Men's Indoor Track Ready For 2014-15 Season

CodolaContact: Mike O'Brien

Amherst College men’s indoor track & field head coach Erik “Ned” Nedeau welcomes an experienced and deep squad in 2014-15 with eight seniors, seven juniors, eight sophomores and 16 first-years. Entering his 18th season with the program, Nedeau looks to guide the Jeffs to a 10th national postseason appearance.

With a couple of NCAA qualifiers back in the fold, the Jeffs should once again be competitive this year as they open their indoor season at the Smith Invitational on Dec. 6. After taking a break for the holidays, Amherst returns to action on Jan. 17 for the Little Three Championships at Wesleyan. They conclude the month of January with the Beynon Invitational at Smith (Jan. 24), and will split the team up on Jan. 31 for the Springfield Invite and the Terrier Classic at Boston University.

The Purple & White will compete at the Tufts Stampede on Feb. 7 and will return to Boston University on Feb. 14 for the Valentine Classic. The New England Division III Championships will take place at Springfield on Feb. 21 while the two-day New England Championships will be hosted by Boston University on Feb. 27-28.

Amherst will pay one final visit to Tufts for the Last Chance Meet on Mar. 6 before the ECAC Championships at the Armory Track on Mar. 6-7. This year’s NCAA Division III Championships will take place in Winston-Salem, N.C. on Mar. 13-14.

The Jeffs return three members from last year’s distance medley relay team that finished ninth overall at the NCAA Division III Championships; senior captains Romey Sklar and Greg Turissini, and junior Brent Harrison. The quartet, which also included Matt Melton ’14, finished third overall at the Tufts Last Chance meet with a NCAA qualifying mark of 10:01.04. At the national meet, they recorded an almost identical time as they crossed the finish line in 10:01.19 to place ninth overall.

Sklar and Turissini also joined Kevin Connors ’17 and Jesse Fajnzylber ’17 in the 4x800 relay at the New England Division III Championships in which they finished seventh overall with a mark of 8:01.35. Harrison was also a pivotal member of the team’s top 4x400 relay squad from a year ago and looks to rejoin captain Nick Codola ’15.      

Amherst’s 2014-15 roster features a lot of depth in the running events and is led by Codola, Sklar, Turissini and Harrison. Harrison posted the top time in the 800 meter (1:54.99) a year ago, while Sklar finished with the Jeffs best mark in the 1,000 meter (2:30.53). Turissini returns as the top runner in both the 1 mile and 3,000 meter events with times of 4:15.53 and 8:19.50, respectively.

The Jeffs also welcome back Dan Crowley ’16, who looks to build on an impressive sophomore campaign. Last year, Crowley was consistently one of Amherst’s top distance runners. He finished with the second fastest times in the 3,000 (8:30.29) and 5,000 (15:05.81) meters, and the third fastest in the mile (4:17.67). Fellow cross country standout KC Fussell ’15 figures to make a significant impact in his senior season as well. Last year, he posted the Jeffs’ top time in the 5,000 meter with a mark of 14:56.71 at the Boston University John Thomas Terrier meet.

The newcomers looking to make an impact in running events this season will be first-years Justin Barry, Chris Butko, Zachary Grand, Peter Horton, Mohamed Hussein, Craig Nelson, Scott Nelson, Aedan Roberts, Jack Wesley and Aaron Zambrano. Hussein had a terrific fall for the cross country team in which he helped guide Amherst to its first-ever top-10 finish at the NCAA Division III Championships, pacing the Jeffs with a time of 24:34.9 in the 8,000 meter event and earning All-American honors.  

The Purple & White also boast a talented core of athletes in sprints and jumps, headlined by captain Mark Cort and junior Khalil Flemming. Cort had a phenomenal junior season in which he posted Amherst’s top indoor time of the 2013-14 season in the 200  meter dash (23:06), and registered the furthest leap in the long jump (6.88m). Flemming looks to build on a stellar sophomore campaign in which he led the team in the triple jump with a top distance of 13.77 meters at the Springfield Invite.

Senior Steven Hetterich and sophomore Josh Young also return to the lineup in 2014-15 and figure to be key members in the team’s success. As a junior, Hetterich recorded the second best marks for Amherst in the long jump (6.16m) and the triple jump (13.11m). Young had an impressive rookie campaign in which he finished the 60 meter dash in 7.25 seconds, the fastest by a Jeff last year.

In addition to the returners, Nedeau welcomes first-years Jeff Ewing, Harrison Haigood, David Ingraham, Patrick Kennelly, Duncan Norton, and Mohamed Ramy.