YORK, Pa. – In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Capital Athletic Conference, the next Silver Anniversary team to be announced by the league is for women's track & field, and Salisbury University led the conference with nine student-athletes named to the team on Thursday.
The Sea Gulls began CAC play in the 1994-95 athletic season, and since that season, the Gulls have won four CAC championships in a four-year span from 2010-2013. The women also won the 2012 indoor track & field conference title in the first year of indoor competition for the league.
Salisbury has had 245 athletes be named to All-CAC teams with 104 first-team and 141 second-team nominations for outdoor, while 33 have been named to all-conference teams for indoor with 21 on the first team and 12 on the second team. The Sea Gull women have also had seven CAC Athletes of the Year, six CAC Rookies of the Year, and six CAC Coaches of the Year.
Jenn Bulger competed for the Sea Gulls from 2006-09, winning 16-total All-CAC honors. She earned four first-team selections with the high jump, long jump, and 4x400-meter relay in 2007 and the high jump in 2008. In 2007, Bulger added second-team nods in the 100- and 400-meter hurdles, giving her five for the year.
Donning maroon and gold from 1997-2000, Sherry Esposito garnered six all-conference team awards, including five first-team selections. In her final two years as a Sea Gull, she earned first-team All-CAC selections in the 400-meter dash and the 400-meter hurdles, and she added a first-team nod in the 400-meter hurdles in her sophomore season, as well.
Stacie Gado spent three seasons with Salisbury from 1994-95 and 1997, earning CAC Athlete of the Year in the Gulls' first season in conference competition. During that season, she was honored with first-team all-conference selections in the shot put, discus, and javelin events. Gado totaled eight All-CAC honors with seven first team and one second team, including first-team nods in the javelin throw in each season with the team. She holds the conference record in javelin for a 139' 1" throw in the 1995 CAC championships.
Jen Harrison began her Sea Gull career in the same season that Salisbury began CAC competition, as well, and wore maroon and gold from 1994-97. Harrison earned seven All-CAC selections during her time with the Gulls, including first-team nods in the 400-meter hurdles in 1994 and 1997. She tallied two all-conference nods in three seasons, including her final two as a Sea Gull.
Competing for SU from 2004-05, Ruth Hedrick totaled six All-CAC nominations, three in each season. She earned first-team selections in the 100- and 400-meter hurdles in both years, along with second-team nods in the 4x400-meter relay. In 2004, Hedrick was named the CAC Rookie of the Year and was the first SU women's track and field athlete to win the award.
Jennifer Houghton donned maroon and gold from 2009-12 and was named the league's 2009 Rookie of the Year, after earning first-team All-CAC honors for the shot put, discus, and hammer throw. Total, Houghton tallied nine all-conference bids, adding another first-team nod in the hammer throw in 2010. In Houghton's final season with the team, the conference began indoor competition, during which she earned second-team honors in the shot put and the weight throw.
Becca Stinner was one of only two athletes to be named to the Silver Anniversary women's track & field team and cross country team. She competed for the Gulls from 2009-12, earning All-CAC selections in her final three seasons. Stinner notched first-team nods for the 3,000-meter steeplechase in her last three seasons, along with the 800-meter run in her last two years. In 2012, she also earned first-team All-CAC in the 5,000-meter run. Stinner also competed in the first year of CAC indoor competition, earning first-team nods in the one-mile run and the 800-meter run.
Arguably, the Sea Gulls' most decorated women's track & field athlete, Chelsea Tavik donned maroon and gold from 2010-13. Tavik was honored as the 2010 CAC Rookie of the Year, before winning the conference Athlete of the Year in 2011 and the indoor and outdoor Athlete of the Year in 2012 and 2013. She earned 14 All-CAC honors during the outdoor seasons, including first-team nods 12 times; Tavik tallied first-team nominations in the shot put, discus, javelin, and hammer throw in each of her final two seasons. She also was awarded with first-team selections in the shot put and weight throw in each of her two seasons of indoor competition, as well.
Kara Tolson competed for the Sea Gulls from 2011-14 and earned 13 All-CAC selections during outdoor competition, while adding eight indoor all-conference bids. During the outdoor seasons, she earned first-team All-CAC in the 200-meter dash in her first three years as a Gull, while adding first-team selections in the 100-meter dash in 2012 and 2013. Tolson added first-team nods in the 200-meter dash in the first-two seasons of indoor competition, along with a first-team nod in the 60-meter dash in 2013.
To view the entire women's track and field Silver Anniversary team, click here.
About the CAC Silver Anniversary Teams
The CAC Silver Anniversary Teams will be announced early in the regular-season for each respective sport. Each Silver Anniversary Team honoree will receive a commemorative gift from the conference, and many will be recognized by their institution/alma mater at some time during the academic year.
The University of Mary Washington, a charter member of the CAC, led the conference with 153 current and former student-athletes on the Silver Anniversary Teams, including 40 in men's and women's tennis combined. Salisbury University, which joined the CAC in the 1994-95 athletic season, was second with 122 Silver Anniversary Team honorees. CAC charter members York College of Pa. (60) and St. Mary's College of Md. (35) were next in line for most Silver Anniversary Team honorees.
The CAC was organized as a six-team affiliation in 1989 and began championship competition with the winter sports during the 1990-91 season. Membership changes in the last decade ultimately created a 10-team conference that has become one of the strongest in NCAA Division III.
CAC teams have won 18 national team championships, and dozens of other teams have finished in among the top four in NCAA Division III competition.