Amherst Indoor Track Teams Look to Build on 2009-10 Success


The Amherst men's track and field team had arguably its finest overall year in recent memory last season, capturing third place in the final USTFCCCA standings, which tallies points based on finishes at the three National Championships. The men finished higher at the championships meets in indoors (4th at DIII New England's, 7th at NCAAs) and outdoors (4th at NESCACs, 10th at NCAAs) then they have in the past 15 years, while also seeing numerous athletes receives accolades at the highest levels.

The Lord Jeff women, while not sharing the same team success as the men last season, had great showings as well and some significant individual performances at all levels of competition. Melissa Sullivan '12, capitalizing on her success from the fall became one of the country's top milers as she earned All-American honors with her fourth place finish the indoor championships, and then was a finalist at the outdoor championships.


The Amherst College men's indoor track team was hit hard by graduation, losing the leadership and championship experience of a big group of seniors, but will still return some significant depth and talent. The All-American 1500-meter duo of Will Yochum '11 and tri-captain Steve Corsello '11 should continue to build on last year's success, and will be looking to challenge for a national title in both individual events as well as potentially in the DMR. Ben Scheetz '12 raced at nationals in the 400-meter event, and ran 1:51 in the 800-meter event shortly after the season and will look to become a major force at the national level as an individual and relay runner. 

The record setting 4x400 relay team will return all of its runners and will be looking to run well under the current records, while shooting for All-American accolades. Thebe Tstastimpe '11 who had walked on to the program last fall has established himself as one the country's best jumpers - earning All-American honors in the long jump - will look to build on that success of his first year. Tsatsimpe should challenge for a national championship in the long jump, while bolstering the team's depth of the sprints. Sophomores Adron Pitmon and Patrick Grimes should have a huge impact in the middle distance events, while the distance events will be helped by Andrew Erskine '13, Dillon Buckley '13 and seniors John McGrail and Travis Cohoon. 

Senior tri-captains Tommy Moore and Andre Gary will help lead a very strong sprinting group that also consists of Andrew Reed '12 and Ryan Drost '11, and short sprinters Sean Legister '11 along with sophomore Thomas Matthews and Landrus Lewis. Chris Eaton will be setting his sights on school records in the weight and hammer as he leads a group of throwers including Denzel Duncan, who launched some throws in the discus last spring. Several first-year athletes should contribute greatly to the success of the team as Matt Melton should make a big impact in the 400/800 events, Javier Paulino in the sprints and Gus Greenstein, Alvaro Morales, Kevin Heintz and Joe Nassirian in the middle distance events.

The Amherst women's team loses the services, leadership and championship points of several graduated runners, and will certainly feel the impact of those losses from both an individual standpoint and on the relay teams. Tri-captain Melissa Sullivan - an All-American in the mile will be looked on to build upon her sophomore season success and keep climbing the ranks of the country's top milers. Lauren Almeida'13 and Eliza Schalch'12 should help bolster the mid-distance group, while classmates Ali Simeone (NCAA qualifier in the 5-k as a first-year), Sarah Daly and Keri Lambert will help lead the distance group. The steeplechase competitors will get a strong boost from the return of seniors Hallie Schwab and tri-captain Christina Wong, as well as Abby Hopper '13, Kristen Moulton '13, Elodie Reed '13 and Laura Zaccagnino '12. 

Senior captain Susie Wasserman and Zoe Pagonis will be a strong force in the sprints and intermediate hurdles, as well as bolstering relays. Jordan Roehl '12 and Chi Uwakaneme '11 should see even bigger improvements in the throwing events. Several first-years could have an immediate impact, as sprinters Beth Hall, Jaya Tripathi and Shyloe Jones; hurdler/jumper Naomi Bates; high jumper Nora Gayer and middle and long distance runners Bridget Bennet, Tory Sosnowski, Jasia Kaulbach, Angie Epifano and Brooke Kirkham all should make a strong contribution to the program as rookies.