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Season Preview: Men's Indoor Track & Field Sets Sights High in 2018-19

Greg Morgan
Greg Morgan

HAVERFORD, Pa. The Haverford men's indoor track & field team enters the 2018-19 campaign with big expectations for a senior class that is poised to remain a major player in the national landscape while contending for a conference title. The Fords picked up 14 USTFCCCA All-Mideast Region certificates a season ago, and return an experienced and deep squad. Haverford's cross country team finished fourth at nationals and the indoor track & field team will look to continue the momentum from that impressive showing behind a group with the veteran presence and knowledge of what it takes to compete in one of the nation's toughest conferences. 

The Fords path to dominance will likely play out chiefly in the distance and middle distance events with contributions expected from a star-studded senior class. Dylan Gearinger is the reigning champion in the indoor 3,000 meters after also completing the distance double at the conference championships, while Greg Morgan was an All-American in the indoor mile in addition to the outdoor 1,500 meters. Graham Peet was an All-American in the outdoor steeplechase in addition to an NCAA indoor qualifier in the 5,000 meters event. Ryan Herlihy, David Watt, and Sam McCalpin headline a group that figures to translate cross-country success into the indoor season while Jamie Moreland and Peter Buckley also had impressive debuts in the cross-country campaign with eyes on immediate contributions on the track in their first year campaigns.

In addition to the loaded middle distance and distance contingents, Haverford will also return senior Liam Lynch, an indoor conference champion in the 400 meters that was also part of a 4x400 meter relay squad as well as the Fords' distance meter relay squad. Lynch will be relied upon to anchor that relay team, as the senior has eight Centennial Conference gold medals in the indoor season alone, adding that impressive haul to silver and a bronze finish. Chris Goings also returns for his senior season, fresh off an 800m championship as well as a spot on both of the aforementioned relay title squads last March. Sophomore Gene Perry will help anchor the sophomore class and co-captain senior Scott Pollara also returns to mentor the sprinters after contributing to the 4x400 meter relay team.

Haverford proved that it could provide depth and placements beyond its distance and middle distance runners, however, as Jack Brower picked up an honorable mention All-Centennial award in the high jump. Lynch and Peet showed great versatility with podium finishes in the 200 meters, and 400 meters, respectively a season ago. Silvan Sooksatan, Andrew Lummus, Rohan Shukla, Oscar Huang, and Chris Glazer are all returning to participate in sprints and jumps while newcomer Ethan Gadra joins Greg Van Aken on pole vault. Haverford's top hurdler, Zach Oji, also returns looking to put his mark on the conference leaderboard in his senior season, building on a career that includes both a conference title and a runner-up finish. 

Haverford was picked to finish second in the 2018-19 preseason coaches' poll. Haverford received a total of 56 voting points, including one first place tally. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own squads. Last year, Tom Donnelly was named the Centennial Conference Coach of the Year in the indoor season for the seventh time in his illustrious career at the helm of the program. Donnelly enters the indoor season as the reigning Coach of the Year in the cross country campaign.   

The Indoor track & field season gets underway on Saturday, December 8 with the Haverford Holiday Meet, which is slated for an 11 a.m. start time inside the Alumni Field House. The 2018-19 slate includes three total meets at home, as the Fords also host the McElligott Invitational (Jan. 26), and the Keogh Invitational (Feb. 16). Fast times are expected at the Villanova Invitational on Staten Island on February 2, and the David Hemery Valentine Invitational in Boston, Mass. on February 8-9 as the Fords test themselves against some of the top competition in the nation.

Franklin & Marshall will host the conference's championship meet, with events scheduled for February 23 and 24. The national championships, hosted by UMass-Boston, will return to Boston's Reggie Lewis Center on March 8 and March 9.