included school records in the 1,000 meters (3:01.20), the 4 x 800-meter and the distance medley relays, Dion will team with Garvey to pace the USM runners. Indoors, Dion finished third in the 800 meters and mile at the LEC/Alliance meet. The school record holder outdoors in the 3,000 meters (10:36.11 in April 2010), she will open her outdoor season this weekend.
Another in the Huskies strong contingent of throwers, Fisk had a career season indoors this winter achieving personal bests in the shot put (36-5) and weight throw (42-8 3/4). She scored in both events at the LEC championships, and in the shot at the Alliance meet. She had a new outdoor best in the shot (35-6 1/2) at the Northeastern Spring Open meet.
Garvey opened her final outdoor campaign last weekend with a career best time in the 1500 meters, crossing the line in 4:58.07 to place 13th overall. An All-Alliance (800, 1500) and All-LEC (800) last spring, Garvey joined Dion as part of the two indoor record relays this winter.
One of the most prolific high jumpers in school history, Hall is the defending Alliance and LEC champion. A model of consistency, Hall jumped five feet or better in eight of ten indoor meets, including an indoor personal best of 1.62 meters (5-3 3/4) at the Bates College Invitational. She opened the outdoor season by clearing 1.55 meters (5-1) last weekend at the FSU Relays to tie for eighth place.
The Huskies are in competition this Saturday (11:00 a.m.) at the Smith College Invitational in Northampton, Mass.