Men’s, women’s indoor track hope to repeat successes

Men’s and women’s indoor track will be hard-pressed to match its success from last season – not because the Ephs lack talent, but simply because they set the bar so high.

After winning their first-ever national title last winter, women’s indoor track will again compete with the best in Div. III. The Ephs return five All-Americans in sprinter and hurdler Maddy Outman ’08, 800 specialist Lissy Robie ’08, sprinter Heather Bemis ’09, miler Olga Kondratjeva ’10 and sprinter Emily Heaslip ’10. Sprinter Carrie Plitt ’08, who was an outdoor All-American, is also returning.

Answering to these lieutenants is an army of talented athletes that will manufacture points for the Ephs this winter. Halley Smith ’08 and Veronica Ivey ’08 in the sprints and Ariel Williams ’10 in the 800 are likely to be strong contributors. In the mid-distance races Julie McNamara ’09, Bret Scofield ’10 and Laura Walls ’08 all have the potential for big performances. Cross country All-Americans Rachel Asher ’09, Mallory Harlin ’08 and Liz Gleason ’08, in addition to Natalia Rey de Castro ’09, Elly Teitsworth ’10 and Moira Yoe ’10 will be top contenders in the 3000 and 5000. Meanwhile, Tara Oberg ’10 returns in the pole vault, and thrower Lindsay Millert ’09 will likely hurl her way to top finishes in the shot put.

Men’s track and field finished a very respectable 14th at the indoor national championships last year and is aiming to improve on that standing this winter. Returning for the Ephs are All-American sprinters Andrew Arons ’08, Deividas Seferis ’09 and Alex Hoerman ’09. Co-captains Chris Beeler ’08 and Mack Brickley ’08, both mid-distance runners, and Mack Chaffee ’09 are also returning after achieving All-American status last year. In the multi-events, Joe Song ’08, Sy Schotz ’10 and John Dingee ’10 are the top returners. Andrew DeSalvo ’08 is sure to be a point-earner in the shot-put. Finally, the Ephs’ will depend on their deep squad of distance runners to score points.

Cross country Head Coach Pete Farwell will step in as acting head coach for former Head Coach Ralph White. Farwell held the head coaching position of the Williams track and field team from 1988 to 2001, and he was named New England Div. III Coach of the Year 15 times and National Coach of the Year once in 1995.

Farwell’s staff will consist of several first-year Williams coaches. Erica Clausen, a 2004 graduate of St. Olaf College, and Mitchell Baker ’04 will work with the distance runners. Mark Johnson will serve as the Ephs’ first pole vault coach in years, training five first-year vaulters. Assistant coach Joel Williams brings coaching experience from the Div. III institutions Elmhurst College, Aurora University and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, as well as Div. I Kent State. Veterans Dick Farley, Matt Campanelli, Kathleen Newton and Shannon Houlihan round out this year’s coaching staff.

The winter season will mark a significant transition in the track and field program, but most athletes don’t expect the changes to interfere with the Ephs’ winning tradition. “It’s going to be a new and exciting year for Williams track and field,” said Beeler. “We have lots of fresh talent, both on the coaching staff and in the incoming ’11 class. Everyone involved is looking forward to making this a really great year.”