Season Preview: Women's indoor track counting on veterans to lead the way

HAVERFORD, Pa. - A young Haverford College women's indoor track team takes to the track aiming to steadily improve throughout the winter. Looking to mirror the growth of the women's cross country team which progressed throughout the fall to a 13-place finish at the national championship meet, the Fords need a strong season from their veterans to once again finish among the leaders of the Centennial Conference.

Distance

Key returners:

Hendry, a cross country All-American this season, headlines the group of runners that will try to provide Haverford with substantial points in the distance events this season. Tocci, Hess, Thorsheim, Scott, Balmer and Weathers – each members of the All-Mideast Region squad – will look to provide the same consistent effort this winter that they did for the cross country team.

Middle Distance

Key returner: Balmer (So.)

Balmer, who received honorable mention all-conference during the indoor season of her freshman year,  set a new program record in the 800 meter run (2 minutes, 15.67 seconds) and finished second in the 800 (2:17.33) at the Centennial indoor championship last year. Also finishing second at the 1,500 at the 2012 outdoor conference championship, Balmer looks to build off a strong cross country season that saw her earn second-team all-conference honors.

Others to watch:

Keifer opened the season with a personal-best time in the mile at the Jack Pyrah Invitational that was good for third while Morgan has been an integral member of the Fords' 4x800 relay team throughout her career.

 Top newcomers:

Weathers earned All-Mideast Region freshmen squad honors during cross country while Heffernan capped a solid season with a top-40 finish at the Centennial cross country championship.

Sprints

Key returners:

Andrade was a consistent performer in sprints during her freshman season and Carlomagno has been a vital member of several relay teams throughout her career, including the 4x400 squad which ran to a runner-up finish at the conference championship and set a school record of 4:01.20 in 2011.

Field Events

Key returners:

Chernow registered a strong freshman season in the shot put which included a first-place finish at the Muhlenberg Invitational during the outdoor season. Kornetsky and Oehrig both scored points at last season's indoor conference championship as Kornetsky took third with a season-best effort in the long jump and Oehrig earned honorable mention all-conference recognition with a second-place finish in the high jump. Ranucci aims for continued improvement in the hurdles to provide Haverford with another scoring threat.

Schedule

Haverford will host four meets at the Gary Lutnick Tennis & Track Center at Alumni Field House beginning with the Haverford Holiday Meet on Dec. 15. The New York University Invitational, Lafayette/Rider Invitational and Boston University Valentine Meet should provide opportunities for the young roster to gain experience as the Fords look to be ready to give their best effort at the Centennial championship at Ursinus College on Feb. 23.

Outlook

Coach Fran Rizzo, in his 23rd year, believes in the promise of his talented squad. "We are a young team," said Rizzo. "We are looking for the seniors to step up for a successful season."