Beaver Falls, PA - The Geneva Men’s and Women’s Track and Field squads are gearing up for what hopes to be another successful season in 2013-2014. As Geneva enters its third athletic season as full time NCAA Division III members, the Golden Tornadoes have many young and talented athletes that they are eager to see in action. Head Coach Dr. Brian Yowler remarked about the upcoming season, “It’s like Christmas morning with a lot of our new recruiting class. We are excited to find out how each of them will perform for us.” After graduating a myriad of top athletes, the Golden Tornadoes will rely heavily on their returners as they look to draw from the new class to create a winning recipe.
On the women’s side, half of the roster will be made up of first year competitors. Graduating many of their top athletes, the women will most likely experience a team rebuilding year while competing heavily in a few individual events. Alayna Merkle headlines the women’s squad by competing in the 800, 1500 and 5000m races. After a dominant mid-distance year in 2012-2013, Merkle will be eyeing a few Geneva records while challenging for the conference title in all three events.
Joining Merkle as a dominant returner, Anna Kluitenberg will aim to improve her top ten conference finish in the 10,000m race. Kluitenberg will also be competing in the 3,000m Steeplechase where she experienced national success at the NCCAA meet in 2012-2013. Sarah Williams leads the throwers for the Lady Tornadoes as she hopes to build on her 4th place finish in the shot put at last year’s conference meet.
Contrary to the women’s squad, the men’s greatest strength lies in their short distance runners. Ryan White, Aaron Marga, Ed Schuster and Josh Guiser headline a star-studded 4x100m relay team that hopes to contend for the Presidents’ Athletic Conference title. In addition to their stellar relay times in 2012-2013, all four runners also finished in the top 20 in the individual 100m dash.
Jacob Mellinger hopes to contend for the conference title in the 200m and 400m dash as he held top five spots in each event just a year ago. Senior Mark Filtz also hopes to improve on his top five conference finish in the triple jump for the Golden Tornadoes.
Throwing for Geneva, Jordan Rupert has his sights set on continuous dominance in the javelin as he has placed on the national stage at the NCCAA meet in each of the past two years. Matt Logan will headline the shot put and discus squad for the Tornadoes.
Coach Yowler stated, “While we will technically be rebuilding as a team in the conference, I am extremely excited about the trajectory our team is taking. We are serious competitors in many of the individual events on both the men’s and women’s sides. Our freshman class has the ability to push us past the rebuilding stages and straight into the thick of team competition this year. I just can’t wait to get things started.”
Geneva will travel to Baldwin-Wallace on January 24th to kick off the 2013-2014 season. The track and field season includes a combined 17 indoor and outdoor meets running from January to May.
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