Track moves outside for spring

The women’s team

“After several months of working out and competing indoors, I think everyone is looking forward to being able to run outside,” said Tri-captain Amie Shei ’02.

Tri-captain Molly Burnett ’02 agreed. “We have a lot of people coming off of their indoor seasons with personal best times, and it will be great to see people build off of this base in outdoor track,” she added.

“Everyone is very excited about the upcoming season and I think we are quite strong,” said Tri-captain Courtney Jennings ’01. The strength of the program is in the middle- and long-distance events. NCAA qualifiers Katie Scangos ’02 and Emily Lobsenz ’02, as well as Burnett, Alison Dimon ’03, Emily Dubinsky ’03 and Katie Famous ’01 anchor the distance runners.

The middle-distance delegation of the team is led by Jennings, Laurel Kilgour ’03, Martha Nelson ’03, Jamie Newman ’03, Annie Perez ’02 and Rebecca Woo ’02. Nelson and Kilgour participated at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track National Championships in Osh Kosh, Wis., this weekend. Nelson finished 10th in the 1500m with a time of 4:48.75, and Kilgour ran a 2:20.07 in her preliminary heat of the 800m.

Amherst will also be well-represented in the sprinting events with Shei and Kate Hamill ’03 at the helm. In addition, Ali Stahl ’03 will pull double duty this year, performing in both the long jump and short sprints.

Also joining the core group of runners is an exuberant group of freshman athletes. In particular, big things are expected from Erinn White ’04, who went to the Cross-Country NCAA Championship, and will run distance events this spring. She is joined by Anne McNamara ’04, another long-distance runner. In the middle-distance category the Class of 2004 will be represented by Ali Venti and Aparna Nancherla. Amy Henes ’04 will run in long sprints and hurdles, and Helen Dole ’04 will represent the Jeffs in the heptathlon.

Shei reflected on the new set of athletes.

“As a whole, the freshman class-both the men and the women-have added a lot of new talent and energy to the team,” she said. “They all made great strides during their first indoor season.” The cliche that variety is the spice of life is exemplified this spring, as Twelve-College Exchange student Hilary Plum will switch her allegiances from Wellesley College to Amherst.

The women will kick off their season at the Smith College Invite on March 31.

The men’s team

Although the outdoor track is currently buried under several feet of snow, this hasn’t stopped the men’s track team from preparing for what should be an extremely impressive 2001 season. When the season begins, purple should be winning a significant number of sprint, hurdle, mid-distance and distance races, especially with the help of a week-long training trip to Florida over spring break.

Led by men’s Co-captains Jared Moshe ’01 and Rob Long ’01, the sprinters are looking to continue what has already been a record-breaking year on the track. Moshe, Greg Baker ’01, Long and Janak Chandrasoma ’04 are hoping to break the school’s 4×200 relay record, as well as improve on individual events.

“Our team should be particularly strong in the longer sprints and relays,” said Coach Erik Nedeau. “That is going to be determined by the athletes themselves, though, especially with our captains.” With the additional help of Brian Hart ’03, hurdler Pat Hayes ’03, freshman standout Philip Jones and triple jumpers Julius Nanna ’04 and Max Woolf ’03, as well as new speed suit uniforms, a large portion of the sprint/jump team is looking to qualify straight through Open New Englands in May and possibly gain a provisional NCAA bid for the 4×100 relay as well.

Mid-distance runner Ben Kozyak ’02 said, “During the indoor season there were marked improvements across the board for us, as our younger runners gained confidence and upperclassmen found their groove.” John Stanton-Geddes ’04 and fellow freshman Mike Page should set the pace in events ranging from the 1000m to the 5000m, as well as the steeplechase. Aided by sophomore distance runners Alex Lenkoski ’03 and Carson Taylor ’03, the mid-distance and distance groups should make a strong showing.

The men will also begin their season at the Smith College Invite.