The men's and women's track and field teams competed in the St. Lawrence Open last Saturday and turned in many solid individual performances, indicating a promising season. Head Coach Dave Prevosti was particularly pleased with his team's performance in the 5000m.
Geneseo dominated the women's 5000m with Geneseo runners taking the top nine spots, despite competing without several of its top distance runners, including junior Liz Montgomery.
"We have a balanced and dominant team," Prevosti said about his distance core. "It makes us hard to beat, especially in track and field where I can put runners in different races."
Junior Laura Iafrati won the 5000m on the women's side while junior Nate Lockett won the men's race. "Both Laura and Nate ran nationally qualifying times. In fact, Laura had lapped the entire field at least once," said Prevosti.
On the men's side, Prevosti described the future of freshman Ryan O'Connor as "very bright." O'Connor was the first freshman under Prevosti to break 15 minutes in the 5000m. O'Connor finished second to Lockett.
Junior Kevin O'Connell surprised many by winning the pole vault. "His hard work has really paid off," Prevosti said about his pole vaulter. "When he cleared 15 feet in practice we were stunned. It is hard to explain, but I am confident that he will continue to improve."
One of the storylines of the young season thus far has been the performance of Pat Gallagher. The sophomore has already broken both the 300m and 500m school records. While Gallagher did not break any records over the weekend, he did win the 400m and was on the winning 4x400m relay. "He can definitely break 50 seconds [in the 400m]," said Prevosti. "There is a lot of hype around him because he has been talked about for so long."
The bar has been set high for the track and field teams this season. Merely winning the SUNYACs is not good enough for Prevosti's women's squad.
"I want to win it by 50 points," he said. "This is the most dominating team I have ever had."
He takes a different philosophy in motivating the men's squad. "We need to convince ourselves that we can beat Cortland at our game, which is middle distance and field events," he said.
Prevosti's lofty goals will be tested on Friday when the team makes the short trip to RIT. The Knights will compete against many familiar SUNYAC foes and the results of this event should further indicate just how high the men's and women's teams can climb.