November 19, 2004

Looking for a Third Straight Heps Title

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After winning the Heptagonal championships two years in a row, the men’s track team has established itself as the best squad in the Ivy League, and starts this season looking to re-enforce its image as the dominant squad in the league.

This year’s team is as well rounded as last year’s, and has plenty of depth in each event. One of the deepest areas is the jumpers, where senior co-captain Adam Sansiveri and All-East/All-Ivy sophomore Evan Whitehall lead the way.

In the sprints and hurdle events, the Red will be counting on seniors Kenan Goggins and Brian Eremita, but will hope for major production from freshmen Jordan Lester, who was a high school All-American, and Saidu Ezike, who was a high school national champion as well as an All-American.

For middle and long distance running events, the Red will turn to a pair of senior captains, Emory Mort and Oliver Tassinari. Junior Bruce Hyde is returning after taking a year off, and will likely have an immediate impact. Hyde made a name for himself when he ran the 3,000 in 8:03, setting a school record. The team’s throwers, while suffering from the loss of two-time NCAA qualifier Giles Longley-Cook ’04, should still be able to succeed under the guidance of senior co-captain Mike Scarpa and senior Zach Beadle, who is a five-time All-Ivy shot-putter.

With 22 returning athletes who scored at the Heps championships, 10 of whom were All-Ivy and 27 of whom qualified for the IC4A championships, this year’s Red squad should strike a balance between experienced leadership and younger, raw talent.

“Developing a championship program takes having high quality returning players, not just returning players, and we absolutely have them,” head coach Nathan Taylor said. “But this year we also have a freshman class that is probably one of the best freshman classes in the history of the University. It includes four high school All-Americans, and a Canadian junior champ.”

“We have a pretty young team this year. A lot of the young guys want to get a championship under their belt, and the seniors want to be a part of this legacy,” Schmidt said.

This year Taylor has made the team’s first goal to reclaim its Heps title.

“The aspirations for us as a team are varied, since we are such a big team,” Taylor said. “We’ve got 25 to 30 guys who feel that they can score in an IC4A event.”

The IC4A’s (Intercollegiate American Association of Amateur Athletes) is an event in which the Red typically does well. Last year no other squad scored in as many events (12). Scoring in an event means that an individual has placed in the top eight.

The Red’s first meet of the season will take place on Dec. 4, at the Cornell Relays.

“The meet as a whole gives the team a good idea of where we are now and where we think we should be,” Schmidt said. “It’s a good indication of what we’re starting with.”

Archived article by Jacob Lieberman
Sun Staff Writer