HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's indoor track & field team looks for its third straight title at the Centennial Conference championships on Saturday at Ursinus College.
The Fords, ranked fifth nationally, will need to be at their best to stand at the top of podium according to head coach Tom Donnelly. "Everyone on our team, in every event, needs to be ready for their best performances of the season," offered Donnelly. "The conference has gotten too strong to think that we can just show up and collect a trophy at the end of the day."
Donnelly realizes that Haverford faces an array of challenges from throughout the ranks of the conference. "Dickinson College has proven that it is a great big-meet team and Johns Hopkins University has gotten to the point where they very well could dominate the conference for years," said Donnelly. "All the other schools offer great competitors in every event. It will be a very tough meet for us to finish among the top three teams."
Senior Jordan Schilit, last year's runner of the meet, leads a strong middle distance group in the 800 meter run, mile and several relays. Schilit enters Saturday with the nation's third-best time in the mile of 4 minutes, 10.60 seconds. The talented group in middle distance includes Ivo-Milic-Strkalj, Michael Riccio, Charlie Marquardt, Gebby Keny and Greg Krause. Also occupying the top spot in the 800, Schilit has plenty of depth behind him as Riccio, Marquardt and Milic-Strkalj are seeded in the third through fifth spots while Keny and Krause rank seventh and ninth, respectively.
Junior Christopher Stadler, holder of the top time in the 5,000m in all of Division III, and senior Peter Kissin, the top seed in the 3,000m, headline an equally strong pack in the 3,000 and 5,000. Avi Bregman, Joel Christian, Jeff Duncan, David Roza, Sam Fujimori and Dylan Verner-Christ provide a multitude of scoring opportunities in the distance events.
Freshman Jeffrey Ainsley is almost a team unto himself as he enters the meet as the top-ranked heptathlete as well as a potential scorer in the 60m hurdles, high jump and long jump.
Also looking to make their mark in the field events will be Andrew Bennett and Michael Iannacone. Bennett is a top-10 seed in both the long and triple jumps while Iannacone finished second in the pole vault at last season's conference meet to earn honorable-mention all-conference recognition.
The heptathlon and pole vault kick off the championship on Friday afternoon. A series of field events will jump start the action on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at Ursinus' Bakes Field House. Drawing the day's events to a close will be the awards presentation scheduled for 6:45 p.m.