Dec. 5, 2008
The 2008-09 women's track season presents a slate of unknown answers to head coach Kevin Quinn. Quinn and first-year assistant coach Claire Duncan will have to find an answer for the question, "where to start?"
The 45 Hawks, which comprise the largest team in program history, include 18 freshmen, the largest incoming class in program history, to accompany the 26 veterans returning to the team.
Led by senior tri-captains Natalie Miller, Skylar Rea and Lauren Slack, Saint Joseph's has three capable leaders with great experience and skill. Miller plies her trade in the jumps, specifically the high jump, the event in which she qualified for the ECAC Indoor Championship last March.
Rae has found a niche in the hurdles, improving incrementally every year, setting new personal records in 2008, while Slack looks to return to her old form which as a sophomore saw her lead the team in most of the jumping disciplines.
When it comes to the middle and long distance events, A-10 Academic All-Conference honorees Andrea Florida and Amy Rhein lead the way. Florida earned the award during the 2007-08 indoor season, while Rhein did so in the 2008 outdoor season. Rounding out the senior ranks are Juli Stensland in distance events with Katie Pencek and Lauren Walsh in middle distance, and Dara Hackett in throws.
A solid and diverse junior corps is sparked by Nicole McMullen, SJU's record-holder in the 300m indoor dash. McMullen is a well-rounded athlete participating in everything from the 55m dash to the 400m dash as well as the long jump. Along with McMullen is Kristen Pierce, a 2008 Outdoor Track All-Atlantic 10 Second Team member in the hurdles.
Cara Quinn, Caitlin McGrath, Kierstin Quinn, and Morgan Matecki comprise the junior sprint crew. Beth Getty and Erin Vanderhoof hold down the jumping pit, while Tracyann Calabrese returns to throw the javelin. Caitlin Reusche will shore up the veteran stock in middle distance events.
The talented and varied sophomore class is led by Kristin Andrews in long sprints and hurdles and Nohjay Nimpson in the jumps and javelin. Aimee Chegwidden, Christina Morelli and Jessica Di Cicco are SJU's long distance threats, while Laura Faller will hold her own in the middle distance variety.
As for Quinn's 18 newcomers, all will be vital to the Hawks' success, as the large class gives Quinn an answer in almost every running and jumping event.
Tremendous depth will be seen at the jumps and hurdles as Emily Coldren and Ashley Williams will participate in sprints and jumps, Mary Kate Mahany and Allison Smith are both jumpers, while Amy Volz and Stefani Zabilowicz are both hurdlers.
Complimenting the jumping crew are sprinters Karly Cahill, Adriana Lanuto and Lauren Wentzel. Anna Casey, Samantha Peters, and Kelsey Rose supply the middle distance events with Katie Barrett, Kathleen Casey, Carolyn Haggerty, Beth Lambright, Jacqueline Stuppiello and Elizabeth Welsh giving the distance events plenty of options.
For the indoor portion of the schedule SJU opens with four one-day meets at Lafayette (Dec. 6), Penn State (Jan. 10), The Armory (Jan. 16) and Ursinus (Jan. 23). The Penn State National Invitational (Jan. 30-31), the Giegengack Invitational at Yale (Feb. 6-7) and another trip to The Armory for the Lafayette-Rider meet (Feb. 6) provide ample opportunities for the athletes leadaing into the A-10 Championships.
The two-day Atlantic 10 meet takes place again at Rhode Island on Feb. 20-21, followed by the NYU Fastrack meet on Feb. 27 and ECACs on Mar. 7-8.
The Hawks head outdoors to the season-opening Leopard Invitational at Lafayette Mar. 28 before traveling south to Williamsbug, Virginia and the Colonial Relays April 3-4.
Virginia's Onesty Invitational (Apr. 11), Princeton's Larry Ellis Invitational (Apr. 17-18) and the prestigious Penn Relays (Apr. 23-25) lead up to the A-10 Outdoor Championships at Charlotte (May 2-3).
Saint Joseph's will participate in the Swarthmore Last Chance meet on May 11 before the ECAC Championships May 15-17 at Princeton.
There will be few shortcomings for the track seasons as SJU's largest women's team looks to be Saint Joseph's most successful team come 2009.