1997 Season Outlook
According to Coach Randy Thomas the "strength of the Track and Field team lies in the hands of the middle distance squad". The distance squad returns a number of veterans and key freshman that are expected to make immediate contributions. Junior Brian Shafer, an IC4A Finalist in 1996 while running for Northeastern, returns from a semester of studying abroad. In the past Shafer has ran a 9:05 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Senior Eric Shaughnessy, who in past performances has run the 400 metes in 48 seconds flat and 800 meters in one minute and fifty-two seconds is also expected to be a leader. Two sophomore Canadian born runners, Derek Holland and Marshal Armitage, are expected to carry the torch for the BC runners. Holland who was the Canadian National Junior Champion at the 3,000 meter steeplechase and Armitage was the runner-up in the Canadian National Junior 5,000 meter run.
A pair of highly recruited freshman, Derek Smith and Justin Burdon, should make an immediate impact against the middle distance competition. Smith who hails from Duxbury Massachusetts and a graduate of Northfield Mount Herman Prep School, was the New England Prep School Champion of 1997. Burdon who is also from Canada, finished fourth in the prestigious Penn Relays 3,000 meter competition with a time of 8:29.
Junior Ron Hall who was the Massachusetts State Champion and New England indoor sprint champion in 1995 at the 55M event, is coming back from an injury plagued 1996 and 1997 seasons. He has been working hard in the off-season and is "expected to carry the load for the sprint program this year" according to Coach Thomas.
With the loss of twins Mark and Sean McGehearty, who combined for 11 All-American Awards. The Eagles are in the process of rebuilding their throwing staff. Returning sophomore Sean McGinn who last season backed up the McGehearty's, will be the Heights' key hammer thrower this season. McGinn will throw the 35-pound weight as he tries to fill some big shoes.
With the 1997 graduation of Sam Raia, a BC record holder and BIG EAST Champion of the javelin event, sophomore Neal Koening of Greenwich, RI is "our top returnee Javelin thrower" Thomas said. In 1996 he was the Rhode Island State Champion in the javelin event.
According to Coach Jackie Adams three sophomores have "revitalized our pole vaulting program here at Boston College." Jason Pink, Mike Moynahan, and Rich Pelligrino are all ready to break 13 foot mark and beyond. Last year, the three freshman completed a successful indoor season all finishing in the top four at the Harvard Invitational.
Long jump records will be in jeopardy this season as sophomores George White, Ramon Johnson, and Bobby Stancil will be out to break them all. White a free safety starter for the BC football team, won the New England indoor meet and the BIG EAST outdoor meet this past year, with a personal best jump of 24'10" for fourth best all-time at the heights. The coaching staff expects him to be a "national qualifier". Johnson who has been out since having ACL surgery from an injury sustained in the spring football game, led the high school scholastic list with an "explosion of a jump" according to Adams of 25'9". Stanzel who sat out last season will be a "huge" asset to the threesome. Coach Jackie Adams feels that with all three training together each will be pushed to new "Heights".
This season the triple jump should be dominated by junior Shariff Rudolph. Coach Adams states that "everything is coming together this season for Shariff" and "he is on the right track to excel". The coaching staff feels that this will be his breakthrough year.
The high jump will be tested as sophomore Ruben Marin is expected to break the elusive seven foot barrier. The Multi event will be challenged by sophomore Matt Ramsey and freshman Steffan Kelsey who "will work good together".