Promising start for young track athetes

As the Geneseo outdoor track and field team begins its first meets of the season, head coach David Prevosti’s strategy is not to win, but to train for the conference championships in May. “We’re still refining. We’re doing workouts right before and after [meets] so that they’re not fresh come the end of the year,” Prevosti said. “Then we’ll make sure that they have the rest to do the most optimal performance.”

While many of the upperclassmen competed in Princeton, N.J., the freshman athletes made huge contributions at the University of Rochester Alumni Invitational on Saturday April 5. The Knights competed against 24 other teams with up to 90 runners racing in some events.

There were standout performances by freshman athletes on both the men’s and women’s teams. Freshman John Panus took second place in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of nine minutes and 54.09 seconds, while freshman David Pollock finished third in the long jump at 6.51 meters.

Following up on the legacy of Alyssa Smith ‘13 who won the 3,000-meter steeplechase at last year’s Penn Relays, freshman Sarah Rosenzweig took first place in the same event at Rochester with a time of 11:29:35.

“It’s just like we kind of reloaded and good things are happening,” Prevosti said. “We’re young and we’re up and coming for sure.”

The collective ambitions of the freshmen are evident in freshman Connor Christian’s performance at Rochester, where he snagged second place in the open 400-meter dash with a time of 51.80 seconds. Afterword he went on to compete in the 400-meter hurdles for his first hurdle race in years.

Despite the second place finish, Christian said he is determined to improve his open 400-meter dash time in the future.

“I got a really bad start. I sort of knew I wasn’t going to run my best time, but I figured I just got to give it whatever I have and hope it works out, and I had a really nice close,” he said.

Christian has been involved with track for over a decade and added that the transition from high school track to the intercollegiate level has been an interesting one; from working with different coaches and team members to living in a different environment with more academic expectations.

Despite all of these changes, Prevosti said he is impressed by all of the first-year athletes, who complement their already strong upperclassmen counterparts.

“It’s going to be great to see how they progress from year to year because they get it,” he said. “They know that they’re part of something big and they’re not waiting to mature to be great.”

The squads will split again for Bucknell University’s Bison Outdoor Classic and Nazareth College’s ROC City Challenge, both on Saturday April 12.