Track Has First Home Meetby Zachary Prezter
In practically every sport it is important for a team to stay healthy in order to be able to compete at its highest level. In track and field, however, staying injury-free is imperative to having a successful season.
Tonight, at 6 p.m. in the Heisman Field House, the men and women's indoor track teams will look to piece everything together and give out good team performances.
"We should have everyone who is healthy competing tonight," said Head Coach Tom Mulligan. "Our team will get deeper and in better shape as the season progresses, and hopefully tonight some of our teams' talent will show."
The talent Mulligan is referring to is a solid core of returning athletes on both the men's and women's teams, which includes sprinters, long distance runners, jumpers and throwers.
Some of the returning athletes on the men's team include sprinter Andre Street and distance runner David Bevacqua, who both had outstanding seasons last year. Street, a junior, was All-North Coast Athletic Conference in the 400-meter dash in indoors, and was the outdoors 800-meter conference champion. Bevacqua, a senior, made All-NCAC honors in the 3,000-meter run, and was the steeplechase champion in the outdoor season. Also returning to the sprinters will be senior Zach Rudisin.
"We've had a skeleton crew for this Winter Term, but this week will gain some depth in the sprinters," said Rudisin about the season thus far. "We've had more men since the last four years. [Tonight] we'll see what we can really do."
The new additions to the sprinting team are first-years Mark Lengel, Quammie Semper and Jeremy Lane. Lane will be taking the hurdles, while Semper and Lengel will run the sprints. Also joining the team is first-year thrower Anthony Hudgins, who has shown a lot of ability early in the season. Another first-year runner, Alex Scally, should make big contributions to the distance team after being injured for a majority of the cross-country season.
The women's team also returns a talented group of runners and throwers. Leading the way for the Yeowomen this year will be sophomore sprinter Courtney Stackhouse. In her first collegiate season, she racked up four NCAC championships. In the winter she won the 55-meter and 200-meter dashes, and in the outdoor spring season she claimed the 100-meter and 200-meter dash titles. April Wynn, a junior from the Cleveland area, will return after having a successful 1999-2000 season in the hurdles and jumping. The distance team returns two top runners in sophomores Lori Tuchfeld and Laura Feeney. Tuchfeld had an impressive All-NCAC season in cross-country, and although Feeney was hurt for a great part of the season, she will look to contribute big in the indoor and outdoor seasons.
Three first-year athletes who Mulligan expects to make an immediate impact on the team are Sarah Bennett, Faye Doherty and Shannon Houlihan. Doherty and Houlihan will participate in the hurdles and jumps, and Bennett should be a solid jumper for the Yeowomen.
So far in the young season, the teams have competed in three meets and have shown signs of the level of ability they could possibly reach by the end of the indoor season and the onset of the outdoor schedule. For the Yeomen, the injuries have made it difficult to field teams in the relays, which came to be especially harmful in the NCAC Relays held at Denison University on Jan. 27. Junior Dan Blackburn had shown promise in the shot put, and Street and Scally have both run good times. At the Case Western Reserve University Invitational, Street finished fifth in the 400-meter dash and Scally finished in second place in the 800-meter run.
"All of the potential I see in them is very encouraging," said Mulligan about the prospects of the men's team. "We definitely have the ability, now we just have to stay healthy and continue to develop. I think we could surprise a lot of teams come spring time," he said.
For the women's team a number of runners and jumpers have been extremely competitive thus far. In the NCAC Relays, the Yeowomen finished in fourth place out of nine teams. Stackhouse has dominated the sprints so far, winning the 55-meter and 200-meter dashes in the Case Invite, and Houlihan also won the 55-meter high hurdles and came in second in the triple jump at Case. Feeney easily won the 3,000-meter run, and senior Liz Chandler came in second in the 400-meter dash and the long jump at the Case Invite. Senior Mary Towey should be very tough in the throwing events as well this year, as she won the weight throw at Case by a fairly large margin.
Coach Mulligan is optimistic about the Yeowomen's chances in the NCAC this season. "We have returned a lot of point-scorers this year, and I feel we will even better now than then we were last year. It's also very important for the women's team to stay healthy," he said.
Tonight's meet will be a good indicator of where the teams stand, and as the season continues, both teams will be in good shape for outdoor competition.
Copyright © 2001, The Oberlin Review.
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