The 2019 track and field season has arrived, and the Amherst men's team is primed for success as they return a strong veteran presence that helped secure five top-five finishes a year ago in addition to adding a talented group of newcomers.
"Last year was a year of major change in so many ways for this team, but they were committed to the process of making a great program. This year the team has a much more secure sense of what to expect and the direction they are going," said head coach Stephen Rubin who enters his second season at the helm of the program. "Our returners have provided outstanding leadership to create a culture and set of standards that will take us where we want to go. The first-year students have shown that they can make an immediate and significant competitive impact. With all of that put together, I expect this team to start showing the NESCAC and the NCAA who they are going to be from this point forward."
The indoor season kicks off on Saturday, Jan. 12 with the Mammoths traveling to Wesleyan University for the Little III Championships.
Earning All-American honors, Sogaard returns after finishing as the seventh fastest runner in all of Division III in the 800m, crossing the finish line 1:55.18, while Brossy will look to improve upon an impressive 10th place finish (8:24.10) in the 3000m run.
Spencer Ferguson-Dryden '20 will aim to continue to impress in the 1500m and 5000m events for Amherst, with the junior posting a career best 5000m mark at last year's NEICAA Championships to take eight overall (14:55.41).
Specializing in the 1500m run, Jack Malague '19 is primed for a breakout senior season on the scores sheet, while Billy Massey '21, Jack Dufton '20, Ermias Kebede '19 and Jamie Mazzola '21 add some talented, friendly competition in the event.
Tucker Meijer '19, Clark Ricciardelli '20, Braxton Schuldt '21, Jacob Silverman '19, Ralph Skinner '20, Chris Stone '20 and Estevan Velez '20 round out Amherst's veterans in distance events, with all seven runners positioned to post top-five finishes at any given meet.
The Mammoths top sprinter in 2018, Elijah Ngbokoli '20 hits the track aiming to improve on his team-best 7.18 second mark in the 60m sprint, while Stanley Dunwell '20 will look to hold onto and improve upon his position as last season's top 200m harrier (23.27 seconds).
Ryan Prenosil '21 held the top spot in the 400m run, posting a 49.83 mark at the BU Valentine Invitational, while Theo Bates '20 returns to the track as the Mammoths leading 60-meter hurdle runner (8.47 seconds) and long jumper (6.25m) from last winter.
Brad Besson '20, Cornell Brooks '19, Maxim Doiron '19, Teddy Lane '20, Alex Mangiafico '20, Biafra Okoronkwo '20, Ryan Prenosil '21, Yonas Shiferaw '20, Kyland Smith '21, Andrew Swenson '21, Stadtler Thompson '19 and Mayowa Tinubu '20 add depth, skill and experience to the Mammoths roster.
A strong contingent of the members of Amherst's successful relay teams will all return this year, with Ryan Prenosil '21, Vernon Espinoza '19 and Sogaard once again primed to represent the purple & white in the 4x400 meter relay after clinching 10th overall (3:18.97) alongside recent grad David Ingraham '18 at last year's nationals.
The distance medley relay squad of Spencer Ferguson-Dryden '20, Ralph Skinner '20, Jacob Silverman '19 and Brossy all return this winter after outpacing their No. 11 seed at NCAA's to claim the boast the ninth best time (10:01.38) in Division III.
Competing in four field events, senior Sam Amaka enters the new season once again looking to push his limits after setting collegiate best marks in the discus throw (37.39m – NESCAC Championships), hammer throw (46.46m - Silfen Invite), shot put (13.30m – Tufts Cupid Challenge) and weight throw (15.86m – Branwen Smith-King Invite) last winter.
A shot put and weight throw specialist, Alex Denize '20 will look to build on the momentum of a solid sophomore season, while Elorm Yevudza '19 aims to continue last year's trend of continual improvement that culminated with a season best hammer throw of 43.00m at NESCACs after improving on his mark in every meet last winter.
Jordan Edwards '20 rounds out the talented group of veterans as the Mammoths' top long and triple jumper, with the junior posting a second place finish (14.02m) at NESCAC's in the triple jump and a 12th place finish (13.24m) in the event at New England's.
In addition to last year's returners, the Mammoth also welcome 18 newcomers, including: Kai Ahmadu '22, Matthew Bradley '22, Henry Buren '22, Troy Colleran '22, Owen Daily '22, Spencer Davis '22, Trevor Hall '22, Robert Innes-Gold '22, Stanley Jackson '22, Will Merhige '22, Marshall Richardson '22, Chris Rivera '22, Lev Robertson '22, Majd Rouhana '22, Ajay Sarath '21, Arinzeolisa Uddoh '22, Ben Wadsworth '22 and Yaseen Zarroug '22.