Dec. 4, 2012
EASTON, Pa. – The Lafayette track and field team opens its 2012-13 indoor season on Friday when the team travels to Bethlehem for the Fast Times Invitational. The meet is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.
The men’s team will be led by three captains, seniors Nick Hepp, Dayne Mosconi, and Nick Orzol. The men were chosen to finish fifth in the Patriot League preseason poll after placing fifth in last season’s indoor Patriot League Championships.
Nick Hepp will lead the sprinters after claiming the Outdoor Patriot League title in the 400m and as a member of the 4x100m relay.
“We lost Jerome Rudolph and he did a lot of big things for us, but Nick Hepp is going to lead the way in the 200 and 400” associate head coach Michele Curcio said.
Curcio and head coach Julio Piazza, in his 27th season at the helm, are also looking forward to big things from fellow sprinters juniors Bill Leonard and David Robinson, and senior Ryan McVeigh. Leonard was a part of the 4x400 relay that finished fifth at both the Indoor and Outdoor Patriot League Championships in 2011-12 and qualified for the IC4A Championships last spring.
Robinson is also coming off of a spring IC4A Championship Qualification in the 100m dash, and is a member of the 4x100 relay team that owns both the Lafayette school record and Patriot League Championship meet record from 2010-11. Freshmen Jarrel Bobb, Jordan Roses and Michael Smitelli will also all be contributing to the sprints this indoor season.
An experienced group of middle distance runners will return for Lafayette. Senior Chris Parker holds the current school record in the outdoor 800m, which he set last spring. Dayne Mosconi and junior Derrick Hargwood are also coming off of successful spring seasons in which they ran some of the top relay times in the Patriot League.
Sophomore Andrew Haff will be another contributor this season.
“He had a lot of injuries last year, but has a lot of talent and has a lot to add to the middle distance guys,” Curcio said.
The coaching staff also expects freshman Matt McMurray to add a lot of speed to the middle distance group.
Senior William Volkman could possibly serve double duty. He is expected to contribute to both distance and relay events after coming off a much-improved junior campaign. Fellow distance runners to look out for are junior Sam Brinton, freshman Thomas Day, and sophomore Andrew Warshauer.
“Our jumpers are the first guys there and last ones to leave most days,” Curcio said. Senior Nick Orzol is the Leopards’ top returning long and triple jumper. He placed fifth in the triple jump at the Outdoor Patriot League Championships in May, and second at the Lehigh Indoor Meet last season.
Freshman Jarrel Bobb will see time at long and triple jumps. Bobb is described by the coaches as “a talented guy who had a quality high school career.” Fellow freshman Patrick Donohue is currently training as a multi-event athlete, but will focus on the high jump in the early meets. Senior Nick Carboni and sophomore Chris Castello will also jump and look to grab some points for the Leopards.
Lafayette lost two of the top pole vaulters in the League to graduation and will look to freshman Colton Mitchell to fill those spots. Junior Mac Maguire and sophomore Juannell Riley will both throw for the Leopards, along with newcomer Jonathan Passmore.
The women’s team will be led by senior captains Elizabethann Coradino, Chelsea Marone, Kelly Senters, and Gwen Steckel. The women were chosen to finish seventh in the Patriot League preseason poll after placing seventh in last season’s indoor Patriot League Championships.
The sprinters will be a mix of the old and the new. Chelsea Marone and Megan Matusky are two returning sprinters whom coach Curcio calls “high quality seniors.” Those two will mix in along with two well-decorated high school runners, freshmen Emily Keen and Devin Smith.
Senior captain Chelsea Marone placed fourth in the 400m hurdles at the 2012 Outdoor Patriot League Championships, and ran leadoff for the 4x400m relay that finished fifth at the same League Championships. Matusky was also a member of that fifth place relay team.
Devin Smith had some of the best times in New Jersey last year, and is available to run anything from the 60m to the 400m dashes. Fellow freshman Erin Keen also ran top times in Pennsylvania during her final year in high school and will contribute to the Leopards’ sprints and relays.
Sophomore Julia Rockey is coming off of an injury-prone freshman campaign and will compete in sprints from anything to the 60m to 400m. Fellow sophomore Haley Langton is a versatile athlete that could compete in any event from middle distance to sprints. The coaching staff is looking forward to the contribution by both athletes.
The hurdling group is made up of primarily freshmen, all of which had successful careers and solid times in high school. Sally Trout, who was also a member of the Patriot League Champion field hockey team, is projected to be the fastest hurdler. Joining her will be classmates Dejana Harris and Erica Swinton.
Senior captain Kelly Senters will shift more from sprints and hurdles to the middle distance races. The coaches are looking for her to compete in mainly the 500 and 1000m races. Senters was a member of the 4x400 and 4x800 teams that both finished fifth at the 2012 Outdoor Patriot League and Indoor Patriot League Championships, respectively. That 4x800 team also qualified for the ECAC Championships last year.
Sophomore Grace Watters is coming off of a great freshman season along with a successful cross country campaign. She will join Senters in the middle distance category, along with freshman Stephanie Benko.
The distance group will include junior Rose Willey, who is returning for the Leopards with another successful cross country season under her belt, and senior captain Elizabethann Coradino. Coradino ran a personal best in the 800m at the Patriot League Outdoor Championship, and will look to contribute more to the longer races this season.
Sophomore Brittany Powell has big shoes to fill in the jump events. The Leopards have won the indoor triple jump the last two years, and are looking to Powell to follow in those same footsteps. Sophomore Julia Rockey and Rachel Douglas will also jump for Lafayette. Douglas jumped a personal best 5’3” in the high jump last season and is looking to build on that.
Lafayette record-holder Elise Buffinton is also looking to follow up a successful season. The junior pole vaulter finished third in both the Indoor and Outdoor Patriot League Championships in 2011-12. Sophomore Claire Murphy is also predicted to be competitive and grab some points for the Leopards.
The Leopards will return a handful of experienced, high-level student-athletes to compete in the throws this year. Junior Rachel Pena and senior Gwen Steckel were both ECAC indoor qualifiers last year. Pena was also Patriot League Champion in the hammer throw, and earned All-East Honors following a fifth place outdoor finish at the ECAC Championships in the spring. Freshman Sarah Talmadge will also contribute at shot put.