CASTLETON, Vt. – After lifting off the ground in its first year as a NCAA varsity sport last season, the Castleton University men's indoor track and field program has its sights set on another successful run in the 2016-17 campaign.
The team will feature a strong incoming class of 11 newcomers to the squad, including freshmen Jermaine Coggins, Chris Doucet, Brian McAnuff, and Morgan Rainville. The variety of experience and talent from the first-year bunch has second-year head coach Dave Heitkamp anxious to start the season. "We have student-athletes competing in all of the disciplines. The freshmen class is one that dreams are made of. Hard working and talented in their events that will challenge the record books every weekend" says Heitkamp.
The freshmen will learn from key returners Austin Beauregard, Tayler Larmie, and team captain Matt Donlon, who all played an integral part in the Spartans' successful inaugural season. Beauregard led the team in the 60-meter hurdles, posting a personal best time of 9.29 seconds last year. Larmie was in control of the weight throw, notching a program-best 12.51 meters at the Smith Beynon Invitational. The sophomore also led the team in the shot put with a distance of 12.43 meters. Sebastien Crowell, Clayton Bailey, and Canute Watson join the strong sophomore class that looks to build off a successful opening season.
Donlon will be the lone returning indoor senior, competing in the sprinting, hurdling, and throwing disciplines. Grandon Smith also returns to the team and will join Donlon as a team captain for this year's squad. Heitkamp highlighted the combination of a strong incoming class and the exceptional leadership from upperclassmen, stating "Our upperclassmen and leaders will set the pace for the new student-athletes and will challenge them every day in practice and at meets."
Castleton will open its season on Saturday, when the Spartans compete in the Smith Snowflake Invitational, hosted by Smith College in Northampton, Mass. The second-year program will once again have a full slate of competition for the indoor season with eight events on the schedule, capped off by the New England Division III Indoor Championship at Tufts University in late February.