Track teams off to strong start to season

The Geneseo men's and women's track teams opened up their indoor season last weekend with the Cornell Relays. The two teams traveled to Cornell last Saturday to compete in over a dozen different events.

For the men's team, sophomore Craig Harlacher finished eighth in the 200 meter and 16th in the 60 meter. Harlacher's relay team also placed eighth in the 4 x 400 meter relay. Senior Joe Goodspeed finished third in the long jump and sixth in the high jump, and freshman Josh Kneer finished 12th in the 3000 meter.

For the women, sophomore Mary McGrath, freshman Sandra Goettelman and sophomore Lisa Bonnani finished fourth, fifth and seventh respectively in the 5000 meter. Sophomore Lisa Halloran took home seventh place in the 3000 meter and junior Diana Snyder placed 12th in the 300 meter. Snyder was also part of the sixth place distance medley relay team.

This first meet provided the two teams a preview of what the rest of the season might look like. For some of Geneseo's runners, this was their first indoor competition since last March, and it gave them a chance to work some of the kinks out of their systems. Some athletes, like junior Meghan Nolan, are just coming off of an exceptional cross country season.

"Being a student-athlete begins to take a toll at the end of the season," said Nolan. "The Christmas break will give us a chance to regroup and come back ready to compete."

The women's team is coming off of a very strong 2005 season in which they finished seventh at the national meet. Along the way, the team took home the SUNYAC, New York State Collegiate Track Conference (NYSCTC) and ECAC championships. This year, they hope to finish even stronger at nationals. "I think we definitely have the potential," said Nolan.

The team lost several seniors last season, but the runners seem confident that they can make it just as far this season. "Even though we definitely lost some key seniors, I think our team can defend our championship titles this season," said sophomore Liz Montgomery.

Montgomery is coming off of a cross country season in which she finished first overall at Nationals. The Cornell Relays marked her indoor track debut, because last season she broke her ankle and missed the entire season. "This team is amazing," Montgomery said. "They cheered me up when I got hurt and they all stepped it up and improved their times."

The men's team won the SUNYAC last season, beating out a tough Cortland team. They then finished second in the NYSCTC meet and earned a bid to the ECAC meet. Despite also losing some good senior runners, the team will look to improve on last season's finish with strong performances by some of the younger athletes and veteran leadership from some of the older athletes.