Men's Track and Field 2008 Preview

Men's Track and Field 2008 Preview

Young, talented, and focused. The 2008 York College men’s track and field team possesses this potent trio of qualities that can make this season the best yet for the green and white.

“This team is very young and talented,” first-year head coach Erick Camodeca said. “The leadership from the upperclassmen brings about stability and focus.”

Camodeca, who enters his first season at the helm of the Spartan program, brings an exuberance and excitement to the program. A standout at former Capital Athletic Conference foe Goucher, Camodeca’s experience and ability will rub off on the young Spartans as they look to climb to the top of the CAC.

“Our squad is strong up and down the lineup,” Camodeca said. “The guys are focused and willing to work hard day-in and day-out. The talent and work ethic makes us excited about our athletes for this season.”

One of the best is senior Nathan Krotzer who leads a strong group of returners who were recognized as all-conference performers last season. Krotzer’s efforts in the long jump, high jump, and 1600-meter relay earned him All-CAC accolades in the three events. The athletic senior is very versatile scoring in every event in which he participated at last year’s CAC championships. This season, Krotzer will look to advance out the CACs and qualify for nationals in the high jump.

Krotzer’s understudy is junior Jason Kane. A strong athlete, Kane’s best event is the triple jump where he should experience success this season. Junior Joe Begendorf and freshman Eric Arnsberger have the ability to add quality contributions toward a CAC championship.

“Our jumpers are going to be one of our strong points this season,” Camodeca said. “With not only Nathan but also Jason, Joe, and Eric we can make a significant push and score numerous points in these events.”

Junior Gabe Henise returns as York’s top sprinter after landing on the All-CAC second-team for his performance in the 200 meter dash. He placed in the top three in all three of his events, the 100, 200, and 400 relay, and will look to continue to blossom into one of the conference’s best sprinters.

Aside from Henise, York returns three quality sprinters in Brad Kauffman, Tim Carrigan, and Danny Toula. This trio possesses valuable experience and will be able to pass along their wisdom to the newcomers. Junior transfer Ryan Liggitt is the top newcomer in the sprints as his speed will be an asset in the 100 and 200 as well as the 400-relay team. Thomas Kentouris, Bill Horner, Chad Richardson, and Arnsberger are each    talented newcomers who could make a significant impact and score at CACs.

“There is a lot of talent in our sprinting group,” Camodeca said. “If they each put in the hard work we can be very successful in these events.”

The Spartans’ top hurdler, senior Joe Hill, returns for his final season in the green and white. Under the tutelage of Camodeca, Hill is set to improve on last season’s marks. He has experienced success, as part of the all-conference 400-relay team last season, and will look to translate that success to the hurdles.

The Spartans feature four athletes in the hurdles in Hill, sophomore Ryan Campbell, freshman Tyler Hickox, and freshman Lamar Moore. A 2008 captain, Hill’s leadership will be invaluable to the development of each of these young athletes. Hickox possesses solid ability, which could allow him to make a significant impact in only his first season.

“With the youth we have in the hurdles, I am excited to see how they progress,” Camodeca said. “Joe is going to do a great job for us leading these young guys. The experience that each of them gain this season will pay dividends in the future.”

In the pole vault, junior Steven Kinnear looks to pace the Spartans after a second-team All-CAC bid in 2007. His experience and talent set the stage for another quality season for York pole-vaulters after they grabbed the top three spots at last season’s CAC championships.

Freshman Geoff Eichel will combine with Kinnear in the pole-vault. Kinnear has already established himself as one of the top pole-vaulters in the CAC while Eichel’s natural ability should allow him to score well at this year’s league championships.

“We have two quality pole-vaulters in Steven and Geoff,” Camodeca said. “If all goes right the two of them have the opportunity to sweep the top spots in this event.”    

In the distance events, junior Jesse Jaeger, one of the best cross-country runners in the conference, paces the Spartans. A 2007 All-CAC selection in cross-country, Jaeger possesses a great natural ability and Camodeca foresees him scoring in any distance event from the 800 to the 10K.

Senior Luke Fernandez, juniors Adam Bean and Matt Neil, and sophomores Kevin Love, and Kevin Snyder return to the distance lineup. They are joined by eight freshmen in Eric Armstrong, Danny Bosse, Andrew Friesma, Akeem Mackall, Josh Michael, Matt Provonche, Stephen Ruff, and Paul Wallace. A group that possesses plenty of talent, experience, and youthful enthusiasm, the distance runners are primed for a solid 2008 campaign.

“This is a very talented group who can make a significant impact this year,” Camodeca said. “They will also be able to set a solid foundation for the future.”

Throwers Gary Rynier, Andrew Jones, and Blair Walborn return for their junior campaigns as they look to build upon the success of the predecessors. The Spartans’ top throwers from last season have since departed and the trio of returners along with newcomers Zack Raywood and Ryan Kroszer will be tasked with their replacement.

“We will need to fill the gap left by the loss of last season’s core throwers,” Camodeca said. “However, I have confidence in each of these guys and I believe they will make some noise as the season progresses.”

Overall, Camodeca and the Spartans believe that they will make another strong showing during the 2008 campaign as they push for their first CAC title since 1992.

“We are looking to pick up from where we left off last year,” Camodeca said referring to the Spartans’ second-place finish at the 2007 CAC championships. “We want to make a competitive push for this year’s CAC championship.”

The Spartans officially open the 2008 outdoor campaign on Saturday, March 8, when they travel to Salisbury University for the Salisbury Invitational.