posted 2012-03-21 21:43:45

Men Place Third at Track Championships

New-look team improving with time

Evan Lacetti

Contributing Writer

Senior Nikoloz Rekviashvili captured a bronze medal with his team in the DMR. Photo Courtesy of Hunter College Athletics.
Hunter’s track and field team, despite losing many key contributors in the past year, was able to capture third place at the 2012 CUNYAC championships at The Armory in New York City. Highlights included freshman Steve Wendel’s record- setting performance and gold medal in the 60-meter hurdles, freshman Christian Rojas’ silver medal finish in the 5k run, and junior Ryan McKoy’s second place finish in the 60-meter dash. In addition, the distance medley relay (DMR) team captured a bronze medal, as did sophomore Evan Lacetti in the long jump and Justin Lee in the mile run.

The Hunter distance squad, still hemorrhaging from the loss of hunter track legends Alex Arslan, Joe Papa, Jose Miranda and Chris Guerrero, was able to put together a strong performance. To kick things off, freshman Christian Rojas earned a silver medal in the 5k. The DMR team, consisting of Rojas, freshman Brandon Rust, junior Jamal Britton and senior Jonathan Martinez, snagged a bronze medal. Ed Zarowin, the longtime head coach of track and field team, personally trained the distance men throughout the indoor season and the results speak for themselves.

Junior Ryan McKoy, a newcomer to the team, used his top-notch speed to finish second overall in the 60-meter dash with a blazing time of 7.13 seconds. As outdoor season approaches, McKoy will look to use his solid 60-meter speed to help him reach an elite level in the 100-meter race and 4x100-meter relay. Javier Levy, a junior with a rare combination of speed and endurance, secured fifth place in the same race.

In the hurdles, freshman Steve Wendel, senior Nikoloz Rekhviashvili and sophomore Evan Laccetti all survived and thrived in the preliminary heats and earned berths in the finals. In the final heat, Wendel impressively outran the CCNY prodigy Paul Dedewo to claim the gold medal. His blistering time of 8.68 seconds was a CUNYAC record at The Armory. Rekhviashvili and Laccetti finished fourth and seventh respectively. Assistant Coach Sid Milden helped all of these ath- letes learn how to fire out of the blocks and hit the top speed towards the finish.

The field events results were a mixed bag with injuries and fatigue plaguing many of the team’s top performers. Sopho- more standout Laccetti, under the watch- ful gaze of Coach Clarence Fullerton, jumped an indoor season best 6.15 meters, which was good enough for bronze medal in the long jump. Junior Javier Levy came in fourth, finishing just .02 meters shy of his teammate’s mark.

Triple jump and high jump, usually fairly strong events for Hunter College, were disappointing as both Wendel and Laccetti were unable to compete due to injuries and fatigue. Freshman A.J. Samuels, a new track athlete who possesses good speed and jumping ability but lacks form and experience, posted a season-best jump in the high jump but failed to medal. As he develops, his jumps will improve by leaps and bounds.

In the throws, Hunter has steadily improved over the past few seasons. Senior Hunter Lackowitz, a promising shot put- ter, managed to grab fifth in the 35-pound weight throw, while freshman Brandon Rust finished eighth. Rust’s strength and technique have been improving rapidly as he puts more and more time in the weight room. If the athletes continue to improve, Hunter possesses the size and power to dominate in the throwing events for many years to come.

For a team with many freshmen and newcomers to the sport of track and field, the third place finish overall in at the CUNY Championships is viewed as a suc- cess by the team. As the indoor season end- ed with this meet, the outdoor season now begins. The new runners have had their baptismal experience and look forward to the challenge of future competition.