As the 2016-2017 indoor track and field season approaches, some vital preparations need to be done. As a team, the overall goal is to improve upon last year’s performances, both individually and together.
Head coach Erick Camodeca will turn his focus, he said, towards “building structure, responsibility, discipline, dedication, and accountability with each individual and establishing that culture within the program.” With a roster size of 95 athletes between the men’s and women’s teams, that is a huge group to bring together as one unit.
Camodeca believes that an improvement from last year’s season will lead to the men and women both placing in the top five in the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC). From there, they would like to see individuals and relays qualify for the NCAA National Championships in the post-season.
This will be the first time competing on the college level for a significant number of student athletes on the team.
“Although we are a very young team, the talent and track and field experience across the board is much better this year,” Camodeca said. The returning members of the team will play a crucial role in making that transition as smooth as possible for the new members with their leadership and shared experiences.
Sophomore hurdler and sprinter Steve Sneed advised the rookies: “Don’t get caught in the hype. Continue to train hard and believe in the process.” Activities such as team dinners and group discussions are being planned to build team chemistry.
The coaching staff believes that track and field is more than just a sport, and they integrate this philosophy into routine of the team.
“Our sport is a lifestyle, and if they can live that lifestyle during and away from practice, they will be very successful,” said Camodeca. He also emphasized the importance of effort and “establishing a complete individual. If everyone can hold themselves to a certain standard, in return, the team will benefit.” There is also a team motto that states simply, “What you put in, you get out.”
The opening meet begins Saturday, Dec. 3, in the River Hawks Opener at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. The majority of the teams’ competitions are in February.