On the surface, the men’s track team looks to be an exact duplicate of last year’s squad that had a participant in almost every event at the New York State Collegiate Track Conference meet.

But underneath the surface, many new faces and much more talent prevails.

Although the team graduated a couple key figures on the team, their sucessors are ready to take the role of team leaders.

The team will be led by senior captains Ayaz Abdulla and Justin Lamontagne, who will try to lead the team back to the success they had last year.

The key areas for the team to improve upon are the short-distance and long-distance sprints. According to coach John Izzo, the team “has great talent. We just need somebody to step forward and take us over the top.”

The events that look to be huge point sources for the team are the jumping events.

Last year, this squad showed tremendous performance throughout the whole year, Izzo said. And this year they are looking for more.

“We have everybody back from last year, so there is no excuse for us not to do better than last year,” he said.

The mid-dle-distance and long-distance crew will attempt to continue their stamina from last year and, with the addition of a few newcomers, should be stronger than ever.

“Last year we had a lot of good runners, but this year they worked harder than ever in the off-season and they are ready to go,” Izzo said.

In the pole vault department, Izzo has recruited some new talent to help add depth to this already strong track program. The same goes for the throwing department which will look to senior Dan Quinn for leadership as well as points.

The team will rely on strong leadership from their seniors as well as a full-team effort from everybody.

The Yellowjackets will open up at the Cornell Relays Dec. 1 before their first home meet against SUNY Geneseo and SUNY Brockport Dec. 8.

Johnston can be reached at cjohnston@campustimes.org.

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