SCSU Track and Field striving for another successful season
Edgar Ayala – Sports Writer
With the men’s and women’s track and field season now underway, the Owl runners look to pick up where they left off and continue the success they had in the 2014-15 season.
Last season, the men’s track and field team placed second at the Northeast-10 Conference and managed to finish third at the New England Championships. They ranked as high as No. 16, while still producing two All-American honors and 13 All-Region honorees.
Head track and field coach, John Wallin, said the objectives were no different this season.
“The goal is to basically win every meet we go to,” Coach Wallin said. “We obviously want to be top 10 in the nation at the end of the season, as well as to win both conference meets, indoors and outdoors. . . Our objectives very rarely change from year to year, but they’re always to win, be the top scorer in the conference and the top school in New England regardless of divisions.”
The Owls will also be hosting this year’s New England Championship where schools from Divisions I, II and III will compete from all over the northeast region. This is a meet Coach Wallin said is important to win, due to being on home soil.
This season, the men’s currently ranked at No. 24 by the United States Track and Field Association preseason national rankings. Yet, Coach Wallin said their current ranking isn’t enough.
“We liked to be higher than 24,” said Wallin. “A lot of that stuff is dictated by the last two meets of the season, so we got a long way to go before then. But we should be better than 24 when it’s all said and done.”
Two-time triple jump All-American, Michael Lee, said he has been working on improving his technique in the offseason to reach the ultimate goal of winning the NE-10 title, the New England title and the National title.
“Since it’s my last year, I have to go out with a bang,” said the senior, Lee. “I’ve tried not to think about it too much, but when I do, I use it as fuel to the fire. As time passes by, I’ve gotten a bit more excited for what this year is going to bring. Mike Lee and the Alpha Owls have something in store.”
On the other side, the women’s track team is seeking to reach last year’s feat of reaching the NCAA Championship in Alabama, finishing in eighth.
The previous season, the lady Owls placed second in the NE-10 Championship and the New England’s, while five student-athletes received All-American honors, and 14 earned All-Region. This brought them to No. 18 in the USTFCCA preseason rankings this season.
Women’s track and field coach, Melissa Stoll, said there isn’t any extra pressure to perform, given the ranking.
“We always want to keep that in the forefront of our mind, but there’s no pressure at all,” said Coach Stoll. “We just want to keep working towards improving on the season prior. We’re hoping to improve on the time and placing with the girls that competed at the National meet last year and focus on bringing those that were close to qualifying to the Nationals meet; on getting them there.”
The next time to catch the men’s and women’s track and field team perform will be Thursday, Dec. 10 at the Elm City Challenge.