YORK, Pa. – Behind all great programs is a foundation of
Behind all great athletes are great mentors to develop those athletes into champions.
The York College men’s cross-country team is no exception to the rule.
The 2010 campaign will mark the dawn of a new era for the Spartan cross country program. Men’s track & field head coach Erick Camodeca takes over the reigns of the Green and White’s cross country crew following the 20-year, Hall of Fame coaching tenure of Rich Achtzehn.
Camodeca inherits a Spartan squad that he helped to a third place finish at the Capital Athletic Conference meet and four regular seasons meet victories, as an assistant.
“I am very thankful Coach Achtzehn will remain on staff,” Camodeca said of Achtzehn remaining on staff as an assistant. “I will have the opportunity to continue to learn from him. He has passed on a solid program that continues to grow and I am sure we will be quick to attain the level of success that our track & field team has enjoyed over the past three years.”
To attain that level of success the Green and White will have to overcome the departure of senior Jason Hinkle, a 2009 All-CAC second-team performer. Hinkle was also the off-course leader of the team.
“With the loss of Hinkle it leaves the door wide open for anyone to become the new face and leader of the men's distance program,” Camodeca said. “No one will have to worry about running in anyone's shadow this year. We will see who wants to accept that challenge.”
Returning to lead this year’s squad will be 2009 All-CAC first team selection Ryan Janes. Janes has been praised by Camodeca as having the “potential to be a Conference Champion if he wants.
“Janes is an athlete that always shows up to win,” Camodeca continued. “There are not many athletes that have his natural ability.”
Senior Andrew Friesema also has the opportunity to become the face of the cross-country program this season. Friesema closed out the 2009 CAC Championships with a 19th place showing.
“Friesema is the clear leader of this program,” Camodeca said of the talented senior. “The two of us came in together. Andrew has continued to grow as an athlete, a student, and as a person most importantly. He knows exactly what it takes to be successful on and off the course.”
Sophomore Steven Childres is another student-athlete who could make a huge impact in just his second season with the program. As a freshman in 2009, Childres posted a solid 24th-place finish at the CAC Championships while also competing in the NCAA Mideast Regionals.
“Childres is an exceptional distance runner who could have a fantastic season,” Camodeca said. “He showed glimpses of brilliance last season and with a full year under his belt, should be able to show more consistency as a sophomore.”
Craig Eppler, Tim Hartung, and Matt Smith will look to make an immediate contribution to the squad during their freshman campaigns.
“Eppler, Hartung, and Smith are our future,” Camodeca said. “These are three guys who seem to be at the same level. They will be the three who determine where we finish as a team this season.”
Fellow rookie Paul Glassmoyer gives the Green and White additional depth as he will look to gain significant collegiate experience in 2010.
Camodeca hopes that this season’s squad will be known for their commitment and dedication to the Spartan program and has lofty expectations for the season.
“Our goal every year is to win a conference championship. I feel it has to be if you're a competitor,” Camodeca said. “That goal will be tough for us this year. Other goals we would like to accomplish are having three guys finish as All-Conference athletes and place three in the Top 100 at Regional’s and to finish better as a team at the regional meet.”
The Spartans’ new legacy and road to success begins with the Green Terror Challenge- hosted by McDaniel College on September 11. The meet is slated for a start time of 9:45 a.m.
Ryan Janes photo courtesy of Charlie Covell
Season preview written by Garrett Wamper - York College Athletic Communications student-intern