Winter track prepares for intense, rebuilding season

By Nicoletta Sabella
October 21, 2005

Jerry Zurek

Executing drills on the second floor hallway of the Dixon Center does not stop the winter track team from competing against some Division I schools. Although the winter track season has not started yet, the track team has already started training, and because of the absence of a track, they are forced to practice in a hallway.

“If I went against Temple, I want to lose, I don’t want to win. It defeats the whole purpose; it means we are not getting pushed and it’s about getting pushed. So you know I really try to feed us to the sharks as often as I can,” women’s indoor track Coach James Williams said.

Winter track is a series of events compared to cross-country’s single big race. These events include: hurdles, medleys, dashes, runs, shot put, long jump, high jump, triple jump and the pole vault.

Although these two sports are different, many of the members on the winter track team are also part of the cross-country team.

“For me, it [winter track] is a lot more running than I usually do. It’s a lot tougher and there is more conditioning. I believe that indoor track is more fun than cross-country,” Dan Giang, a freshman accounting major, said. Giang has been running track since he was in eighth grade.

Both Coaches Tom O’Hora and James Williams feel that making it to the Eastern College Athletic Conference is their main goal this season. Along with the ECAC they hope to do well in the Collegiate Track Conference and the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III championships. Winter track does not compete in the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference.

Some of the star runners to keep an eye out for include: Tony Gregory, Lauren Deas, Danielle Dorsey, Dan Giang, Michelle Phan and Kemika Allen. Tony Gregory, an exercise science major, is a transferred freshman from Lincoln University. He is their best hope as a NCAA DIII qualifier, according to Coach O’Hora.

“Winter track is more sprints and jumps, which I am better at doing,” Gregory said. “[My goals are] to break all the records of the events that I’m doing and also get All-American.”

Coach Williams believes that individuals and the team as a whole look great. “Tony is a long jumper, triple jumper, 100 runner, 200 runner. He’s the kind of kid that if he takes fourth in four events in national championship.that’s 20 points. He needs that competition because even though it’s a team concept, he’s at that level that if we can be in the position where he can shine, [then] the whole men’s program is going to look good,” Williams said.

Michelle Phan, Danielle Dorsey and Diamond Jones are some of the senior runners. Phan, an English and communication major, shared the 4×400 record along with Dorsey. Dorsey was also a national qualifier in the high jump. Jones was the national qualifier in the 55 yard dash, national qualifier in the triple jump indoor, school record holder in the triple jump and school record holder in the 60 meter dash last year. Not only are senior runners the ones to have heavy expectations for, but freshmen and sophomores as well. “I think there are a couple of freshman that could really surprise people and actually be just as good as some of our seniors this year,” Williams said.

Lauren Deas, a sophomore, got the NCAA All-American award in the 100, qualified for nationals in the 55-meter dash, was the ECAC champion in the 55-meter dash, was all ECAC in the 200, the 100 and the 55. Freshman Kemika Allen is a 57 second quarter mile runner. Simona Sipple, a freshman, is a 38-foot triple jumper.

Their regimen incorporates running, jumping and plyometrics 20 hours a week between four and five days a week. The other two days are either days off or one of them being a day for competition meets. “[It’s] tough. We don’t have a real indoor track, so we do a combination of running outdoors, on the jogging track and in the weight room,” O’Hora said.

“[Last year] we went from basically not having a women’s program here to being the top team on the east coast with five to six girls,” Williams said. As a 1999 Cabrini College graduate, Williams came to Cabrini to become the women’s indoor track coach last year and was also named the 2004-05 NCAA Division III Mideast Region Indoor Track Coach of the Year.

“Honestly, I don’t know if I can hit my goals. but I’ll be satisfied winning the ECAC championship,” Williams said.

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Nicoletta Sabella

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