2013 W&J Track & Field Season Preview
Washington, Pa. -- The Washington & Jefferson College track & field teams begin their second season under the guidance of Head Coach Shawn Marek during the 2013 spring semester.
Marek helped the Presidents’ men to a second-place finish, while the women placed third at last year’s PAC Championships and the teams will look to improve upon those showings in April. W&J hosts this year’s PAC Championship meet at Cameron Stadium (Apr. 26-27).
A pair of PAC most valuable performers return for W&J led by senior Scott Ryan (Williamsville, N.Y./Williamsville East), who will look to defend his overall MVP award for the second consecutive season. Ryan claimed the 5,000 and 10,000-meter titles at the PAC Championships and was the runner-up in the 1,500 meter race. He set a school indoor record during his 5,000m win at the ECAC Championships in early March. Ryan also owns an ECAC outdoor title as a sophomore.
Sophomore Kristen Galligan (Frederick, Md./Governor Thomas Johnson) ran to three long-distance championships en route to earning the PAC Track MVP award last spring. Galligan continued her record-setting pace during the indoor season this winter, nearly eclipsing a 22-year-old, 5,000m ECAC record on March 2. She will compete at the NCAA Division III Indoor Championships in the event on March 8.
Junior Cheyenne Mangold (Boerne, Texas/Texas Military Institute) looks to continue her momentum created during the indoor season when she topped her own school record in the 400 meters at the ECAC Championships as the team moves outdoors. Classmate Megan Poinsett (Salem, N.J./Salem) aims to defend her 400-meter PAC title this spring. Mangold, Poinsett and junior Laura Lee (Spartanburg, Pa./Titusville) ran legs on the runner-up 4x100 relay squad at last year’s PAC Championships.
Junior Harley Straub (Richfield, Pa./Juniata) looks to provide key team points and she performed well during indoors, including a 10th-place showing in the shot put at the ECAC Indoor Championships, while freshman Brittney Traynor (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) has set a school record on three occasions in the indoor 60-meter dash during her rookie campaign. Marek has big expectations for Traynor when the team heads outside.
On the men’s side, senior Gavin Donathan (Hurricane, W. Va./Hurricane) will try to successfully defend his PAC shot put championship. Donathan, who also plays football, earned a 10th-place finish at the ECAC Indoor Championship this winter.
Long-distance runners Anthony Boccine (Meadville, Pa./Meadville), Ronald Graf (Pittsburgh, Pa./South Park), Bradley Hanne (Conneaut, Ohio/Center) and Benjamin Kopchick (Clarksburg, Pa./Saltsburg) all return for the Presidents. Kopchick will look to claim a PAC steeple chase championship after finishing second last spring.
Senior sprinter Jared Jones (Glenshaw, Pa./Shaler) also posted a second-place showing at last spring’s PAC Championships as he was the runner-up in the 200m dash. Jones recently competed in the 60-meter dash at the ECAC Indoor Championships.
Junior Thad Piscatelli (Canonsburg, Pa./Peters Township) will be W&J’s top competitor in the long jump and pole vault competitions, while freshman Nico DeMaio (Carnegie, Pa./Chartiers Valley) has impressed as a sprinter during his rookie indoor season.
W&J begins the outdoor season at the Wake Forest Open on March 15-16 beginning at 11:00 am. The Presidents host their annual invitational on March 30 at Cameron Stadium.