Author: Zach Heerwagen
As the track and field season gears into action, the men’s and women’s programs are reloading to once again compete with the SCIAC’s best. Both sides boast individuals that will look to improve upon past performances and place at the top of the conference.
Conference powerhouses Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS), Redlands and La Verne are
once again stocked with athletes. The Tigers will rely on their long distance events to anchor and serve as the backbone of both squads as they compete against other SCIAC teams.
“With a team that is as large as the track team, which can fluctuate between 60 and 80 members every year, our goal is always to improve and continue to build to a point that we are happy with,” head coach Rob Bartlett said. “With a solid group of returners who scored points last season already set as the team’s core. Much of the season will be dependent upon how quickly underclassmen learn from the team’s leaders.”
Three veteran captains, all of whom are coming off of successful seasons, are expected to take over the point scoring load. Charlie Sauter (senior) is slated to be the team’s strongest distance runner. After a First Team All-SCIAC season in the steeplechase, he will look to finish his career on a strong note. A couple of newcomers will make an immediate impact as well.
Captain Jonathan Padron (junior) is one of the top sprinters in both the conference and in all of Division III. After winning the SCIAC Championship and qualifying for the National Championships in his first two seasons, he has the ability to sit atop Division III in the 100 meters. Padron already owns the third-fastest time in school history, but will have some competition from Charlie Chisom (junior), who should score points for the team as well.
Though the number of field athletes is small, captain Kevin Cox (senior) is a strong contender in the long jump. Andrew Clarey (first-year) will join Cox and look to immediately become the program’s top thrower after the graduation of several others from last season.
The women’s team has both depth and quality in the distance events, although they also lack top athletes in the field events. Captains Deanna Dupuy (senior) and Megan Lang (senior) hope to finish their careers with their best performances. Lang moved into the school’s top ten 5K finishes of all-time this past year and will try to build upon that success. Megan Ball (first-year) is also expected to be an integral addition to the team.
Captain Mary Brant (senior) will finish her collegiate career as the team’s primary threat in the field events. Brant will attempt to finish atop of the conference in several of the jump events.
According to Bartlett, the season will come down to the work and preparation that is put in during practice. “We’ve got talent and we’ve got to turn that into focus and achievement. It’s one thing to have talent but another to actually do something about it,” he said.
The first event of the season for both the men and women is scheduled for Saturday at the Pomona-Pitzer All-Comers Meet.
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