2011-12 Season - How it unfolded
For the first time in nearly 30 years, the men had their own program this fall, separate from the women and while there was an initial adjustment period, they embraced their own identity and came together like never before. In training, racing and across all realms of student life, they raised the levels of accountability and commitment to each other and to their program and the improvements were remarkable. While falling just short of making a trip to the National Championships as a team, considering they lost the Top 3 guys from a year ago and 4 of the Top 7, was a remarkable feat and a testament to the drive of these young men. The season came together nicely at the end, as each weekend, the racing was getting better and the guys were rapidly improving and at Districts up at Bowdoin, they raced aggressively and were rewarded for their efforts. Andrew Erskine would finish 6th in 25:01 and grab an individual qualifying spot for NCAA's, Pat Grimes who did some early leading and was in the Top 10 for a large part of the race held on for an All New England spot in 19th running a 25:13 while first standout KC Fussell capped a stellar season with a 25:30 37th place finish to complete a very strong Top 3 showing. Senior captain Ben Scheetz parlayed his success from last year into a huge breakout XC season, and would finish in the scoring for the guys just missing breaking the 26 minute barrier while first year Greg Turissini, junior Dillon Buckley and Eli Howe rounded out a stellar Top 7 that left the team just a few points shy of an NCAA berth. Senior captain Alec Jacobson provided great leadership on and off the course, and was instrumental in getting others to raise the level of effort every day and demanded accountability to the team. Sophomores Gus Greenstein and Alva Morales each saw some time in the scoring roles despite injuries / illness that would put a damper on their ultimate success, and classmate Charlie Reighard took a big step forward with his running. In addition to their success out on the trails, the team also garnered Academic All-American status as a result of their 3.50 GPA so they were getting done on all fronts!
The men took their success and confidence from XC and brought it to the track, and in the process, also brought the same level of accountability across all event groups and became a strong and dynamic team on all fronts. Ben Scheetz would again roll out an incredible season, dominating anything and anyone except ultimately, his own foot. An injury late in the season curtailed a chance to add to his NCAA Trophy case but he still garnered national Athlete of the Year honors for the 2nd year in a row, and added another National Record to his resume as he broke the DIII National Mark in the 800 with his 1:47.43 showing. Patrick grimes won an ECAC title, and his 4:10 mile would put him into the final of the Nationals while sophomore matt Melton stepped up in distance this year, focusing on the 800 and would run 1:52 and qualify for the Nationals, as well as winning DIII New England and ECAC titles in the 600 and 500 respectively. Andrew would lead the the distance crew to a slew of PR's as he narrowly missed hitting the mark needed for Nationals in the 5k, while KC, Greg and Dillon and Alva all nailed big time PR's in the Mile through the 5k. A junior walk on, willing to run a fast 200 in tennis shoes to make the team, Selasie Krampa became a sprint threat in the dash and 200 and helped to bolster the depth of the sprint crew. First year jumper Mark Cort saw some big PR's in the jumps as well as great marks in the 200 and 400, while classmates Alex Durkee and Nick Codola ran great in the long sprints and gave some outstanding relay legs. The middle distance group provided some great depth and spark in both individual and relay events as Romey Sklar, Eli Howe, Charlie Reighard and Lucas Lebovitz - with a big 1:55 leg in the 4x800 at ECAC's helped to grab a 3rd place finish in the overall standings - chipped with some big time performance. Denzel Duncan took his throwing up a notch or two, as he scored big PR's in the shot and weight.
And winter became spring - though there were times when you had to question if it was actually spring! Perhaps spurred on by the success of Selasie in the sprints, Percie Gijima found another gear this spring and blew away his former PR's as well as running some great 4x100 relay legs to go along with the success that continue for Selasie. Scheetz was dealing with a foot injury for most of the spring but as each week passed, he was rounding into shape and after winning titles at NESCAC and ECAC in he 800, he would grab an All-American finish at Nationals. Grimes continued right where he left off the winter, as he lowered his PR's in the 800 and 1500, and again earned a trip to the national Championships where he just missed making the finals after a gutsy front running effort fell painfully a few meters shy. Another unexpected arrival came in the form of Georgia native, Josiah Terrel-Perica, as the first year thrower would pick up huge points at NESCAC's in the discus 136 feet and javelin 170 feet, and also grab a Little Three crown in the javelin. Romey put everything together outdoors as he notched a super fast 800 of 1:55 and if not for the ferocious wind at nescac's certainly would have gone well under 4:00 for the 1500. The spring also marked the return of Adron Pitmon, who's surgery in the early winter had him out of commission until the very beginning of spring,a and despite the lack of running he was able to keep improving and notched a 1:540 in the 800 as well as several great relay legs. training with Adron, was Matt who would run a 1:53 in the 800, and add a Little Three 400 title to his collection, while fellow training partners Alex and Nick had some great marks in the 400-800, as well as relay legs. Like he did in the winter, Andrew raced his best at the end of the season and won a New England title in the 10k, running a 30:35 as well as a runner-up finish in the ECAC 5k with a 14:36 - both marks just missing NCAA's. Two new freshmen records were set, as KC would run a 31:25in the 10k to snag that record while classmate Greg would write his name in the steeplechase section with his 9:29 effort, and in the same event Dillon had a big PR to bring his best into the 9:20's.
2012-13 Season - What it could bring
While the absence of Ben Scheetz due to graduation is going to be significant (perhaps a huge understatement), the large majority of the team will be returning and should see a great deal of success in both track and XC. The seniors set the tone for what the team should be, and it will now be up to the captains - Adron, Dillon, Grimey, Andrew, Denzel and Wrenford - to continue to build upon what is in place. This fall, the men will be returning all but their 5th scorer, and with a couple of guys back to full health, the expectations for a successful campaign are huge. Andrew should capitalize on his recent success and will certainly be one of the top runners in the region, and he will have plenty of company as Pat Grimes showed that XC is not to long for him and will look to improve upon last year. A pair of sophomores who factored into the scoring last year, KC Fussel and Greg Turissini, improved throughout the year and should have an even bigger season and their classmates, Lucas Lebovitz and Romey Sklar will be ready to step up. Senior captain Dillon Buckley will provide not only leadership, but also continue to be a scoring factor. Seniors Adron Pitmon and Eli Howe, both who have seen time in scoring roles will look to bolster the depth of the team and make a huge impact on the scoring, and a return to health of juniors Gus Greenstein, Alva Morales and Charlie Reighard will certainly strengthen the depth and bolster the chances for a National Championship run. Several first year runners could see some time in the scoring ranks but will be able to work into it without the pressure of needing to come through immediately, and make a nice transition to the distance.
Senior captain Wrenford Thaffe will be the inspirational, and hard working, leader of the crop of sprinters and will help Percie, Selasie, Javier Paulino and others continue to show big improvements. The long sprint crew will be headed by 1:52 800 runner, Matt Melton, and Nick and Durk should certainly continue to see some great success as they are a year stronger. Distance will be spearheaded by Andrew, and will certainly be looking to hit marks needed to secure a berth at nationals as well as setting sights on several school records and Dillon, KC, Greg, Alva and Gus should all be ready to take their game to a new level, and continue to lower their PR's. Pat grimes will be the front runner of the mid-distance crew, and looks to become one of the elite miles in the country while the others in the group including Adron Pitmon, Romey, Lucas, Eli and Charlie will be ready to up the levels a notch or two. Josiah will start up with indoors, and should be a great training partner for captain Denzel Duncan in the throwing events and will be exciting to see what both can do throughout the year and in another grouping of field events, mark and Steve Hetterich will look to capitalize on the first year success and get some strong support from first year Khalil Fleming. Additionally, several first years in a variety of events could have an immediate impact as Judd Liebman, Jeffrey Seelaus, Nick Ellenoff, Brent Harrison, Dan Crowley, Brian Ragone, and Dennis Kennelly as well as transfer Matt Woop, will all add to the success of the program.
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