This year’s 2010 indoor track season has been a time of team building after the departure of Coach James Williams. After Williams left, three of the team’s athletes transferred to other schools.
“It is always hard losing a coach. Because of it we lost a few of our potential top runners on the men’s and women’s team,” Tyler Rooke, freshman education major, said. The loss to the team included senior All-American Christiana Taylor who now competes for the Temple owls.
“A lot of people just didn’t want to run anymore, motivations and the focus of the program changed drastically. Coach Williams was also a mentor to a lot of us and he recruited most of us,” Jaiquann Beckham, freshman business major, said.
Coach Williams, a 1999 Cabrini College graduate, led the track and field team for five seasons and enjoyed improving their success each year. Under Williams, Cabrini had become a power house for women’s track and field and in recent years produced men and women multiple All ECAC Champions and All-Americans as well as even one NCAA Division III Champion in long jump.
The loss also included former senior, Christiana Taylor, who is now running for the Temple owls and former assistant coach to Williams Brian Shells who coach the jumpers and hurtelers.
Last year, the men’s women’s team qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championship. Also, six members of the team got to compete in the ECAC meet, and earned the title of being ‘‘all ECAC.’’
This year, however, has been different. With Coach Williams gone, cross country coach, Tom O’Hora, stepped up to lead the track and field team. The team was small in number and had few upperclassmen participants, however for some freshmen team members that proved to be not such a bad thing. “I expected a lot more upper classmen, but having said that, it gave us freshmen the opportunity to grow and mature quicker,” Rooke said.
“The structure and moral of the team changed. We lost a lot of the enthusiasm that we had coming into what was looking like a promising and fulfilling indoor season,” Diane Gapinski, junior education major, said. “Also, the team suffered from injuries and sickness all season.”
“Overall, the team did ok, it was more or less an individual effort, I was happy on how I performed,” Quiana Volney, sophomore business major, said.
“We did well at the smaller meets, like ones at Ursinus College, but when it came to the major out of state meets, the team suffered,” Beckham said.
The Cavs are looking forward to their spring season opener at the Danny Curran Invitational in Chester, PA.
Tyler Rooke is optimistic. “We will be focusing on a new season and the weather will be nice; hopefully, times will increase because of it,” Rooke said.