The Cabrini track team will have its first meet at the Villanova Invitational. This Dec. 2 meet will be a “good chance to see how we fare against better competition,” according to James Williams, the women’s track coach. The meet will only include seven men and women runners as a chance to get a feel for the younger talent.
Williams thinks the first meet will be interesting to see how the team fares against some of the best in the area. Williams said Laura Dees, a sophomore who made All-American last year, will not be running because “she doesn’t have anything to prove and won’t get anything from it [the meet],” Williams said.
Running in this meet will be Casey Fick and Michelle Phan for the women’s side, “to see how they can fare,” along with Tony Gregory, an exercise science major and a transfer from Lincoln University, who, according to Williams “has good starts, runs clean and has NFL speed.” Coach Williams wants to see how Gregory does in the 55-meter dash and some jumps as well.
The track team’s records can speak for themselves in regards to how good they are. Diamond Jones was a NCAA qualifier last year three times in outdoor and indoor track, along with holding records at Cabrini as well as at West Chester University in the 60-meter dash and triple jumps.
Danielle Dorsey holds records in the high-jumps and 4×2 and 4×4 records as well. Dorsey also has the potential to go pro, according to Williams.
Coach Williams has also identified three freshmen with a lot of potential: Zach Furlong, Leslie Williams and Kemicka Allen. Furlong has the ability to be an 800-caliber runner, “if he gets his head and priorities straight,” Williams said. L. Williams and Allen who are both 400 runners “have the freshman laziness mentality but have the abilities to be 400-caliber runners,” Williams said.
Coach Williams also expressed how glad he is that Cabrini doesn’t recognize track as much as other sports here because “if this team was recognized for what they did, their egos would be wrapped up in the hype, and it would distract them.”
Bryan Shells, the jump coach, works these athletes four hours every evening out to 20 hours a week. “We approach it [track] as a business, which is why we practice so hard,” Shells said.
Not only as a former Cabrini student but now as a coach at Cabrini, Williams is very supportive of the school and says that even though Gwynedd-Mercy was good, Cabrini gives probably the most support he has experienced as a coach and that the directors of athletics, Leslie Danehy and Jeffrey Falardeau, understand what they want and give them what they need. Jeffrey Falardeau, assistant director of athletics, said, “It’s great to be a part of their success.”
The track team is on even keel with Villanova, yet better than Temple, Williams said. Williams also stated that he tries to keep the team out of Philadelphia as much as possible because it makes the college experience better.
“We run against Division I schools like LSU, and it’s like the Olympics because you run against people you’d never think you’d get to run against,” Dees said.
“When we get on the track with Misericordia, we call them ‘BS meets’ because there is no challenge; it’s a workout,” Dees said. “When we run big meets there is no socializing. It becomes strict,” Dees said.
The coaching staff and track team resemble a family. According to Williams, it’s rare to have the directors of athletics travel to competitions with the coaches and the athletes “but Jeff and Lesie do,” Williams said.
According to Falardeau, “he wanted the coaches to focus not on the bus but on their athletes.”
Coach Williams stated that not only has Dees given him a Father’s Day card since her senior year of highschool, but his parents know the whole team.
The track team ended the year by driving 13 hours to Georgia Tech staying until Sunday, then driving back 13 hours, running Tuesday at Villanova, next traveling Thursday to Springfield, Mass. and lastly coming back on Sunday and flying to Iowa on Wednesday.
Posted to the web by Brian Coary