Coming into the 2015-2016 indoor track season, the Mustangs are hoping for even more success than last year. Head coach Erick Camodeca thinks that his young team can start to build a culture of participation at Stevenson, and to make more noise as a program in the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC).
Stevenson introduced track and field during the 1994-1995 season, and the sport was later brought back in 2010-2011 after a five-year absence, making it the 20th NCAA Division III sport at Stevenson. Since the return of the sport, Camodeca has been hoping to create a program for the future.
“This is our first full recruiting class. We have to make sure that everyone is on the same page, so we’re setting the bar very high this year in terms of what our goals are going to be,” said Camodeca.
Helping the coach build the program’s culture is junior Devonte Williams, who took seventh place overall in the outdoor 200-meter dash at the NCAA Division III Track and Field Championship last season. His efforts in the 200-meter dash earned him All-American honors.
“We expect pretty much the same thing as last year if not a little bit better. With an athlete like him, who sets his own expectations, we just help him get there,” said Camodeca. “We don’t want to push or have any unrealistic expectations for him. We’re here to guide, support and coach him.”
Williams was the first in program history to earn All-American honors. Camodeca hopes that the success of the program can continue to build with the emergence of a new freshman class.
“I just hope as a team we can get better and have better results. Even though I had some success last season, there’s still room for improvement. I know that I will push my teammates, and they’ll push me to be great,” said Williams.
Camodeca added, “We have a lot of men and women in this freshman class who can compete.” Camodeca is pleased from all the raw talent that this rookies have to offer. He is confident that this is the start of something big in the track and field department here at Stevenson.
Last year was a stepping stone for the program, as both teams competed at the MAC Conference Championships. Both teams were also at the ECAC Outdoor Championships, while the men’s team went on to the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championship. Camodeca hopes these accomplishments will propel them team even further in the NCAA tournament. With experienced upperclassmen and some very talented underclassmen, the goals that they have set this year are achievable. (Photo from York College of Pennsylvania)