Foley leaves for Lafayette

Kristen Foley has been named an assistant coach for the Lafayette College women’s basketball team.

Foley, the former Senior Associate Athletic Director who supervised women’s basketball, crew, rowing and women’s volleyball, is being sued — alongside the university and former track & field coach Eric Mobley — by former athlete, Ebony Moore for $10 million in damages on charges of harassment, sexual harassment and gender-based discrimination.

Moore, competed as a discuss thrower for the women’s track and field team from 2009-2011. During her time with the Owls she claims she was subject to bullying, sexual harassment and neglect which led to a near suicide attempt. These issues were ignored by the administration when Moore brought them to Foley.

A 2014 investigation by The Temple News into the university’s men’s and women’s track & field teams found that Mobley, who coached men’s and women’s track & field until his resignation in June 2014, was accused of verbal abuse, intimidation and dereliction of his coaching duties.

The report also found that Foley was informed of student complaints on multiple occasions, but Mobley remained in his position until June 2014.

Before the allegations, Foley, who coached the women’s basketball team from 1995 to 2000, oversaw the track & field team. But on July 1, 2014, she was removed from the role and was replaced by Senior Associate Athletic Director Joe Giunta as the department’s track & field administrator.

Foley will coach at Lafayette alongside coach Theresa Grentz, who she played for at Rutgers University while leading the Lady Knights to consecutive NCAA Elite Eight appearances in 1986 and 1987.

Following her playing career, Foley was an assistant coach at Rutgers under Grentz for three years.

Owls kick off competition at Colonial Relays

The women’s track & field team began competition Friday at the 50th annual Colonial Relays at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Highlighting the day for the Owls was sophomore Jimmia McCluskey, who earned herself a first-place finish in the long jump with her mark of 5.80 meters.

Graduate-student Nicole Cummings earned third place in the event with a mark of 5.57 meters, while sophomore Bionca St. Fleur finished 10th with a mark of 5.39 meters.

Cummings also finished sixth in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.26 seconds, which qualified her for the hurdle finals on Saturday.

McCluskey also finished ninth in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.24 seconds, as well as 11th in the 200-meter dash with a mark of 24.98 seconds.

Sophomore Bionca St. Fleur placed fourth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.56 seconds. Junior Demeshia Davis finished 13th in 25.04 seconds.

In the 400-meter dash, sophomore Kenya Gaston finished fifth in 57.39 seconds, while Davis finished seventh with a mark of 57.49 seconds.

Senior Jenna Dubrow placed sixth in the 3,000-meter run with a time of 10 minutes, 11.02 seconds.

-Tyler DeVice

Fernandez finishes 12th in NCAA meet

Graduate-junior Blanca Fernandez officially concluded her first indoor track & field season at Temple after competing in the semifinals of the NCAA National Championship at Fayetteville, Arkansas on Friday.

Fernandez finished in 12th place in the mile run with a time of 4 minutes, 42.17 seconds. Fernandez was four seconds away from moving into 10th place, which would have allowed her qualification into the finals on Saturday.

After arriving at Temple in January, Fernandez was the first athlete to represent Temple at Nationals in 28 years.

Her season was highlighted by breaking two Temple indoor track records in both the mile and 3,000-meter runs. She also claimed first place in both races at the American Athletic Conference Championships on Feb. 27-28.

With this, the Owls will officially open up their outdoor track & field season at the University of Pennsylvania on March 21 for the Philadelphia Classic.

-Tyler DeVice

Fernandez earns spot in NCAA meet

After leading the conference in both the mile and 3,000-meter runs at this past weekend’s American Athletic Conference Championships, graduate-junior Blanca Fernandez was officially awarded a bid to the 2015 NCAA Indoor National Championships Wednesday.

Fernandez, who began running for Temple earlier this semester, earned the 15th spot out of 16 runners for the mile. She will be seeded at a time of 4 minutes, 40.60 seconds, which she registered at the Alex Wilson Invite on Feb. 21.

Fernandez will be the first athlete in 28 years to represent the women’s track & field team at the national meet, the last being high jumper Felicia Hodges in 1987.

“I’m thrilled that she is going to have the opportunity to race against the best girls here in the NCAA,” Cross Country coach James Snyder said. “Any time you’re a competitor like she is, you have high goals and you want to get a chance to measure up against the best to see really how good you are.”

Fernandez, Snyder, and head coach Elvis Forde will travel to Fayetteville, Arkansas for the meet, which will take place March 13-14.

-Tyler DeVice

Fernandez bests two records in conference meet

At the 2015 Indoor American Athletic Conference Championship meet at the New Balance Center in New York, graduate-junior Blanca Fernandez set new meet records in both the mile run and the 3,000-meter run.

Fernandez’s mile mark of 4 minutes, 50.11 seconds surpassed the previous meet record of 4:53 set by Laura Williamson (Connecticut) last year, while Fernandez’s 3,000 mark of 9:29.77 shattered the previous record of 9:36.65 seconds set by Emily Durgin (Connecticut) last year.

Fernandez won the conference’s Most Outstanding Performer award for her performance.

Forde said Fernandez and the team should soon hear as to whether or not her recent performances have been enough to allow her entry into the NCAA National Championship meet in Fayetteville, Arkansas on March 13-14.

-Tyler DeVice

Track competes in Day 1 of conference championship

The women’s track & field team traveled to the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory in New York to compete this weekend in the American Athletic Conference Championship.

Friday, the first day of competition, was highlighted by graduate-junior Blanca Fernandez, who finished fourth in the mile run with a time of 5 minutes, 4.73 seconds. This finish qualified Fernandez for the final round of the mile, which will take place on Saturday.

Senior Kiersten LaRoche earned a combined 3,555 points in the women’s pentathlon, awarding her fifth in the event and putting Temple on the board in the team scoring.

Sophomore Bionca St. Fleur placed eighth in the long jump with a distance of 5.78 meters, which also qualified her for the event finals.

Personal-best performances were brought in by freshman Katie Pinson, who finished 13th in the mile with a time of 5:13.53, as well as sophomore Sydnee Jacques with her 16th-place mark of 9.10 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles.

First-year coach Elvis Forde said the competition at a conference level is fierce, showcasing some high-level talent.

“[It was] a pretty tough [day] in regards to our performances,” Forde said. “Our athletes competed really hard, and this is what this conference is all about in terms of the quality of athletes that are here. Although our kids performed well, I am going to have expectations that now we have to raise the bar if we are going to match up with the current athletes that are [at the championship].”

The Owls currently stand in last place in the overall rankings with five points scored, and will continue performances on Saturday.

-Tyler DeVice

LaRoache takes gold in Day 1 of Patriot Games

Senior Kiersten LaRoche was the only Temple track & field athlete competing on Friday, but she kicked off the team’s win with a victory.

Hosted by George Mason University, the two-day event started off with the men’s and women’s pentathlon competitions.

LaRoche’s event, the Pentathlon, was a five-part competition consisting of the 60-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump and 800-meter run.

LaRoche dominated the competition, placing first in three out of the five events – the 60-meter hurdles in 8.91 seconds, the shot put with a distance of 10.89 meters and the long jump in 5.49 meters.

She placed second in the high jump, clearing 1.64 meters, and in the 800 with a mark of 2 minutes, 31.52 seconds.

These finishes were enough to accumulate 3,671 points in the women’s pentathlon, which awarded LaRoche the first-place finish.

The event was worth 10 points and gave Temple the early lead in women’s competition.

The Owls will take part in the second day of events at George Mason on Saturday.

-Tyler DeVice

Forde hired as Temple track & field coach

Athletic communications confirmed Wednesday evening that Elvis Forde has been hired as Temple’s head coach of the men’s and women’s cross country programs, as well as the women’s indoor and outdoor track & field teams.

Forde spent the last 12 seasons as the Director of Track and Field for Illinois State University. The school opted not to renew Forde’s contract after the 2013-2014 season.

“We would like to thank Elvis for his dedication to our cross country and track and field teams,” Illinois State Director of Athletics Larry Lyons told WJBC Radio in Illinois. “While we have had some special individual performances during Elvis’ term, overall team results were not where we expect or need them to be.”

Forde will replace former coach Eric Mobley (2008-14), who resigned effective June 30.

“I am very excited to be selected to lead the Temple Track and Field/Cross Country programs,” Forde said, via press release. “I want to thank [athletic director Kevin Clark] along with [senior associate athletic director Joe Guinta]. Temple University is a highly-regarded academic institution and it has the potential to be a tremendous track program.”

“It also is in its second year in the highly competitive American Athletic Conference,” Forde added. “That combination should help attract quality student-athletes that will make for a successful program.”

Mobley’s six-year tenure as head coach of the men’s and women’s cross country and track & field programs was highlighted by his leading the women’s track & field team to its first-ever Atlantic 10 Outdoor Track and Field Championship title. Mobley also won A-10 Coach of the Year that season.

-Ed LeFurge

Mobley out as head coach

After six years, Eric Mobley announced his resignation as head coach of the track & field program Friday night, effective June 30.

Mobley’s resignation will take effect one day before the men’s indoor and outdoor track teams is slated to be eliminated from the university’s athletic program.

Mobley was hired as head coach of the men’s and women’s programs in 2008, and oversaw consistent progress in the program that included a women’s Athletic 10 Conference Championship in 2010 and numerous NCAA Regional and National individual qualifications.

The announcement comes after a tumultuous 2013-14 campaign for both Mobley and the program. Along with the December cuts, Mobley and assistant athletic director Kristen Foley have been co-defendants in a harassment law suit involving former Temple thrower Ebony Moore since last summer.

Pickett, Britton lead track & field at Hurricane Alumni Invitational

The men’s and women’s track & field teams competed last weekend at the Hurricane Alumni Invitational in Coral Gables, Fla., where senior jumper Gabe Pickett earned an IC4A-qualifying mark and senior Anna Pavone placed fifth in a field of more than 30 distance runners.

In the 100-meter dash, freshman Adam Hasan recorded a personal best with his 21st place finish. Sophomore Elijah Hargove and Jamal Williams also posted personal-best times.

The women’s team posted eight Top 5 finishes at the event, including Jenna Dubrow who placed sixth. The top finisher on the day was junior Margo Britton, who placed second in the shot put with her throw of 14.80 meters – her top mark during the outdoor season. Both of the relay teams on the women’s team ran their fastest times of the 2014 season.

Both teams will return to the track this weekend – at home, for the first time this year – at the Owls’ Alumni Invitational on Saturday.