Indoor Season Ready to Kick-off on Friday
EASTON, Pa. - The Lafayette indoor track and field season is set to kick off this weekend at the Fast Times Before Finals meet hosted by Lehigh.
The Leopards boast a strong mix of returners and fresh faces this year and head Coach Michele Curcio is excited for the team to get its first taste of competition
"The entire first year group has had a strong preseason and our coaching staff is excited for what indoor has in store for the team this year" said head coach Michele Curcio "The men's team is a little more veteran-laden and has a lot for Patriot League experience and I'm really expecting them to score higher and compete at that level. The women's side has four seniors but I think the younger athletes are going to grow and be even better when outdoor season rolls around."
The Leopards have four seniors on this year's squad after graduating nine student-athletes from last year's team. Kwapinski (middle distance), Katie Millar (distance), Morgan Nobles (distance) and Jennifer Salvatore (distance) represent the class of 2018 for the Maroon and White.
"Alexa is going to lead the way for us in a lot of events and Katie, Jennifer and Morgan will all lead our team through the season," Curcio added.
The distance group is once again headlined by junior Emily Moore, who had another strong cross country season that included a first-place finish at the Leopard Invitational and a second straight selection to the Academic All-Patriot League Team.
"I think Emily is going to have an excellent year for us again and she'll really be able to build off of her performance from cross country this year," Curcio said.
Mikayla Pacilio (distance), Jennifer Salvatore (distance), Colleen Cass (throws) and Tracy Kurdziel (throws) are all top competiors for the Maroon and White and will look to post solid scores in the Patriot League.
The women's team has 12 fresh faces this year and the coaching staff has high hopes for the newcomers this indoor season.
"We have a new crop of sprinters and jumpers this season," Curcio stated. "I'm excited to see Sophia Sharpless, Sophia Garnier and Kelsey McGlynn get their first taste of collegiate action this winter."
Gabi Galletta comes into the indoor season following a strong finish to the country season that included being the first Leopard to cross the finish line at the NCAA Regional meet.
"As a freshman, Gabi had a great cross country season and I can't wait to see her carry that momentum into the indoor season," Curcio said.
"We're really looking at this group to lead by example for our younger athletes," Curcio stated. "All four have been a part of Lafayette/Lehigh dual meet and Sam and Steve have put up good numbers at the Patriot League level, so we'll rely on them to improve even more and set the tone for the team."
"You get to see the guys move into distances that are more in their wheelhouses," Curcio said. "Tyler and Calvin get to move down in distance for indoor season, while Dave and Mark move up, and it's great for them because cross country really gears them up for indoor season and we should see some good scores from that group."
"Dan is someone who has scored at the Patriot League Championships and we're looking for him to continue to take steps forward," Curcio added. "Justin has scored for us in the sprints and the 4x4 relay, so w're ready to see him take another step forward this season."
The Leopards added a solid crop of freshmen to the roster this season and the expectations are high for the incoming class.
Brian Kauffmann will be looked to add some depth and score well in the jumps while Sam Fishbein enters his first season looking to buoy the Leopards core in the throws.
"Brian posted some really good personal records in high school that were up to par with a collegiate level, and I'm excited for hwat he brings to the table, " Curcio said. "Sam has thrown with collegiate weighted implements in high school and it has really prepared him well for his first season and he should put up good numbers for us."
Dave McGriff returns for his final season on College Hill and the stalwart will be looking to cap a stellar career for the Maroon and White that has included an NCAA Regional appearance along with ownership of the school's all-time discus record.
"Dave is another athlete that consistently scores in the Patriot League for us," Curcio stated. "He's a solid and steady performer for us and I can't wait to see what this season has in store for him."
The Leopards open their season at the Fast Times before Finals meet this Friday before having almost a month lay-off before their next competition. The Maroon and White return to action Jan. 6 at the Bucknell Tri-Meet.
Fast Times Before Finals Live Results