Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Richmond Track & Field, Cross Country Teams Announce Incoming 2014 Class

Courtney Thompson won the New Jersey MOC 3200M in 10:22.87
while Kaelyn Heinicke ran 4:52.80 and 2:12.29 in the 1600M/800M
at the PIAA State Championships this year. 
A few thoughts as we move forward to a new year...In many ways, during this past year Lori and our staff set about to rebuild and redefine the University of Richmond program we've been honored to lead for the past 13 years. As most everyone knows, heading into one of the best recruiting years of our coaching careers, in late September 2012, a decision to eliminate the men's track & field team smashed our recruiting efforts for both the men and women's programs.  Top athletes simply heard too many negative recruiting stories from others who circulated rumors that the women's team would be next.  Of course those people spreading those rumors knew then and now that under title IX law there's likely not a women's program in the nation that is under threat of elimination, however it only takes a seed, in many cases, for recruits to quickly jump to a different school.

Although we lost all the men in last years recruited class of 2013, along with several extraordinary women...we did gain a few free thinking, strong willed women who we believe have exceptional leadership qualities and talent.  They think for themselves and make their own decisions based on fact, instead of simply taking on face value the comments from those unrelated to this program.  They chose the University of Richmond based on the traditions our alumni set in years past along with our belief that we will prevail and our teams expectations of success will continue to thrive in the wake of a decision we had no control over...They chose Richmond because we have the best professors and an academic tradition that includes 12 consecutive years of team recognition by our national coaches association for academic excellence (maintaining above a 3.0 cumulative team GPA)...They chose Richmond because we are different than other NCAA DI institutions and we embrace how we are different instead of trying to become something else. Our faculty recognize this and also embrace who we are as an institution of higher learning...They chose Richmond because it is simply...Richmond!

As we worked to redefine ourselves, instead of running away to a different institution, we opened doors and created new opportunities, like the Collegiate Running Association. A vision of mine for many years, with the work of Jon Molz, three hard working UR alumni (Andrew Blanchard, Matthew Blanchard and Matthew Hannay) and our men's team it became a reality in November 2013 (More on the Collegiate Running Association in my next post.). Let me quickly state there a many distance runners out there at the collegiate level who want and need opportunities outside of the traditional sports of cross country, indoor and outdoor track offered by the NCAA.  The introduction of established national championship events in road racing, mountain and trail running provides an avenue of development for college students across the nation, not just here at Richmond.  The fact that they can earn prize money in CRA events is an added bonus.

We are excited about this years class joining our team.  They share many of the same qualities I described above regarding the last years incoming class. The excitement of who will step up, step forward and embrace the training while achieving both athletic and academic success keeps both Lori and I enthralled with this sport here at the University of Richmond. Each a canvas waiting to become a painting with each journey one to its own. What does the future bring? As Henry Rollins said, "pain is not my enemy; it is my call to greatness".

This team, UR faculty, current parents, parents of our graduates and several loyal alumni (all well within the boundaries of NCAA legislation) can be given much of the credit for bringing a strong group of 15 athletes (11 women/4 men) to Richmond this year. We are thankful for everyone's efforts!

Here's a list of our incoming freshmen:

Richmond Track & Field, Cross Country Teams Announce Incoming 2014 Class

UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. - The University of Richmond men’s and women's cross country and women's track & field teams will welcome a class of 15 student-athletes to campus this fall to continue their academic and athletic careers. 

"Once again, we are pleased to welcome a talented group of athletes to our program," commented Richmond women's cross country and track and field head coach Lori Taylor. "These student-athletes cover mostly the middle distance and distance event areas within our track and field and cross country teams along with a great triple jumper in Liz Montague. We expect many of these athletes to impact our team immediately. There is no question talent is one of the key factors in success at the NCAA level, but it will also require leadership combined with hard work and dedication on the part of these women and men in order for our teams to achieve the goals we have set. The weeks, months and years to come will determine where this class will end up and what they can accomplish. The mark they leave here at Richmond and beyond is yet to be determined, and our staff looks forward to guiding them as we continue to build upon the momentum our alumni established."
This past season, the Spider men's and women's cross country squads continued their long-standing tradition of academic excellence by achieving Division I All-Academic status for the 12th-consecutive year. The women's program paced by 2011 Atlantic 10 Conference Cross Country Champion and Academic All-Conference honoree Jill Prentice, placed runner-up in the Atlantic 10 Conference Cross Country Championships, while the men placed eighth. 

"Our goal is to produce a winning team each and every year," added Richmond men's cross country head coach Steve Taylor. "This includes women’s track and field and men’s and women’s cross country All-Americans, in addition to achieving the ultimate success in the classroom. We excitedly look to the future as both of our men's and women's teams set the goal of achieving their 13th-consecutive NCAA All-Academic Team honors. Each year, our teams look to the A-10 Conference Championships and NCAA Championships as their benchmark. As a program, every year we find a remarkable group of recruits who realize all the benefits of attending the University of Richmond to further their academic and athletic careers. We are pleased and excited by the achievements of this year's incoming class and look for them to continue the advancement of our program in achieving our goals along with helping attract future men and women to our program."

Along with the team performances, the women placed three on the All-Conference list (Jill Prentice-2nd, Tara Hanley-5th and Marissa Ruskan-7th).  Based on her seventh-place finish Ruskan was crowned the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year.  She followed this achievement with by leading the Spiders at the NCAA Southeast Region Championships and earning NCAA All-Region honors and USTFCCCA All-Academic Team individual honors. 
The Spiders made news on the world stage as sophomore Jordan Chavez placed second at the U.S. Junior (under 20) Mountain Running Team.  Chavez went on to lead the U.S. junior team members with his seventh-place finish at the 29th World Mountain Running Championships in Krynica Zdroj, Poland and will represent the Team USA this summer in the 2014 NACAC Mountain Running Championships in Carrera La Chupinaya in Ajijic, Jalisco.

The Richmond women's track & field team is also coming off a year in which they continued their previous record of success. Not only did they achieve high marks in the classroom, the Spiders earned Division I All-Academic status for the 12th-consecutive year.

On the track & field side of competition, the team was led by the quartet of Mary AllenDeborah FajuyigbeAmber Young, and Janel Francis who broke the program record in the 4x200M with a time of 1:38.87 at the Penn Relays, marking the second time this team set a new record in the 4x200m relay during the 2014 season. Deborah Fajuyigbe had a great year placing second in the 200M (24.43) during the Atlantic 10 Outdoor Championships and third at the Atlantic 10 Indoor Championships. Janel Francis had a breakthrough year placing in both the long jump and triple jump at the conference championships.  The sophomore’s third-place finish in the long jump of 5.70M was a season best.

The Spider men transitioned into their first season without an NCAA track & field team following the University’s sports restructuring in 2012.  Spider cross country men student-athletes still have the opportunity to compete during the spring track season, however are not eligible for Atlantic 10 Conference or NCAA Championships in track & field.

Their highlights include sophomore Matthew McKenna’s Olympic Development 10,000M performance in the prestigious Penn Relays where he finished second. The men’s team also competed in the newly formed Collegiate Running Association’s National Road 10K Championships held within the third largest 10K race in the nation, the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K.  This race attracted over 35,000 runners including 3,600 college students who raced for prize money specifically reserved for college students for the first time in history. The Spider men placed four athletes in the top 10 of this national championship event including McKenna’s fifth place finish.  Rounding out the top 10 for the team was Adam Owens in seventh, Patrick Love in ninth and Ryan Lee in 10th.

Stay updated on all the latest Richmond Track & Field and Cross Country news on RichmondSpiders.com and by accessing Spider Athletics' mobile apps on your Smartphone or tablet. More in-depth coverage can be found by following Head Coach Steve Taylor on Twitter and by reading his blog. The Spiders also have their own Facebookpage and have launched their own YouTube Channel as well.

Class of 2014 Recruits


Shelby Cain
Haddonfield, N.J. • Haddonfield Memorial
2014 NJSIAA Group 1 Indoor Track & Field Champion in the 3200M … Placed 2nd in the 1600M (5:02.21) … Ran 10:48.78 in the 3200M at the 2014 NJSIAA Meet of Champions to place fifth.
Major wins include:• 1600m @ 2014 NJSIAA Sectional Championships - South Gr. 1&2
• 1600m @ 2013 NJSIAA Sectionals - South - Groups 2 & 3
• 1600m @ 2013 Camden County Championships
• 1600m @ 2013 SJTCA Meet #5
• 1600m @ 2011 Camden County Championships
• 3200m @ 2014 NJSIAA Group Championships
• 3200m @ 2014 NJSIAA Sectional Championships - South Gr. 1&2
• 3200m @ 2013 NJSIAA Sectionals - South - Groups 2 & 3
• 3200m @ 2013 NJSIAA Sectional Championships -SJ Gr. 1&2
• 3200m @ 2012 NJSIAA Sectional Championships - South: 1, 2 & NP So. B
• 3200m @ 2011 NJSIAA Sectional Championships - SJ 1, 2 & NP So. B
• 2011 Colonial Conf. All Star Cross Country Meet
Personal Best Marks:
1600m – 5:02.21
3200m – 10:48.78
5k XC – 17:59.00

Courtney Campbell
Bronxville, N.Y. * Bronxville
Won the 2014 Section 1 Class C Indoor Championship in the 600M running 1:37.80 … Placed ninth in the 2013 NYSPHSAA-NY State Championships in the 800M with a time of 2:14.09 … Won the 2012 Section1 Class C Championship in the 1500M (4:45.40).
Major wins include:• 1500m @ 2013 Fulton Invitation
• 1500m @ 2012 Section 1 Class C Champs
• 3000m @ 2012 Fulton Invitational
• 2013 Section 1 Championships
• 600m @ 2014 Section 1 Class AA/C Champs
• 600m @ 2013 Westchester County Champs
• 800m @ 2014 Section 1 State Qualifier
• 800m @ 2014 Section 1 Class C Championships
• 800m @ 2013 Section 1 State Qualifier
• 800m @ 2012 Section 1 State Qualifier
• 800m @ 2012 Tri-Valley Invitational
Personal Best Marks:
600m- 1:37.80
800m- 2:14.09
1500m- 4:45.40
3000m- 10:18.20
5000m- 18:33.60

Amanda Corbosiero
Roseland, N.J. • Mt. St. Dominic Academy
One of the top runners in New Jersey … Won the 2014 NJ Metro Indoor Invitational 800M (2:16.90) … Placed seventh at the 2013 NJSIAA Outdoor Meet of Champions in the 1600M (4:54.18) … 2014 NJSIAA Non-Public A Group Champion in the 1600M (5:00.14) … Placed 13th at the NJSIAA Cross Country Meet of Champions running 18:50.00 on the Holmdel course … Won the 2011 Essex County Cross Country Championship in 17:44.30.
Personal Best Marks:
800m – 2:16.90
1600m – 4:54.18
5k XC – 17:44.30

Kaelyn Heinicke
Ivyland, Pa. • Council Rock North
At the 2014 PIAA Outdoor Championships, ran the 1600M prelim to win her section in 4:57.55, 800M prelim to win her section in 2:13.53 ... Returned the following day in Finals to place fifth in the 1600M (4:52.80) (72/75/74/70) and third in the 800M (2:12.29) … In cross country, ran 18:20.00 to earn PIAA All-District 1 with her eighth-place finish.
Major wins include:• 1600m @ 2014 SOL National Conference Championships
• 1600m @ 2014 Lady Skins Invitational
• 800m @ 2014 SOL National Conference Championships
• 800m @ 2014 Helman Memorial Invitational
• 800m @ 2014 DVGTCA Indoor Meet #6
• 800m @ 2014 DVGTCA Indoor Meet #4
• Mile @ 2014 Poreda Invitational
• Mile @ 2014 DVGTCA Indoor Meet #2
Personal Best Marks:
800m – 2:12.29
One Mile – 4:52.80
5k XC – 18.20.00

Stephanie Hughes
Feasterville, Pa. • Villa Marie Joseph
At the 2014 PIAA Outdoor Championships, ran the 4X800 prelim and final, 800M prelim and final and 4x400 final ...She ran 2:18.19 in the open 800M final to place sixth … Also placed sixth in the 2013 PIAA Outdoor Championships running 2:17.18 in the final.
Personal Best Marks:
800m – 2:17.18

Liz Montague
Marlton, N.J. • Cherokee
Claimed the 2014 NJSIAA South Sectional crown in the triple jump … Placed second in the triple jump in the 2014 NJSIAA Group 2, 4 &NPA Championship (39’01.5”) and third in the 2014 NJSIAA Meet of Champions triple jump (39’05.5”) … Placed second in the 100H in the 2013 Burlington County Open running 14.78.
Major wins include:• TJ @ 2014 NJSIAA Sectionals - South - Groups 1, 4, NP South B
• TJ @ 2014 Burlington County Open
• TJ @ 2014 Lenape District Cup
• TJ @ 2014 22nd Annual West Deptford Girls Relays
• TJ @ 2014 Hall of Fame Relays
• TJ @ 2014 New Balance Games
• TJ @ 2014 Track Universe Invitational
• TJ @ 2013 East Coast Relays
• TJ @ 2013 Olympic Conference Championships
• TJ @ 2013 Lenape District Cup
• TJ @ 2012 2012 Burlington County Open
• TJ @ 2012 2012 Hall of Fame Relays
• 100H @ 2013 Lenape District Cup
• 100H @ 2012 Lenape District Cup Championships
Personal Best Marks:
Triple Jump- 39’05.5”
Long Jump-  17’00”
100H-  14.78

Haley Preschutti
Collegeville, Pa. • Spring-FordPlaced seventh in the 2014 PIAA District 1 800M final (2:18.90) … Ran 2:16.23 in the finals of the 800M at the 2013 PIAA District 1 Championships … In the fall played soccer for Spring-Ford High School.
Personal Best Marks:
800m – 2:16.23

Kylie Regan
Atkinson, N.H. • Central Catholic
A consistent 2:17 performer in the 800M running 2:17.56 in the 2013 Massachusetts (MIAA) All-State Outdoor Championship … Placed second in the 2012 Massachusetts (MIAA) Eastern Division 2 Outdoor Championship running 2:17.08 … In the fall played soccer for Central Catholic High School.
Personal Best Marks:
800m – 2:17.08

Erin Schafer
Flanders, N.J. • Mount Olive
Ran 19:49.20 in the 2013 Morris County Cross Country Championships … Placed 18th in the 2013 NJSIAA Cross Country North I Sectionals before competing in the 2013 NJSIAA Group Championships and the 2013 NJSIAA Meet of Champions.
Personal Best Marks:
5K XC – 19:49.20

Courtney Thompson
Freehold, N.J. • St. John Vianney
One of the top ranked distance runners in New Jersey as a senior … Claimed the 2014 NJSIAA Outdoor Meet of Champions title in the 3200M running one of the fastest times in the nation (10:22.87) … Won multiple NJSIAA Group Championship titles during the cross country, indoor and outdoor seasons … Placed second in the one mile at the 2014 New Balance Indoor Games in NYC.
Major wins include:• 3200m @ 2014 NJSIAA State Meet Of Champions (10:22.87)
• 3200m @ 2014 NJSIAA Groups - 2, 4 & NP A
• 3200m @ 2014 NJSIAA Sectionals - Non-Public - North A&B South A
• 3200m @ 2014 NJSIAA Group Championships
• 3200m @ 2013 NJSIAA Groups - 2, 3 & NP A
• 3200m @ 2013 NJSIAA Sectionals - Non Publics - North B South A & B
• 3200m @ 2013 NJSIAA Group Championships
• 3200m @ 2013 Shore Conference Championships
• 2013 NJSIAA Group Cross Country Championships
• 2012 Monmouth County Cross Country Championships
• 800m @ 2011 Shore Conference Championships
Personal Best Marks:
One Mile – 5:01.41
3200m – 10:22.87
5k XC – 17:36.08

Sasha Tory
London, England • St. George’s School (R.I.)
Major wins include:• 1500m @ 2013 Nepsta Division III Championship Meet
• 1500m @ 2013 ISTL Championships
• 3000m @ 2013 Mount Pleasant
• 3000m @ 2013 Nepsta Division III Championship Meet
• 3000m @ 2013 ISTL Championships
Personal Best Marks:
1500m – 4:47.05
5k XC – 18:13.00

Jack Chintala
Oxon Hill, Md. • Poway (Calif.)
Won the 1600M in the 2014 Del Norte Duel in 4:34.29 and the 3200M in the Valley Center Invitational with a mark of 9:51.07 … At the Dana Hills 3 Mile Cross Country Invitational, he ran 15:30.50 to place 15th.
Personal Best Marks:
3200M- 9:51.07
1600M- 4:34.29
3 Mile XC- 15:30.50

Johnny Hogue
Cairo, W.Va. • Ritchie County
Over 50 wins while a member of the Ritchie County High School team and multiple All-State, All-Region and All-Conference honors … Placed in the top six at the WV State Cross Country Championships all four years (6th, 3rd, 3rd, and 5th, respectively) … 2013 LKC Champion in the 1600M (4:29.69) and United Way Invitational 3200M Champion (9:44.70).
Personal Best Marks:
3200M- 9:44.70
1600M- 4:29.69

Ryan Lerda
Bridgeville, Pa. • South Fayette
Placed third in the 2014 TSTCA Indoor Track & Field Championship in the Mile (4:29.13) and 10th in the 3,200 Meter Run at PIAA District 7 AAA Championships (9:45.07).
Personal Best Marks:
3200M- 9:45.07
One Mile- 4:29.13

Alex Lucking
Greer, S.C. • Eastside
Earned 2013 SCHSL All-State honors in cross country placing in the top 10 … Placed second in the 3200M (9:40.16) at the 2014 SCHSL State Championship … Ran 9:39.18 at the 2014 Taco Bell Classic … Ran 4:28.29 in the 2014 Greenville County Championship 1600M to place second.
Personal Best Marks:
3200M- 9:39.18
1600M- 4:28.29