PHILADELPHIA – The Saint Joseph’s men’s track and field squad returns 12 Atlantic 10 medalists and nine IC4A scorers from last season alone and 40 letterwinners in total for the 2017-18 indoor and outdoor track and field seasons. The Hawks welcome 13 freshman additions out of Pennsylvania (7), New Jersey (4), Delaware (1), and New Hampshire (1).
Head coach Mike Glavin, now in his 29th year at the helm, has selected senior short sprinter David Henderson, senior long sprinters Kenny Evely, Dan Ferraiolo, and Barren McCoy, senior middle distance standouts Dave Garton and Steve Thompson, and the veteran distance trio of senior Collin Crilly, senior David Dorsey, and graduate student Dan Savage to captain the Hawks this year.
“We’re going to be the same kind of team we’ve been,” said Glavin of this year’s 56-percent-distance, 43-percent-sprint squad. “We’re going to look for special things in the relays, especially the 4x200m relay, 4x400m relay, 4x800m relay, Sprint Medley Relay, and Distance Medley Relay. Those events where the conference is used to counting St. Joe’s are going to remain the same. It’s the same kind of team, but there are opportunities for some new personnel to be the stars.”
The Hawks open the 2017-18 indoor season this Saturday, December 2 at the local Jack Pyrah Invitational, to be held at Haverford College’s Alumni Field House in Haverford, Pa. Tentatively scheduled, field events will begin at 11:00 a.m. while running events will run from noon through 3:20 p.m.
A 2016 NCAA East Preliminaries qualifier in the 4x400m relay, senior David Henderson returns to captain the short sprints group in 2017-18. Henderson has scored at the Atlantic 10 Championships in both the open 200m and open 400m and has raced the outdoor open 400m at the IC4A Championships. Despite seeing limited action - six races in all - last year due to injury, Henderson ran 49.19 for 400m last January and, as the Hawks missed scoring in the short sprint events in all four championship races last year, will be expected to be a factor in both A-10 and IC4A scoring in 2017-18.
“Henderson’s success rate and how high of a level he contributes is dependent upon only one thing - his health,” said Glavin of his senior short sprint captain. “With health comes high-level, championship stuff from him.”
Sophomore Justin Moscoe, who was a factor on championship-level relays as a rookie, returns for his second indoor and outdoor sprint seasons after racing the outdoor 200m (22.58 PR) and indoor 400m (50.59) at the Atlantic 10 Championships last year.
David Bryant was SJU’s only Hawk to race the indoor 60m (7.30) and outdoor 100m (11.15) at A-10s last year and will bring that experience into his sophomore season in 2017-18. Bryant also raced the 200m in both indoor and outdoor seasons as a rookie and clocked in with a collegiate-best time of 23.15 during the indoor season.
Jake Wolfe, who ran 11.74 for 100m and 24.06 for 200m last spring, returns for his junior season while a trio of freshmen in Phillip Dwyer, Sebastian Eaton, and Vincent Giordano will add new faces to the short sprints group this year.
Evely, who scored in the open 500m at the 2015 Atlantic 10 Indoor Championships and earned top-25 finishes in the open 500m at the 2015 and 2016 IC4A Indoor Championships, has the potential to run sub-49.00 for 400m, which he did as a sophomore (48.95), and owns a collegiate-best 500m time of 1:04.23.
Ferraiolo scored in the 800m at the 2017 Atlantic 10 Indoor Championships and ran 1:52.28 for 800m to place 10th at the 2016 IC4A Outdoor Championships.
McCoy reached new collegiate-best times in both the 500m (1:04.46) and 800m (1:55.66) last indoor season; that 500m time earned him a 14th-place finish at the 2017 IC4A Indoor Championships.
“If Barren lets himself have a senior year, he will shock everyone,” said Glavin. “He has that much talent. If he lets himself run to his fullest potential, he will light up a track.”
Sophomore Trae’ Robinson ran 1:05.92 for 500m and 1:59.86 for 800m last year and turned in a 22nd-place showing in the open 500m at the 2017 IC4A Indoor Championships.
“Trae’ is gifted,” said Glavin. “I think Trae’ is going to have a breakout year. He is like Dan [Savage] in the sense that he has taken full responsibility of the parts that he can affect. If you’re serious about achieving everything you can when the availability for greatness is there, then you take on this whole different attitude, and Trae’ is showing that.”
Sophomores Will Davies (400m - 50.77, 500m - 1:06.18, 800m - 1:58.03) and Aaron Lemma (400m - 50.58) also recorded strong times in their first collegiate seasons while newcomers in freshmen Stephen McClellan and Joshua Richard will also look to make their marks within the long sprints this year.
Senior captains Dave Garton and Steve Thompson, who both medaled at the conference level as juniors, return to lead the middle distance group into the 2017-18 indoor and outdoor seasons.
The defending Atlantic 10 champion in the indoor 800m, Thompson will look to build upon his first three strong years of collegiate experience to cap his indoor and outdoor careers on a high note. Thompson earned the 800m gold medal at 2017 indoor A-10s and the silver medal at 2016 indoor A-10s and has represented SJU at the IC4A Championships three different times in the 800m. Thompson ran 1:52.18 at Penn State last winter, which ranks fifth all-time on Hawk Hill.
“Steve’s 800m is a ‘strength’ 800m,” said Glavin on the way his senior dominates his primary event. “As long as he gets the best version of that out of himself, he makes people work for the entire 800m, not just the last bit of it. That’s important.”
Garton enjoyed a breakthrough indoor season as a junior last winter, where he earned third in the A-10 mile and 17th in the IC4A mile. Garton ultimately qualified for a trio of IC4A events, adding the 800m and 1000m to his championship-caliber resume.
“Dave’s indoor conference season from last year speaks for itself,” said Glavin. “After a couple years of injury and illness, Dave got healthy enough to go after all of that. We need to keep Dave behind the fatigue line so that he can spread that over both the indoor and outdoor seasons. He will be a factor.”
Another name that deserves to be in the mix when discussing factors is Dylan Eddinger. The junior is a four-time point scorer in A-10 open events, twice in the indoor 1000m and twice in the outdoor 800m, and turned in top-25 finishes in both events at IC4As last year.
“If Dylan comes into his own as a junior this year, he could be a piece of the Atlantic 10 Conference,” added Glavin.
Also of note is junior Rory Houston, who ran 1:54.87 for 800m and 4:11.88 for 1500m last spring, while sophomores Joey Angelina (800m-Mile), Harrison Morris (800m-Mile), Colin Parker (800m-Mile), and Christian Roberts (800m-Mile) will round out SJU’s returning middle distance group.
Freshman Drayk Cassamajor, who raced cross country in the fall, will enter his first track and field season donning the Crimson and Gray.
If the 2017-18 indoor and outdoor track and field seasons are anything like the 2017 cross country season for SJU’s distance group, things can get exciting. Graduate student tri-captain Dan Savage, senior tri-captain Collin Crilly, and senior tri-captain David Dorsey will lead SJU’s 29-member distance crew – 55 percent of the Hawks’ roster – this year. Mix in sophomores Josh Clark and Zach Michon and the potential for success is limitless.
Savage is SJU’s only returning NCAA East Regional Preliminary Rounds qualifier from a year ago. With only outdoor eligibility remaining after a redshirt season in 2016, Savage will look to further hone in on his primary event – the 3000m steeplechase. Savage placed second at A-10s and seventh at IC4As and recorded his PR (9:04.05) last spring; that time is currently tied for fourth all-time on Hawk Hill.
Savage led the cross country squad in all six of his races this fall and earned spots on both the A-10 All-Conference and IC4A All-East teams for his extraordinary efforts on the trails. Glavin believes that this experience could lead to nothing short of an exceptional spring for his distance standout.
“There’s a confidence that comes with qualifying [for NCAA preliminaries],” said Glavin. “We already saw that confidence this fall. What we saw is a guy that went to the NCAA level and said, ‘I’m that level now.’ And then he started running at that level, because he was running against those guys that he saw in Kentucky. You can’t get on a cross country line after racing those guys in Kentucky and not go after it. It doesn’t work that way for real athletes. He experienced it, and he’ll run the outdoor season like a guy who has already been there.”
As a rookie last year, Michon earned some not-so-rookie-like achievements. He was named to the A-10 All-Rookie Team in the mile, scored in the A-10 mile, and went on to place 22nd (4:12.64) in the IC4A mile. He came back for his first outdoor campaign to place 12th in the IC4A 1500m (3:53.72).
Michon went on to tear up his sophomore cross country season, where he earned All-Conference honors from the A-10 and All-East honors from the IC4A and finished as SJU’s #2 runner in all three championship races.
“He had a much better cross country season this year [than last],” said Glavin. “With that said, Zach is more of a track runner than a cross country runner. Forget what track said he might do in cross country. What his cross country season says he might do in track is the even bigger question. I think it says that he arrives in the conference this year.”
Clark ran 8:38.60 for 3k at the Colonial Relays last spring and will focus on both the 3k and 5k last year while Crilly returns for his senior campaign after scoring in the A-10 1500m and qualifying for both the IC4A 1500m and mile last year.
“I think that both of those guys [Clark and Crilly] are going to be scoring factors in the Atlantic 10 meets, and that’s a nice thing to be,” added Glavin.
Dorsey, who ran a collegiate-best 10,000m time of 31:14.08 last spring, will train in the 3k and 5k with a primary focus on the 10,000m year, and Glavin believes the potential is there for a conference-scoring performance come spring.
Also of note is senior Anthony Morelli, who qualified for IC4As in the 10k last year and could be a factor in conference scoring, junior Justin Branco, who is showing considerable progression in the 3000m steeplechase, and junior Jack Daly (1500m-3k), who is on the verge of coming of age this year after his most productive collegiate cross country season this fall. Juniors Tommy Higley (800m-5k, 3000S), Shawn Hutchison (1500m-10k), Sean Macpherson (1500m-5k), John Podles (1500m-5k, 3000S), and Will Sponaugle (1500m-Mile, 3000S) and sophomores Colin Gallagher (800m-5k) and John Walker (800m-3k, 3000S) are also in the mix.
Seniors Kevin Dorsey (1500m-5k), Jake Durante-Koller (1500m-5k), and Andrew Myers (800m-3k), juniors Matthew Mullin-Garcia (1500m-5k) and Sean Princivalle (1500m-10k), and sophomores Antonio Amaral (1500m-5k) and Riley Hannan (1500m-5k) will add returning experience while freshmen Brendan Falzone, Bobby Hastie, Jimmy Macpherson, Dan Mink, Brendan Price, Matthew Scarpill, and George Steinhoff, who all raced cross country in the fall, will add new faces to the distance group.
Last season, the Hawks scored in all six of their relays between the Atlantic 10 Indoor Championships and Atlantic 10 Outdoor Championships, which included a trio of medals at the indoor meet. Of those 24 legs, 18 return in 2017-18, including indoor 4x400m relay silver medalists sophomore Justin Moscoe (leadoff) and senior Kenny Evely (third leg), indoor Distance Medley Relay silver medalists senior Dave Garton, sophomore Trae’ Robinson, senior Steve Thompson, and senior Collin Crilly, and indoor 4x800m relay bronze medalists senior Dan Ferraiolo (leadoff), senior Barren McCoy (second leg), and junior Dylan Eddinger (anchor).
Last season, the Hawks also turned in a trio of scoring performances between the IC4A Indoor Championships and IC4A Outdoor Championships, with McCoy (leadoff) and Evely (third leg) on the sixth-place, indoor 4x400m relay, Ferraiolo (leadoff), junior Rory Houston (third leg), and McCoy (anchor) on the sixth-place, outdoor 4x800m relay, and Moscoe (leadoff), Robinson (second leg), and Evely (anchor) on the eight-place, outdoor 4x400m relay.
With the combination of veteran experience and overall talent and the addition of new faces that could immediately add to SJU’s consistent relay successes, Glavin expects that the 2017-18 campaign could once again be one for the record books.
Freshman Phillip Dwyer is SJU’s lone jumper this season. Dwyer was the 2017 New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association long jump champion with a collegiate-best mark of 22’ 8”.
Following Saturday’s season-opening Jack Pyrah Invitational, the Hawks will return to action in the new year and will compete in five meets across four weekends in January, including the Wagner College Invitational (Jan. 5), the Lehigh Angry Birds Challenge (Jan. 13), the Penn 8-Team Select (Jan. 20), the two-day Penn State National Open (Jan. 26-27), and the Monmouth Winter Invitational (Jan. 27).
Saint Joseph’s will race a pair of meets on February 3, competing at both the Ursinus Frank Colden Invitational and Villanova Invitational before heading to the Fastrack National Qualifier (Feb. 9) the following weekend.
Four of those nine meets - the Wagner Seahawk Invitational, Penn 8 Team Select, Villanova Invitational, and Fastrack National Qualifier - will be held at the Ocean Breeze Facility in Staten Island, N.Y.
The 2018 Atlantic 10 Indoor Championships will be held at the University of Rhode Island’s Mackal Fieldhouse in Kingston, R.I. from February 16-18.
Saint Joseph’s will have one more IC4A-qualifying opportunity at the Saturday Night Fastrack Last Chance Invitational, to be held at the Ocean Breeze Facility on February 24, before qualifiers head to the 2018 IC4A Indoor Championships at Boston University’s Track and Tennis Center from March 2-4.
The 2018 NCAA Indoor Championships will run from March 8-10 at Texas A&M University’s Gilliam Indoor Stadium in College Station, Texas.
Saint Joseph’s will open the outdoor season on Saturday, March 24 at the 23rd Annual Monmouth Season Opener in West Long Branch, N.J. and will compete the following Saturday, March 31 at the Rider Meet before heading down to Williamsburg, Va. for the 53rd Annual Colonial Relays, set for April 5-7.
The Hawks will then split up over the course of the next six meets, racing both the Temple Owls Invitational (Apr. 13) and Rider Invitational (Apr. 14) and both the Princeton Larry Ellis Invitational (Apr. 20-21) and Widener Invitational (Apr. 20-21) before heading to Penn Relays (Apr. 26-28) and Lehigh Games (Apr. 28) to cap the regular season.
The 2018 Atlantic 10 Outdoor Championships will be held at George Mason University Stadium in Fairfax, Va. from May 5-6.
Qualifiers will then compete at the IC4A Championships at Princeton University’s Weaver Stadium from May 12-13.
The NCAA East Preliminary Rounds will be hosted by the University of South Florida in Tampa, Fla. From May 24-26. Saint Joseph’s was represented in the 400m hurdles and 3000m steeplechase at the 2017 NCAA East Preliminary Rounds, and that 3000m steeplechaser, Dan Savage, returns for his final outdoor season this spring.
The NCAA Outdoor Championships will take place from June 6-9 at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field.