Replacing talent key for indoor track

Despite losing national championship-caliber runners on both the men’s and women’s sides, the theme of this year’s indoor track team will once again be not to rebuild but to reload. “You never replace anybody in this sport. You just simply [say], ‘Next person up,’” head coach for his 10th year Dave Prevosti said. “Fortunately, we have a nice setup because last year we were pretty young, and we all got older and we have an amazing incoming class.”

Arguably the biggest loss from last year’s team on either side is Alyssa Smith ‘12, who won the NCAA Division III outdoor track and field steeplechase event in the spring 2013 semester as a graduate student. In indoor, Smith was a key part of the distance medley relay team that placed third at the NCAA indoor championships. Although Smith, who ran the 1600-meter leg, and Caitlin Kowalewski ‘13, who ran the 800-meter leg, are gone, junior Keira Wood and senior Allison Hoh return to anchor the team and lead the women’s side.

The distance running part of the team will once again feature many cross-country standouts, including senior Lauren McKnight, juniors Jacqueline Huben, Joanna Castrogivanni, Cassie Goodman and Alyssa Knott and freshman Sara Rosenzweig. The Knights’ arsenal of sprinters is boosted by the return of junior Kristen Gottstine from injury and the addition of freshman Erin O’Connor, who starred on the soccer field this fall.

Jumpers will thrive from the experience of senior Carrie Levinn and the talent of freshman Joanna Heath, last year’s New York State Section V long jump champion. Finally, junior Elyssa Slawinski, who is overseas until the spring semester, and senior Danelle Turney will look to improve on last year’s solid throwing campaigns.

On the men’s side, junior Cohen Miles-Rath is the only returning member from last year’s distance medley relay team that also placed third at the national championships. Fresh off of a fifth-place finish in the SUNYAC cross-country meet, Miles-Rath will have many cross-country teammates by his side, including junior Ryan Moynihan, brothers senior Patrick Wortner and sophomore Brendan Wortner and freshman Matt Jorgenson, to form one of the league’s better long-distance groups.

In the field events, juniors Luke Taverne and Phil Longo will again look to dominate competition in the high jump while welcoming freshmen David Pollock and Brendan Macey to the fold in a unit that Prevosti thinks is just as good as the distance runners. Sprinter freshman Austin Donroe should make an immediate impact in a needed area, and lastly, the throwing squad regained senior Zach Markel from injury, who Prevosti says has been the “anchor” of the team for a couple of years.

Both squads will look to assert their talents at the opening meet of the season on Saturday Dec. 7 at the SUNY Brockport’s Early Season Run. The Knights will then be off for break before returning a week before classes begin in January to begin training for the spring semester.