Boys Track Heads To Dartmouth Relays With Lofty Expectations

The Boys Track team earned their rest this past winter break. The team, carrying some fall sports strength into the track season, brought energy and enthusiasm onto the track in the first weeks of practice. On the Friday before finals week the team put their skills to the test in an inter-squad time trial. The afternoon’s events started with the mile. The distance event, however, was to be without its former notable, Josh Wolfe ’04, an all-star cross-country runner who has opted to follow a personal training routine outside of the boys track program. John Freker ’04, another distance standout, was fighting off a cold and unable to compete. Jon Hillman ’05 took the reins for the mile in the absence of his teammates, finishing in a solid early season time of 4:54. Seniors Dan Serna ’04 and J.J. Feigenbaum ’04 showed the depth of the team, backing up Hillman’s time with two admirable early season performances. They are all fast times that can get faster. Said Hillman, “The times were good for this early in the season, and we’ll only get faster. Our competitors will have trouble keeping up with the Big Blue when it comes to the distance events.” The success radiating from the distance corner was mirrored by other athletes, showing that this team is in good position to have a successful competitive season. Coach Corbin Lang and Captain Dave Sheldon ’04 were very pleased with the results of this early season mark of overall strength. The time trials, other than being an early measure of training and technique, become the primary tool for the selection of the team that will be sent to the Dartmouth Relay’s invitational meet. This prestigious meet, boasting high school and college track teams from around the northeast, takes place Saturday. “This year we are taking a group of athletes who have demonstrated they are ready and willing to take on the challenges of such a prestigious invitational,” said Coach Lang, “It is a big meet and a good experience for those mature enough to handle the pressure and chaos.” With the team’s six milers leaving at 5 a.m. on the morning of the competition and the remainder of the team following at 7, the team will have ample time to psych up for the races. Captain Sheldon passed on his experience to other new athletes about the intimidating early season meet, saying, “It is just a great chance to remember what racing feels like after the long break. The nervousness that everyone experiences can be easily expelled in this early season warm up meet.” This advice should be taken to heart by many as several of the experienced athletes from last years Dartmouth Relays team have graduated, most notably, last year’s captain Peter Chiu ’03. Coach Lang gave Chiu deserved praise saying, “[he] was not only a great athlete, but also great leader and role model.” Sheldon will be looking to captain as successful a team as Chiu did last year. One of Sheldon’s main goals is to “help the new-comers to track achieve personal goals for the betterment of the team as a whole.” Fellow sprinter Greg Hsu ’06 shared his thoughts on the new athletes on the team, saying,“Many of our athletes show much promise, although never having run on the track team before, and while needing adjustment to the different kind of training and competition, the natural ability present in the team will guarantee us a competitive edge.” This competitive edge will hopefully grow with refined technique and added training. As the team looks forward to Dartmouth, the first competitive test of the team’s leaders, the coaches will be looking for opportunities for improvement to be addressed in the weeks of training to come, working to create a team of great talent and ability for the upcoming dual-meet season.