|Senior Myles Parker returns as a proven relay contributor for the Scots, evidenced by competing on Wooster's 4x100 and 4x400 at last year's NCAC Outdoor Championships.|
With multiple experienced senior leaders in nearly every event, longtime head coach Dennis Rice is optimistic The College of Wooster's 2019 men's track and field team can make a big splash at the championship meets.
"We want to build off what we did this fall," said Rice. "We have a very experienced group of guys who we have big expectations of. We feel we have a men's program that can make a big jump in the conference, especially with the strong leadership that we have from the seniors. This is a big season for us, and we're confident as a staff that with the chemistry we have, we're poised for big things."
Wooster's middle-distance, distance, and steeplechase student-athletes are at the forefront of the Scots' breakthrough potential, and seniors Brian Lief and David Westcott lead the way in these areas. Lief, a former winner of the 800 meters at the NCAC Outdoor Championships, and Westcott, the fifth-place finisher in last year's steeplechase, are both coming off strong cross country seasons that culminated with qualifying for the NCAA Div. III Championships.
"Brian had a huge season this past fall," summed up Rice. "He's a great competitor in the championship portion of the season. Brian's capable of challenging in the 4x400, 800 meters, and 1500 meters."
"David had a big race at the end of last season, and that was a big step for him to build the confidence that he's capable of running with anyone," continued Rice. "David has an excellent opportunity to challenge for the top spots in the conference and challenge to get to the national championships in the steeplechase."
While Lief and Westcott have the track records with the accolades, the Scots have plenty of other key returning letterwinners in the distance events, including sophomore Aidan Enright, seniors Jackson Feinknopf, Andrew Gold, and Cullen King, sophomore Matt Klonowski, junior Aedan Pettit, sophomore Cam Pollard, junior Nick Shiach, sophomore Jackson Todd, and seniors Hyuga Uchida and Simon Weyer.
Wooster's stable of senior leadership carries over to the jumps where Jack Petrecca is a proven conference performer in the high jump, and could potentially branch out to the multi-events this year, per Rice. Senior Jarret Art and sophomore Drake Pence are the other key returnees here.
"We're excited about the jumps," shared Rice. Obviously, Jack has done a super job for us in the high jump. We're excited in this area, as in addition to the experience, there's a couple of young guys who will be put in the mix."
Pence's contributions extend to the sprints, where he's one of several guys Rice feels has a chance to challenge for the school record in the 60-meter dash.
"We have a group of sprinters, who I think can get sub-seven in the 60-meter dash," explained Rice. "We're excited to see how that plays out this season. We have so much potential with our sprinters. It's a group who works hard and challenges each other in a positive way at practice."
"Spencer's capable of challenging the top throwers in the conference," added Rice. "Our throwers have a lot of potential this season."
The Scots also have several first-years who will look to make their mark on the program.
Wooster opens up its schedule at the Oberlin College Tri-Meet on Jan. 11. The Scots host the Wooster quad on Jan. 19 and the Fighting Scots Invitational on Jan. 26. Wooster will serve as the host of the NCAC Indoor Championships March 1-2, while the program's annual Wooster Invitational is set for March 29-30.