2012 is just another year for most spring sports at Albion College, but for the Men’s and Women’s Track and Field team the 2012 season is full of high expectations and a unique unitary bond that no other sports program at Albion College has.
This season Lance Coleman will coach both men’s and women’s track as one team. Although the men and women compete in different meets, Coleman has instilled the attitude that the two programs are one team. The team has eight captains: four men and four women, but they all serve as captains for the singular team.
“Bringing the teams together has been seamless,” Coleman said. “We have a good group of captains who have done great job making sure everyone knows that we are one unit.”
Coleman was the head coach of the men’s program last year and hopes to bring the same level of success the men’s program has had to the women’s side of the program.
As far as expectations go, both the men and women believe they will improve their rankings within the MIAA. Last year the men finished tied for third and the women finished fifth.
“We want to show everyone else in our conference that although we may be small in number, we can and will compete with the rest,” Team captain Clarence Stirgus, Belleville senior, said.
The team’s motto this year goes hand-in-hand with Stirgus’ feelings — “One mind: Championship State of Mind.”
The men’s squad had four runners receive All-MIAA awards last season, and they hope to build on that success this year.
“The guys expect a lot from themselves,” Coleman said. “And we (coaches) expect a lot of them too.”
Key returners for the men include Stirgus and Zach Cooper, Portland sophomore, in the hurdles. Sprinters Mike Ridley, Albion senior, and Effrem Grettenberger, Lansing senior, are also strong performers. Long distance runners Paul Lewis, Albion sophomore, Deion Pruitt, Ann Arbor senior, and Andrew Fuentes, Grand Junction senior are geared up for a successful season.
The women anticipate a strong season as well. Chelsea Anthony, Ludington senior, holds the Albion record for hammer throw with a toss of 133′ 4″. Meanwhile, Amanda Weaver, Marshall junior, holds school records for the 800m dash (2:17.71) and 3,000m run (10:40.48).
“We are expecting to move up from our placement last year in the MIAA along with sending a few ladies to nationals,” Miracle said.
With the high expectations the team has set for themselves, comes the hard work.
“Hard work and determination is one of our expectations,” Stirgus said. “If one doesn’t have these, then there is no point in being a part [of the team]. We work hard to be the best because we know that we are.”
The men and women will get their first taste of competition as a single team on Saturday Feb. 11 when they travel to Anderson, Indiana to compete in the Raven Invitational.
Photo courtesy of Albion College Sports Information