FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 2, 2013
FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- The men’s track and field team is also coming off a banner year for the program. The men captured their first indoor and outdoor Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference championships this past season, won the NAIA Outdoor National Championships and placed third at the indoor event. The Warriors lose national points from Igor Morales, Aaron Baker, David Army, Brandon Reynard and Nick Radionoff, but return 75% of their scoring from last year’s championship. The men’s team appears to be deeper than ever before and looks poised to challenge for their first ever indoor national championship.
The sprint squad is led by four returning All-American’s including seniors Dontaey Paige and Austen Barnes, as well as sophomores John Broaden and Dareyus Person. Harris Edwards returns as a National Champion from last year’s 4 x 100m relay team as well. Robert Rose leads a strong hurdle group as he captured All-American honors in the 60m-hurdles and 100m-hurdles; he is joined by national qualifiers D’Quan Ruth, Deshawn Marshall and Ryan Cavender.
The group sees a lot of new faces for the 2014 season as the men’s team looks to improve its depth. Trevor Stanley comes in fresh off a third-place finish in the 300m-hurdles at the Indiana state meet finishing in 37.45. He is joined by Javan Richardson (6.99; 60), Shamarcus Ford (48.95; 400), 110m-hurdles Ohio State Champion Jerad Wilson, Devon Marrow (49.11; 400, 1:56.11; 800), Deshawn Woods (49.11; 400), and Kenny Lewis (49.35; 400). Other names to keep on an eye on include Kwame Durant, Wayne Sherbahn and Creig Leu.
“This group is so deep for us this year,” stated Head Coach Doug Edgar on the sprints and hurdles group. “There are several student-athletes that have looked great in practice and may make an impact right away for our program. With the depth in the 400 and short sprints we have an ability to move athletes around and will allow us to be very versatile. We are very excited about not only this year, but the future with so many talented runners. This group should build on last year’s success with a great year this year.”
The field events have always been a strength for the men’s squad and should continue to shine for the Warriors. Back are All-Americans Herb Gary and Darryl Marlow and national qualifier Alex Rowe. Returners Ninlo Diarrassouba, Trevor Wright, Isaiah Lintz, and TJ Williams look to take the next step in their careers as well.
The group’s new arrivals are led by transfer Matt Souvannasing (23-7; LJ, 10.79; 100), Carrington Robinson (23-3.5; LJ) and Eddie Wilson (6-6; HJ, 2:00; 800). Jesse Wheeler will look to come in and fill the big shoes left by Igor Morales in the Pole vault and Eric Milner looks to progress from last year’s ‘B’ standard in the multi events.
Edgar on field events, “I expect a big jump in our field events output this season. We are putting a big emphasis on this group throughout early season training. I expect to see several new athletes qualify for nationals. There is some depth here that we did not have last year and we expect to see some big progressions from this group.”
The Warriors return several athletes with national experience with senior Aaron Belcher leading the way. Belcher is joined by Matt Adair, Drew Mueller, Zac Johnson, Matt Rouwhorst and Seth Spangler who also return with national’s experience. Returners Marcus Hobbs and Brenden Zoltek look to take the next steps forward in their careers too.
Several key newcomers are led by Cody Dyer, Davonta Beckham, and John Hester; all of which were elite 800 runners at the high school level and project to give the middle distance group a huge boost this season.
“Coach Wolfe built a great distance group and he is seeing it pay off during the cross country season,” stated Edgar. “We expect that to continue during the track season as we see progressions from our distance group. We hope to have enough depth to be strong in both the 4 x 800 and Distance Medley Relay at nationals this year."
The Warriors will open up their season on Saturday, Dec. 7th at IPFW and will compete at Grand Valley State on Dec. 13th. Following Christmas Break the teams will run at Grand Valley State, Indiana Wesleyan and the Indiana Relays before again competing at IPFW. After trips to Hillsdale, Grand Valley State for the third time and a trip to Taylor, the Warriors will look to repeat as Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Champions on Feb. 22. The teams will then look to improve on last year’s finish when they travel to Geneva, Ohio for the NAIA National Championships Mar. 6-8.
The Orange and Black open the outdoor season on Mar. 21 at the Florida State Relays before taking part in the North Carolina State Raleigh Relays at the end of the month. At the end of a busy April the Warriors will travel to Philadelphia, Pa. to take part in the prestigious Penn Relays April 24-26. The outdoor WHAC Championships will be held in Adrian, Mich. May 2-3. Tech will run in the Louisville Cardinal Twilight on May 10 before traveling to Gulf Shores, Ala. where they look to defend their NAIA Outdoor National Championship, May 23-25.