The Rutgers track and field team is coming off arguably its best season in the history of the program. With most of last year’s team returning, this year looks to be just as productive.
The short sprint group (60, 100, 200m) is one of the finest in the East. The 4x100 group of David Klics, Marcel Coleman, Rob Waters and Joe Porter won the BIG EAST and IC4A races as well as qualified for the NCAA Regional. Individually, they were all BIG EAST and IC4A scorers. Waters won the 100 and 200 in the BIG EAST on his way to earning Outstanding Track Performer. Porter and Klics scored in the 200 and Coleman in the 100. Waters also ran 20.97 to place eighth in the NCAA Regional. With this group being a year older and experienced, they are looking to make their mark on the national level.
The long sprint group (400, 500m) is led by two veterans, Lou Tomlinson and Ryan Westman. Both are BIG EAST scorers in the 400, with Westman also scoring in the 500. In addition, both athletes have been All-East on the 4x400, running splits of 46.4. All of the short sprinters will move up and add depth to the 400, as will decathlete Trevor O’Grady and middle distance runner Mike Redden.
The middle distance group has always been a strong area on the team and this year is no exception. BIG EAST scorer and All East performer Mike Redden leads this group of talented athletes. He is experienced and is running cross country to get even stronger. Fellow All East performer Tom Morley is looking to make his mark in the individual races. Look for veterans Bill Hulbert, Matt Lunemann, Ryan Westman and Tim Paule to combine with Redden and Morley to form a top 4x800m relay team. Newcomers Andrew Beggs, Jerry Boucicaut, Mike Snihur and Fred Kain look to break onto that relay team.
The long distance runners look to be improved and have goals of breaking into the BIG EAST scoring. Bill Hulbert, Rob Lado, Milo Schwab, Matt Lunemann and Ambar Patel will lead this group. Top newcomers Chris Avallon, Alex Palmentieri and Mike Fox will add depth to this group. The goal is to score in the BIG EAST and put together a good distance medley.
David Klics is a veteran of the hurdles and he is also very valuable to the 4x100 and 4x400 relays. A two-time team MVP and BIG EAST and IC4A Champion, Klics will look to reach the national level this season. Neil Ambrus qualified for the BIG EAST last year and this year he is looking to score points. Jovan White and Olajide Araromi will add depth to this group, as will multi-eventer Greg Ostrowicki.
The field events have been outstanding. They are a very talented and experienced group with plenty of depth, which will prove to be extremely beneficial.
School record holder and four-time All BIG EAST performer Marquis Allen leads the long jump group. An NCAA Regional performer, he is looking to reach the national level. Kevin Chan, a BIG EAST scorer, is looking to give Rutgers the best 1-2 punch in the BIG EAST, while newcomer and New Jersey All-State athlete Val Sisti will add depth to the group.
All BIG EAST performer and IC4A qualifier Rowan Clarke leads the triple jump. His goal is to win it all this season and establish new school records. Fellow junior triple jumper Gary Peters is looking to push Clarke all season long. Also a BIG EAST scorer, Peters is ready to challenge for the title.
The Scarlet Knights will attempt to duplicate the success of last spring, with five high jumpers scoring in the BIG EAST. Daryl Black and Lonnie Washington will challenge for the title this year. Both are BIG EAST scorers, with Washington being an All BIG EAST performer. Trevor O’Grady and Greg Ostrowicki will add great depth to this event and look for NJ All-State high jumper Jamal Ames, to bolster an already strong group.
The pole vault group has some new faces this season. They are led by senior Dustin Runkle. A BIG EAST scorer, Runkle is looking to break into the IC4A scoring this year. Mike Roberti, an All-State pole vaulter will back up Runkle and look for Dan Pope, Jamie Stanley and Dave Jackson to make contributions.
Two-time First Team All- American Sam Segond is the mainstay of a solid throws team. A BIG EAST and IC4A Champion, Segond is looking at that elusive three-time NCAA All-American status in the discus. He is a double threat in the shot put, being a BIG EAST Champion and school record holder in the event. BIG EAST scorer in the discus, Paul Applegate gives Segond an able back up. Look to both Segond and Applegate to score valuable points in the 35lb weight and hammer throw. The javelin, as usual is very deep. All BIG EAST thrower Brian Lee leads this group. Sophomore Ian Menewisch, an IC4A qualifier and NCAA Regional qualifier, gives Rutgers a solid 1-2 punch in the BIG EAST.
The heptathlon and decathlon were spectacular last year and they will look to repeat that success, as all members are returning this year. David Klics, the BIG EAST runner-up and school record holder leads the heptathlon group, while school record holder and BIG EAST Champion, Trevor O’Grady leads the decathlon group. O’Grady led the 1-2-3 sweep in the BIG EAST decathlon last year. Greg Ostrowicki and Adam Golembeski will join Klics and O’Grady to form the best multi-event team in the East. Look for these athletes to contribute to the team in other events, particularly in the jumps and relays.
The Scarlet Knights are a talented, veteran squad with great depth and should be a lot of fun to watch this year as they go after their first BIG EAST and IC4A Championship.