BU Track and Field Teams to Compete at 2023 Patriot League Outdoor Championships This Weekend
Men’s and women’s squads hoping to beat their second-place finishes at indoor championships in February
For the Boston University men’s and women’s outdoor track and field teams, it’s not just the end of the semester—it’s Patriot League trophy-hunting season. Although Navy owns the last 12 combined titles between the men’s and women’s competitions, both BU squads feel they’ve only gotten better since their second-place finishes at the indoor championships this past February.
The Terriers will take to Lehigh University’s Goodman Track and Field Complex in Bethlehem, Pa., to compete in the Patriot League Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships beginning this Friday, May 5.
The women’s squad has won the Patriot League just once in nine seasons of competition, and the men’s team has never won it. But both teams are optimistic that they could clinch the conference titles this weekend.
“We are clearly operating at a really high level,” says track and field director Gabe Sanders. “Our confidence is at a really high level, and we feel our event areas are tuned up. We’re excited and we’re just itching to compete and put our best out there. We have not presented this depth in a very, very long time. And that’’s the most special thing:, we are really, really close as a group.”
Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Team
Last year’s third-place conference finish at Navy earned BU three First-Team All-Patriot League honorees on three gold medal finishes by Kasim Cisse (CAS’22, Wheelock’23) in the high jump, Foster Malleck (Questrom’23) in the 1,500 meters and Uchenna Nwosu (CGS’22, ENG’24) in the 110-meter hurdles.
“The men’s team as a whole is feeling good,” says decathlon runner Stuart Bladon (CAS’24). “We’ve had a pretty intense competition season, but it’s been going very well. There’s definitely high morale in the team, and I think despite some issues with injuries, everyone’s looking to perform well for the championships.”
Since Boston University joined the Patriot League men’s competition in 2014, only one team has reigned as victors: the US Naval Academy. With eight-straight titles marking their dominance over the last decade, Bladon believes BU has one marquee advantage over the Midshipmen.
“The big teams like Army and Navy, they just have huge numbers of people in their squads,” Bladon says. “I don’t think that they have that same team camaraderie as us because it’s just not possible within a team that big. Everyone within our team knows each other and supports each other. The support from within the team is really unmatched.”
Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Team
The women’s squad last won the Patriot League title during their debut season in the conference in 2014. Since then, Bucknell won three consecutive titles, followed by a four-year run by Navy.
The BU women’s squad’s 2022 third-place outdoor finish was punctuated by Patriot League Track Athlete of the Meet, Andrea Claeson (CAS’22, COM’22). Claeson captured two gold medals in the 1,500-meter and 5,000-meter races. Alongside her, Daisy Liljegren (CAS’24, Sargent’24) set a facility record in the 10,000 meters and Emma Montoya (CAS’22, GRS’23) took gold for the 400-meter hurdles. On the field, then-freshman Kiana Lino (CAS’25) rounded out the Terriers’ five golds in the shot put.
“We have some big point scores,” says distance runner Veronica Kriss (Sargent’21,’23). “Daisy Liljegren is an incredible athlete. She’s the best by far in long-distance events. Vera Sjöberg (CAS’25) has also had a breakthrough season, so I think those two will be key players in scoring big points on the distance side.”
Kriss says she’s proud to have seen so much growth in the program, and herself, over her six years at BU.
“This being my last conference tournament is definitely an emotional thing for me,” Kriss says. “It’s crazy to look back at how far I’ve come as an athlete. I’m just really proud of everything that we’ve put together and I couldn’t be more happy about my decision that I made six years ago to come to BU.”
The Boston University men’s and women’s track and field teams will compete at the Patriot League Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships starting Friday, May 5, at Lehigh University’s Goodman Track and Field Complex in Bethlehem, Pa. Live stats and results will be available all day on patriotleague.org, and BU fans can find more information on goterriers.com and follow along on Twitter at @TerrierTFXC and @BUGameDay.