With a solid core of newcomers and bolstered by a new head coach, the 2013 Caltech track and field teams will get progress as the season progresses as they team puts forth a blue collar effort.
Armed with depth in a variety of events, the Beavers are looking to post stellar team scores while moving up the school’s top 10 lists.
“If this team is willing to work hard in practice and strive towards its potential we have the ability to do some good things,” said first-year head coach Michael Stevenson. “If they push each other in practices it will translate to success in competitions.”
Brice Nzeukou will help captain the squad this season doing a variety of events. The senior is one of the key contributors in helping the team score points in various competitions. He will have a focus on javelin, high jump and sprints.
“If Brice puts in an honest, hardworking effort day-in and day-out there is no reason to think he won’t be among the best in the SCIAC,” Stevenson said. “He has such natural ability but to get to the next level, it is going to take some hard work.”
Another thrower to key an eye is sophomore Ben Grabowski. During his first year on-campus he was the team’s best thrower in discuss, javelin, hammer and shot put. He set the school record in javelin at the season ending SCIAC Championship.
In mid-distance races expect Eric Martin to make an impact. Last season he posted the best 800 meter time on the team with a 1:56.66 mark in mid-March. The sophomore is expected to contribute, once again, in that race as well as the 400 meter.
In the distance races expect co-captain Andy Zucker and Alan Menezes to be among the top runners. Zucker posted the third best 1500 meter time on the last season while posting the second best mark in the 5000 meter race. Menezes was the team’s best 1500 meter harrier last year.
“Our distance runners could really provide a big lift throughout the season. I really believe they can provide us with valuable points each meet,” Stevenson said.
Two first-year participants will be vital to the team’s success in the sprints. Alec Sands and Robin Yoon will be key point scorers during their first season with program.
“While Alec and Robin don’t have a lot of experience, they have a lot of potential. I am very pleased with their performances so far in practice and there is no reason to think they won’t keep improving as the season goes along,” Stevenson said.
Last season Paige Logan was one of the best in the SCIAC in a variety of throwing events. The junior already holds the school record for shot put and is currently second in the discus and hammer throws. She was voted a captain her teammates for the 2013 season.
“Paige has the skill to be among the best throwers in the league,” Stevenson said. “She has been improving since the start of practice and I’m looking forward to watching her continually improve.”
The event flexibility of tri-captain Sarah Wright is important to the overall success of the squad. Wright is currently listed in the school’s top 10 list in 10 separate events. Last year she posted the team’s top times in running events (400 meter, 100 meter hurdles) in addition to her top performances in field events (long jump, javelin). She will join the team in late February after basketball season is complete.
“Sarah can do a variety of different events for the squad which will provide important team points as we try and move up the league standings,” Stevenson said. “As she gets into the flow of practice I think she will give the team a boost in all facets of competition.
The final captain of the women’s squad, Juliette Becker, will be a vital performer in distance races as well as the steeplechase races. While she didn’t compete in steeplechase in 2012, she has taken an interest in running the 3000 meter race. The junior is the school record holder in the 10000 meter run.
After a solid cross country season, Stephanie Reynolds is looking to carry that success to track. During her first-year on campus in 2012, Reynolds posted the fourth best 1500 meter time in school history and third best 5000 meter time.
“Stephanie is one of the best distance runners we have had in a while. She runs smart races each time she laces up her shoes.” Stevenson said. “Juliette is such a coachable athlete and she has really shown impressive improvement during preseason hurdle practice.”