Both the men’s and women’s track and field teams start their outdoor seasons tomorrow in sunny Long Beach, Calif. Although the beaches of southern California seem more like a hot spot for spring break festivities, both teams stand focused on the task at hand, which includes an attempt at a third consecutive Long Beach Invitational title.
The track teams hope to have continued success after a two-week hiatus from competition. Men’s head coach Nathan Taylor thinks the Long Beach tournament should be a good test for his squad.
“The first outdoor meet is always pretty competitive,” Taylor said. “There are 17 teams in the meet including Long Beach, Weber State, Boise, and some good eastern teams as well. It’s a meet that is hard to predict.”
The meet is hard to forecast because it debuts some events that are excluded from indoor competition, which just recently concluded with a fourth consecutive indoor Heptagonal championship.
“There is a difference between outdoor and indoor competition,” said women’s head coach Lou Duesing. “All of a sudden you no longer have a mile run. Your mile becomes a 1,000 meters, the 60-[meter] becomes a 100-meter dash, and you add events like the discus, javelin, hammer toss, and steeplechase.”
Along with changes in distance for certain athletes, there consequently comes a different strategy for running them as well. The indoor track is notorious for having shorter turns than an outdoor track, meaning there is a disadvantage for runners who take longer strides. Senior jumper Ryan Schmidt, who claimed the 2004 Heps indoor title in the high jump, leads the men’s team into the second half of the season.
Senior co-captain Adam Sansiveri, along with classmates Kenan Goggins and Brian Eremita should also have an impact at the meet. Unfortunately, one person who won’t be making the trip will be last year’s hurdles champion, junior Brendon Earle, who recently injured his ankle in practice. Despite the loss, the Red looks to further improve on a season that has already seen 11 athletes earn All-Ivy selections for indoor competition.
The women’s team, lead by seniors Shonda and Jessica Brown, looks to improve on a season that has already seen them win their seventh consecutive Heps title. Sprinter Cameron Washington, a Los Angeles native, is eager to compete on her home turf.
“With home being only 30 minutes away, I am so excited that our spring trip is California,” Washington said. “It’s a trip that everyone wants to go on. The invitational is competitive, and luckily, my family gets to watch.”
Archived article by Tim Kuhls
Sun Staff Writer