West Babylon, N.Y. – After claiming East Coast Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships a season ago, the Roberts Wesleyan women's and St. Thomas Aquinas men's teams are the favorites to win the conference title once again in 2019 after topping the league's preseason poll in a vote by the conference's coaches. In addition, St. Jacob Diodonet (West Milford, N.J.) from St. Thomas Aquinas claims the ECC Men's Preseason Athlete of the Year honor for the third straight year while LIU Post's Alexandria Okon (Laurel, Md.) was selected for the award on the women's side.
In the men's poll, St. Thomas Aquinas was the clear favorite with six first place votes and 94 points. The Spartans won the ECC Indoor Track & Field Championship in 2018 and are also winners of the past two ECC Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Georgian Court, the ECC Indoor Track & Field Champion in 2017, finished second in the poll with two first place votes and 77 points. Roberts Wesleyan and Daemen each earned one first place vote and come in third and fourth in the poll with 72 and 59 points, respectively.
Roberts Wesleyan came out on top in a much tighter women's poll that saw six different teams earn first place votes. The Redhawks, winners of the past four ECC Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships, received three first place votes and 102 points to top the poll. Georgian Court was second with 93 points and two first place votes, while St. Thomas Aquinas was close behind in third place with 91 points and three first place votes. District of Columbia, Daemen, and Holy Family also received first place votes.
Diodonet, a three-time ECC Indoor Athlete of the Year, kicks off the final season of his decorated career with a third straight Preseason Athlete of the Year honor. In another dominating indoor campaign a year ago, Diodonet qualified for the NCAA Division II Indoor National Championship meet in the 200m and 400m dash. He also earned All-Region selections as the region's fastest in the 60m (6.89) and 200m (21.44) and third fastest in the 400m (47.98). Diodonet was also named the ECC Indoor Championship Athlete of the Meet after winning the 60m (6.89), 200m (21.83), 400m (48.66) and 4x400m relay (3:22.07) to help the Spartans win title.
Okon earns the women's preseason honor after winning the 500m (1:17.47) at last year's ECC Championship. Okon also posted top-four finishes on six other occasions including runner-up finishes in the 400m (1:00.93) at the St. Joseph's College Winter Invitational, the 500m (1:17.71) at the Ramapo College Season Opener, and the 800m at the Yale Collegiate Invitational (2:18.88). She also helped the Pioneers to a pair of relay wins with top finishes in the 4x400 at the Ramapo Opener (4:05.52) and the 4x200 at the St. Joseph's Invitational (1:48.87).
2019 ECC Men's Indoor Track & Field Preseason Poll
|1. St. Thomas Aquinas (6)||94|
|2. Georgian Court (2)||77|
|3. Roberts Wesleyan (1)||72|
|4. Daemen (1)||59|
|5. LIU Post||57|
|6. Holy Family||49|
2019 ECC Women's Indoor Track & Field Preseason Poll
|1. Roberts Wesleyan (3)||102|
|2. Georgian Court (2)||93|
|3. St. Thomas Aquinas (3)||91|
|4. Dist. Columbia (1)||84|
|5. LIU Post||76|
|6. Daemen (1)||64|
|7. Holy Family (1)||58|
() - first place votes