The men’s and women’s track and field teams will be heading to Boston University for the ECAC/IC4A Championships, which will begin on Friday and conclude Sunday evening.
On Saturday, the women and men will get their first chance to showcase their talents. In the morning, the men will compete in the triple jump trials, and then later in the finals if they qualify.
The men will also be featured in the 1 mile, high jump, 400m, 5000m-selection and 4 x 400m trials.
In the evening, the women will compete in three events; 20 Wt. Throw, 400m and 800m trials.
The 20 Wt. throw final will take place on Saturday evening. On Sunday, there will be several event finals.
The women will compete in the shot put trials and later, if they qualify, will compete in the finals.
If the men and women qualify for the finals, the men will compete in the 1 mile, 400m, 4×400 finals. The women will also compete in DMR – selection, 400m, 800m and 4x400m finals.
The Owls hope to participate in the IC4A/ECAC award ceremonies, which will conclude the three day event. This will give the Owls a boost as the NCAA championship approaches.
The Owls didn’t envision being 7-8 at this point in the season. That’s been well-documented.
But if there’s any sort of solace to take from that rough start, one game into the Atlantic 10 Conference season it’s this. Temple had one of the most ridiculous RPI’s in the nation, and certainly the toughest in the conference.
RPIRatings.com has two different sets of numbers, one on their main page, and another by Jeff Sagarin. The numbers differ a bit but the general consensus is the same.
Temple played one of the toughest schedule in the A-10 thus far. According to Sagarin’s numbers, the Owls had the 13th toughest schedule as of Jan. 13. The next closes was St. Joe’s who came in at 39th in the nation.
According to RPIRatings.com, the Hawks came in at 22nd while the Owls sat at 33rd.
What does this mean?
Well, for starters the Owls are clearly more battle-tested as the conference schedule starts. The tough part of the season should be over, although coach Tonya Cardoza would beg to differ.
Secondly, while teams like Dayton, St. Joe’s and Duquesne may have a better record to date than the Owls it seems like a good predictor that the Owls should be able to leapfrog some of these squads if the ratings are any indication.
Maybe all hope is not lost on the season.
Sophomore guard Tyonna Williams has shown improvement across the board despite the Owls’ five-game losing streak, one small thing that has coach Tonya Cardoza excited.
“She wants it and she’s going out and trying to get better, because she wants to compete against the very best,” Cardoza said after Wednesday’s loss to Georgetown.
Temple is now 5-7, even if Williams has done her best to stop the bleeding.
The first-year starter was barely hanging onto her starting gig for the first few games of the season. The point guard averaged 4.85 assists in the team’s first seven games, but just 7.4 points on 29.6-percent shooting and 1.14 steals while coughing up the ball 4.57 times per contest.
Over the Thanksgiving holiday she vowed to be in the gym non-stop to improve her game, and early signs are positive.
Despite dropping five straight, she’s improved in all categories, with 5.6 assists versus 4.4 turnovers, 10.2 points, 2.4 steals and four rebounds per game.
Cardoza said after the game she wished more of her team was playing with the intensity and desire to be the best the way Williams has shown of late.
Only twice in coach Tonya Cardoza’s tenure as the head of the Owls’ program has her squad lost five consecutive games.
The only other time was last season when Temple dropped non-conference games against ranked opponents Ohio State, Texas A&M and Rutgers and non-ranked foe’s Northern Illinois and St. John’s.
Last season the Owls had the likes of senior guards Shey Peddy, BJ Williams and Kristen McCarthy to stop the bleeding and eventually lead the team to a 23-10 season.
This season there’s senior guard Victoria Macaulay, sophomore guard Tyonna Williams and not much else.
Cardoza called this one of the most challenging times in her five years at Temple.
“Most definitely,” Cardoza said. “And I don’t think it has anything to do with youth, I think it’s a mindset that you have to play when you play this game.”
The Owls have two more games before they start the Atlantic 10 Conference season. It’ll be interesting to see how she tries to right the ship.
Redshirt-junior forward Natasha Thames appears to be getting more comfortable with each game following her season-ending knee injury last season.
Coach Tonya Cardoza limited her only other big man outside of senior center Victoria Macaulay to 16, 27 and 22 minutes in the team’s first three games, respectively. Since then she’s averaged 36.4 minutes per game. Her lowest total was 28 against Bowling Green when she left early with a concussion, causing her to miss the next game.
In her last three starts Thames has shot 57.1 percent from the field, compared to 39.3 percent in her previous five starts. In that same span she’s averaging 9.33 points compared to five points to start the season.
Only her rebounding has been consistent, as she’s averaged seven per contest with only one double-digit rebound performance thus far.
As she gets more comfortable expect both her scoring and rebounding to improve further.
Even if her team doesn’t have the record to show for it, senior center Victoria Macaulay is sure making a case for Atlantic 10 Conference Most Valuable Player.
The Owls’ lone senior ranks near the top in several categories in the conference just over a month into the season. She has 16.8 points (third in the A-10), 9.7 rebounds (fourth) and 2.1 blocks (third) per game, and is shooting 56.5 percent (first) all while playing 35.6 minutes (fourth).
The only players with comparable numbers are Virginia Commonwealth University’s senior swing-woman Robyn Parks and Butler’s junior forward Daress McClung.
Parks is averaging 18 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 2.5 steals per game while playing 34.6 minutes. But she’s shooting under 50 percent.
McClung is averaging 16.3 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.4 steals and 2.5 blocks per game. But she’s also shooting under 50 percent and doesn’t rank in the top-10 in minutes played like the other two candidates.
It’s too early to designate a clear favorite but Macaulay has to be up near the top, if not at the top.
The women’s basketball team will look to stop a two-game losing skid in their first Big 5 meeting of the season tonight.
Coming off a bad loss to Kent State (1-9) and a 22-point loss to Auburn (9-2) the Owls will have no easy time tonight against rival Villanova.
The Wildcats will enter tonight at 8-1 and 3-0 at home. Coach Harry Perretta’s squad are winners of their last seven games. Laura Sweeney, averaging 12 points and six rebounds per game, and Rachel Roberts, averaging 11 points and 3 rebounds, lead a balanced Villanova offense.
Although they’ll be playing on the outskirt of the city, tonight will be Temple’s third game of a six-game road swing. Losers of their last two, the Owls have fallen to 5-4 and just 1-3 in away games.
Perhaps the most alarming difference between these two teams is their turnover ratios. Temple has been plagued by turnovers all season, averaging 23 giveaways per game. Villanova, on the other hand, does a great job of protecting the ball. The Wildcats average just 12 turnovers per game.
Villanova is also shooting .364 from three-point range on the season, while Temple is shooting .254 from beyond the arc. However, the Owls will have sophomore guard Rateska Brown available off the bench tonight. Brown, arguably the team’s best three-point shooter, missed the previous game against Auburn due to a violation of team conduct.
Temple coach Tonya Cardoza admitted earlier in the week that Villanova is a team the Owls typically have a tough time defending. They’ll look to break that notion tonight in their first Big 5 affair of the season.
The Owls and Wildcats are set to tip off at 6 p.m. in Villanova.
Redshirt senior Travis Mahoney placed 37th today at the NCAA Championships in Louisville, becoming the first Temple All-American in cross country history.
Mahoney, who is the Atlantic 10 Conference champion and Mid-Atlantic regional champion, finished today’s 10k race with a time of 28:59.6. He has previously earned All-American honors twice before for performances in track and field.
Being the last event of the season, Mahoney has now concluded his collegiate running career. He had previously voiced a desire to win the conference, regionals, and to become an All-American in cross country. Mahoney has achieved all three of those goals.
Ice hockey will get back at it Saturday as it rides a three-game winning streak into its road matchup with St. Joseph’s at the Skatium Ice Skating Rink in Havertown, Pa.
The Owls (11-6) are coming off a thriller shootout win last Friday night at the dispense of Liberty University, and will look to keep to their winning ways with road games with the Hawks on Saturday and NYU Sunday.
The Hawks (3-8-1) will be looking to avenge this matchup’s last result, an 11-1 Temple rout on Oct. 26.
The Owls currently sit in 13th place in the latest southeast American Collegiate Hockey Association ranking, but sit in a second-place tie with Rowan University in the overall southeast ACHA standings with 22 points.
Temple is will be looking to improve to 3-3 in Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Hockey Association play, while St. Joseph’s will attempt to crack the win column in its fourth MACHA game.
Game time is set for 5:30 p.m.
Redshirt senior Travis Mahoney will race for the final time in his collegiate career today, as he competes in the 2012 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championship at 1:15 p.m. in Louisville.
Mahoney, who was named Mid-Atlantic Regional Athlete of the Year after his first-place victory at regionals, is hoping to become the first Temple All-American in university history.
“I don’t think top 15 is out of the question if he races like he does [at regionals],” coach Adam Bray said. “I think he’s one of the top guys in the country and, to be honest with you, he’s kind of flown under the radar this season because in the past he hasn’t been a true cross country guy. He’s turning into that, before our eyes.”
The men’s race will, like regionals, be a 10k event, while the women will run in a 6k race. Both will be held at The E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park.
The Temple News has previously reported that Mahoney would be racing Nov. 19, based off of information provided by the team’s communications department, but has since learned that date to have been incorrect.