Men’s track relies on young talent to bolster strong returning squad

Nolan Raimo ’16 hopes to lead the young squad in the field events, most notably the long jump. - Photo Courtesy of Sports Information
Nolan Raimo ’16 hopes to lead the young squad in the field events, most notably the long jump. – Photo Courtesy of Sports Information

Despite having such a young team this year, men’s track and field is expecting a highly competitive and hopefully successful season as it competes against rival teams such as Tufts, Bates and MIT in the winter of 2013-14.

“Some may see this as a rebuilding year,” co-captain Jared Nowell ’15 said of the talent lost with the graduated seniors. “I believe that we will be able to be highly competitive at every meet that we go to, especially Div. III New Englands.” In the sprinting and hurdling events, last year’s co-captains Chris Fogler ’13 and Jabulani Blyden ’13 were consistent scorers, as well as members of the 4×400 relay team that made it to the Div. III NCAA Indoor National championships last year.

Even with the loss of these seniors and more, the team has plenty of other runners that are ready to step up to the plate. The other members of the 4×400 relay team that qualified for last year’s national championships, Kevin Persons ’16, Eric Schneider ’15 and co-captain Manny Daring ’15 are in shape to compete for a place in the indoor nationals meet once again. They are especially looking to excel in the 200 meter and 400 meter races.

Nowell, Alex Deaderick ’15 and Katakyie Ofori-Atta ’16 will be focusing on the 60-meter and 200-meter sprint competitions as well for the  Ephs.

“The field team got a complete overhaul as both the throwing and high jumping events will be comprised of mostly freshmen,” Nowell said. The rookies will be led by Nolan Raimo ’16, who is expecting to be competitive in the long jump, and Reid Pryzant ’16, who is also a decathlete.

The middle distance group will be relying heavily on Andrew Beaudoin ’15 and Todd Ford ’16, alongside a large influx of rookies that should keep the friendly competition strong in practice. The distance squad, despite the losses of alumni such as Scott Rodillitz ’13 and Brandon Abasolo ’13, will be returning co-captain Chris Lee ’14 and Bijan Mazaheri ’16, who will compete in the 5k.

The team is also entering its first season with new Head Coach David Thompson, who is excited to direct such a storied and successful program. Thompson completed his second season as the head coach of men’s and women’s track at SUNY Oswego before coming to Williams. Thompson’s previous team qualified for the Div. III NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Previously, Thompson also worked at the University of Dubuque, Ashford and Augustana.

The team will open its season at Smith at the Smith Invitational on Dec. 7. The men will then resume competition in January, with a meet at Dartmouth on Jan. 12.