YORK PA – The men's track team starts its long season at the Bucknell Season Opener on Saturday. The Spartans will look to improve on their third place indoor Capital Athletic Conference finish and fourth place outdoor finish at the conference championships, with strong leadership and promising athletes.
For the indoor and outdoor season ahead, head coach Stephen LoBianco states, "The men's team is strong this year, as we were able to fill some holes in the jumps that we had last year. The throws team is bigger and more talented than recent years, and should be in scoring positions at the conference meets. "
Eddie Kraft (Brick, N.J. / Brick Memorial), Ryan Banta (Ellicott City, Md. / Marriotts Ridge), and Tim Hartung (Mohnton, Pa. / Governor Mifflin) will bring their combination of skills to help the Spartans garner major points.
Kraft, the lone senior thrower, will look to lead a strong Spartan throws team through the season. He was the highest finisher for York at the Indoor CAC Championships in the weight throw and shot put. He was also an outdoor CAC Championship place finisher in hammer and shot. The team is looking for Kraft to break into the top portion of the throwers, and gain some points to help earn a team championship.
Banta enters the season as a sophomore, after a promising freshman campaign for the Green and White. He was a key scorer in the sprints and relays last year, and the team will look for him to break into the top three in the conference in indoor and outdoor track this year.
Hartung is a familiar name for many of the CAC schools after another stellar cross country campaign. Hartung will enter the oval with two indoor and two outdoor track CAC titles from his 2012-13 campaign. The team will look for him to keep up the hard work and to lead the large distance contingent through the track season.
The drive for a team championship in track and field always rests on the shoulders of a team's leaders. Coach LoBianco feels as though he has three strong leaders to help lead the team to a championship.
Senior Craig Eppler (Bethlehem, Pa. / Northampton) stepped up in cross country this year, to go along with his point scoring in the conference last year. The team will lean on his experience to lead the distance team to success.
Junior John Follety (New Milford, N.J. / New Milford) is the only sprints upperclassmen, and a strong leader and hard worker that will set the pace for the sprints team. As a junior he will look to continue to bring balance and leadership to the sprint squad.
The York program will look to Mike Stetson (Old Bridge, N.J. / Old Bridge), Terez Beauford (Parkville, Md. / Loch Raven), Darnell Tillman (Enola, Pa. / East Pennsboro), and Aaron Robertson (Mohnton, Pa. / Governor Mifflin) for big performances this season. Each athlete will look to capitalize off their performances and offseason work to surprise the CAC this year.
Stetson will look to improve on his second place indoor mile finish from 2013 and continue his momentum from the cross country season. Terez will look to improve on his freshman year, a fifth place discuss effort. Tillman should be able to capitalize on his experience from last year as a freshman and become a point contributor for the team. Robertson is looking to place in the top three for the 1500 and the 5000 after his successful junior campaign.
York brings in a strong contingent of runners this year that should help contribute early and help the program build for the next four years.
Robert Doster (Middletown, Pa./ Middletown)-Throws: Doster is a very talented javelin thrower that we will look for in the top 3 as a freshmen, while also contributing in the other throwing events.
Colin Fleming (Owings Md. / Northern) –Distance: Fleming will look to gain much experience behind the talented distance squad.
James Gonzalez (Baltimore, Md./Dundalk) –Mid-distance: Gonzalez will look to provide depth for York as they face a long season.
Darien Gray (Bladensburg, Md./Gonzaga)-Hurdles/jumps: Gray has the potential to be an instant threat to the conference and is a versatile runner in sprints, jumps and hurdles.
Dylan Hartlaub (Manchester, Pa. / York County School of Technology) –Mid-distance: Hartlaub will look to contribute to the Green and White with his hard work.
Matt Hayes (Drexel Hill, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara)-Distance: Hayes was the only freshmen to be consistently in the top seven during Cross Country and has solid track experience to set him up for a great track season.
Ricky Jones (Tamaqua, Pa. / Blue Mountain) –Hurdles: Jones will look to be a contributor in the 400 hurdles as he transitions into the event.
Joe Lalli (Langhorne,Pa. / Neshaminy)-Jumps: Lalli is a talented triple jumper that with hard work can be one of the best in the conference.
Patrick Morrison (New Freedom, Pa./Suquehannock) –Distance: Morrison will work off the talented core of distance runners and look to break through in the CAC this year.
Ian O'Brien (Orefield, Pa. / Parkland)-Throws: O'Brien has the ability to mix it up with the throwers in the conference in shot put, discus and hammer.
Devon Pepper (Bordentown, NJ. / Bordentown) –Distance: Pepper will offer the distance squad some solid depth as he will look to run the 5k.
Christopher Sander (Frederick Md. / Tuscarora) –Distance: Sander will look to continue his learning from cross country and make an impact on the oval.
Andrew Sarver (Olney, Md. / Sherwood)-Hurdles/jumps: Sarver is an all-around athlete with the ability to do sprints, hurdles and vertical & horizontal jumps.
The men are looking to be a serious force in the CAC this year and have the athletes to make it happen. The long season will feature some ups and downs but with strong leadership these Spartans will be a very tough squad at the Championships. The full schedule for the Spartans can be found here.