Expectations for the women’s track team are very high this winter, as it is coming off a record season. Last year’s squad not only shattered numerous individual and team records, it sent numerous runners to the NCAA regional and national competitions. But whatever pressure there may be, the team certainly isn’t feeling it.
“Expectations never change,” said head coach Lou Duesing, last winter’s indoor track Mundo USTCA Northeast Region coach of the year. “It is impossible for a team to be the same each year … [we] are not the same team as last year.”
Instead of focusing on what others expect, Deusing focuses on what both he and the team expects.
“Number one, I want people to give the very best that they can in terms of performance, in practice or in competition … the second thing is I expect the team to appreciate the opportunities they’re given and take advantage of them.
“There are so many different events that usually, a team is successful if it is competitive in every event,” Duesing said.
The Red plans to have plenty of depth, and therefore, plenty of people to score points in meets.
Despite some key losses in sprinter Jill Crispell ’04, Ann Hansgale ’04, 1000-meter runner-up Natalie Gingerich ’04, and jumpers Ib Stanley-Ikhilijou ’04 and Kalifa Pilgrim ’04, the Red returns an extremely deep and talented team.
Senior captain Shonda Brown leads a talented class of sprinters, that includes senior Kari Steed, juniors Jan Seale and Linda Trotter, and sophomore Cameron Washington. All six are school record holders, and have participated in NCAA Regional Championships.
Middle distance returnees include senior captain Jessica Brown, her classmate Alison Koplar and junior Ruth Morgan. Returning one milers — senior Sarah Coseo and sophomore Nyam Kagwima — will play an important role as well. The returning distance runners consist of senior captain Alyssa Simon, senior Kate Boyles, and junior Emily McCabe.
Weights are led by senior captain Stacey Nadolny, classmate Becky Tucker and junior Jamie Greubel. Senior Amy Leung, juniors Karen Snyder and Katie Regan, and sophomores Sarah Wilfred and Shawna Rossini also figure to make important point contributions.
As deep as this team is, coach Duesing admits it will take senior leadership — especially from the captains — for there to be any measure kind of success. The seniors mentoring and performances will guide the younger athletes on how to train and how to win.
“One thing we a have going for us is we have experience,” Simon said. “To know that you have a shot at the title is really encouraging.
“Everyone is looking to compete … and show all the progress they’ve made. [Coach] does a good job emphasizing the role of everyone.”
Deusing always reminds the team that “no matter how good someone is, there’s always someone behind them pushing.”
With an injury-free season, some solid all-around performances, and solid leadership from the seniors, the Red figures to be in contention for yet another the indoor league title.
Archived article by Josh Perlin
Sun Staff Writer