Looking to win their 10th straight indoor championship
PAT LONGOBARDI — Sports Writer
Last year, the SCSU indoor track and field team continued their success under new head coach John Wallin.
The Owls have begun their 2011-’12 season and are ready to continue after some of their big accomplishments from last year.
SCSU won their 17th straight track and field Northeast-10 Conference title last season and their ninth straight indoor title. This season they will be going for the 19th straight conference title after also winning during the outdoor season.
There other accomplishments, including winning the Metropolitan Championships for the first time in school history, placing third at the New England Championships and also sending eight athletes to the NCAA Championships in Albuquerque, NM.
The 2011-’12 campaign opened up at the Yale Lidlifter Invite on Dec. 3 where they had three first-place finishes.
Wallin, in his second year, said things are getting there and the expectations are as they always are.
“Practices are going well,” he said. “Our sprinters and quarter-milers are in great shape. We are really excited to see what the runners can do on the track. The jumpers are little behind and have to make up for it. The throwers have trained really well and have worked hard. We expect big performances from them.”
Wallin was named USTFCCCA Regional Coach of the Year during the indoor season last year and Selasi Lumax was also named
Track Athlete of the Year.
The Owls were ranked last season at No. 9 in the USTFCCCA national rankings and also No. 1 in the east region.
The distance team looks to be strong this year behind seniors Corey DeLaCruz, Selasi Lumax and Josh Perry, who along with Logan Sharpe make up the distance medley relay team. This squad took eighth at nationals last year.
Perry said he has high expectations for himself and his distance crew. He also said he is ready to improve from last year for a trip to nationals.
“For middle distance, there is no real competition if we race right,” he said. “In nationals I want to qualify for the DMR. We have a good DMR team. Distance will take a little while to get there. We have to get in the mode that it is our season. I have been waiting for this and I am ready to go.”
DeLaCruz said training for competitions is really important to being successful, even if they have to adopt different training methods.
“It is understood we [seniors] need to pull the weight in events,” he said. “There is no weak point—everybody is training better. We need to keep the morale at a high. I fully believe I will make the national meet and compete as high as I can. The open 800 and the DMR—I plan to do well. I am fully confident.”
DeLaCruz said the mid-distance training is usually half-and-half with days outside as well for about eight miles, which can put a beating on their bodies.
The Owls will take a break for the holiday season and will next turn their attention to the UConn Tri-Meet on Jan. 7.
Wallin said the team is trying to do even more this season to build on last year.
“We try to organize our roster so that right guys compete all of the time,” he said. “We are on track to do better then ever before in track and field this year. We just need to be careful of injuries, make sure the guys are doing well academically and stay focused—three variables that will affect outcomes of the season.”