Spring Sports Preview: Men’s Track
Written by The Flat Hat|
March 25, 2008
Following the graduation of several former All-CAA and All-East performers, the Tribe begins its 2008 outdoor season with a mixture of youth and experience.
p. In the field events, sophomore pole vaulter Kiernan Lofland and junior high jumper Cameron Shriver, as well as senior jumper Brandon Evans and throwers senior Tom Mulcahy and junior Alex Heacock, return for the Tribe. Shriver won the individual high jump title at this year’s IC4A Indoor Championships, clearing 6’10.75” to win the event. Meanwhile, as a freshman, Lofland broke a 32-year-old record when he eased past the 16-foot barrier at the IC4A Outdoor Championships last May.
p. “We’re a little bit more experienced this year with quality field event athletes,” Head Coach Alex Gibby said. “With Kiernan and Cameron, we have some significant contributors.”
p. On the track, seniors Christo Landry and Ian Fitzgerald headline the Tribe’s distance running corps. Landry — a three-time All-American in cross country — has twice competed at the NCAA Championships in the 5,000-meter, while in December Fitzgerald earned a provisional qualifier for the 2008 NCAA Indoor Championships at 5,000-m. Add senior Rob Dennis in the steeplechase and senior Dave Mock in the 5,000-m and 10,000-m and the College has a strong group of distance competitors.
However, the Tribe’s middle distance runners lack this level of experience. With junior David Groff redshirting the outdoor season and classmate Ryan Jones returning from an injury, the College will look to its underclassmen for support.
p. “It’s unusual, but the question for us will be: ‘Can we fill in the holes in the middle distances that graduation and redshirts have left us?,’ ” Gibby said. “We’re better in some events than we’ve been and we’re a little young — I wouldn’t say we’re worse yet — but we’re younger in the 800-m and the 1,500-m than we’ve been.”
p. Nevertheless, Gibby expects the Tribe to compete well at the CAA Championships, qualify a large group of individuals for the IC4A and NCAA regional meets and send a few competitors to the NCAA Championships.
p. “We’ve done the one individual thing the last couple years,” Gibby said. “I’d like to have two or three at the NCAA if possible, and I think it is possible.”
p. Landry is the lone competitor on the Tribe’s 2008 roster to have raced in the NCAA Championships, where he finished 18th in 2005 and 29th in 2006 at 5,000-m. His personal best at 5-km came in 2006 when he finished 13 minutes and 53.62 seconds. Landry is also a three-time All-American in cross country, but he has yet to earn an All-American citation on the track.