Track and field head coach Erick Camodeca believes that an improvement from last season will lead to the Stevenson men and women both placing in the top five in the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) this season. From there, the coach hopes to see individuals and relays qualify for NCAA National Championships in the post-season.
After this month’s season opener, Camodeca said, “I believe we can compete to be a top-three team on the men’s side and a top-five team on the women’s side.” The team’s youth happens to be a great strength.
The team’s last meet, held on Feb. 3, was a record-breaking performance, literally, as a few school records were set. Among those record holders were senior Devonte Williams in the 60m dash, junior Adam Diabagate in the triple jump, Cierra Roberts in the long jump and 200m dash, Dyonne Hicks in the triple jump and 60 hurdles, and the women’s 4×800 relay team of Kayla Bias, Cj Morris, Mary Sam and Achol Odolla.
Two standouts are MAC track and field athletes of the week: Cierra Roberts and Jess Rega. In addition, Diabagate was named the Middle Atlantic Field Athlete of the Week for Feb. 6, for a MAC first-place triple jump of 14.05 meters, and previously, Williams was named the Middle Atlantic Conference men’s track Athlete of the Week for the second time this season.
Camodeca acknowledged that the team’s youth started out as a weakness due to their lack of experience, but now he sees it as a great commodity, as this group will be together for a long time, paving the way for future teams.
The coach said that the team came out with better performances than they anticipated, adding that the meet was pivotal in setting the team up to be ready for conference championships. The team’s theme going into last weekend’s meet was confidence.
Camodeca responded positively to the team’s performance: “I believe we are ready to take the next step in our very deep conference.”
The weekend of Feb. 11-12 will be big for the team, as the best women will travel to the Naval Academy to compete. On Friday and Saturday, the top men sprinters and jumpers along with the women throwers will compete at Boston University. That Saturday the distance team will also compete at Haverford College in Philadelphia. The goal is to qualify three athletes for the NCAA DIII national championships as well as for the ECAC’s. The conference includes 14 institutions that compete in track and field.