BEREA, Ohio – The Baldwin Wallace University men's track and field team will look to its underclassmen to compete at a high level in the Ohio Athletic Conference in 2018.
Coordinator of Cross Country & Track and Field and Head Track and Field Coach Matthew Cole returns 20 letterwinners from last year's men's team that finished ninth at the 2017 Ohio Athletic Conference Indoor Championships and sixth at the 2017 OAC Outdoor Championships. In the preseason OAC Indoor Coaches Poll, the BW men were picked sixth out of 10 teams with 42 points. Cole added 15 new faces to the roster who will look to have an immediate impact on the track this season.
"Our men's program added some much-needed depth in this last recruiting class," Cole said. "Our men look to score in every event at the OAC's this coming season and have taken the personal challenge to accomplish something that hasn't been done here in many years."
Junior All-American Jordan Leverette (Cleveland/John Adams) highlights the returners and will lead the sprinters once again this season. A three-time BW school record holder, Leverette will primarily run the 60-, 200- and 400-meter dashes as he seeks a return to the NCAA Championships to earn his second All-American status. Junior Brandon Cole (Vermillion) hopes to build on a strong finish to the indoor season a year ago as he runs the 400-meter dash while senior Trypp Washington (Orlando, Fla./Orlando First Academy) will look to score points in the 60-meter dash.
Sprinters senior Vee Sealey (Painesville/Harvey), junior Noah Kendrick (Akron/Walsh Jesuit), sophomore Deion Greer (Toledo/Central Catholic) and sophomore Kris Hart (Van Wert) all look to improve upon their season- and career-best times from a season ago. Freshmen sprinters Alex Delgado (Middleburg Heights/Berea-Midpark), Josh Krettlin (Ann Arbor, Mich./Father Gabriel Richard), Ellis Moye (San Francisco, Calif./Abraham Lincoln) and Peter Rosado (Haydenville/Logan) will pick up tips from their experienced teammates as each hopes to make an impact on the scoresheet.
Leading the distance runners will be sophomore Isaac Wilson (Tylersburg, Pa./North Clarion), who is coming off a strong cross country season in which he won his first individual title and hopes to translate that success in the 3,000- and 5,000-meter runs on the track. Freshman Jose Reynoso (Painesville/Harvey) ran well in preseason time trials and could score even more points for the Yellow Jackets in distance while freshman Matt Floyd (Hamilton/Cincinnati Christian) will focus on the mid-distance races.
Bringing experience in the distance races are senior Dylan Tanner (Mentor), junior Spencer Mahon (North Royalton), junior Phil Spronz (Strongsville) and sophomore Nick Irwin (Westlake) while freshmen Daniel Heard (Cleveland/Shaker Heights), Josh Hickmott (Clay, N.Y./Liverpool), Andrew Krupp (Ottawa Hills), Spencer Roberts (Buffalo, N.Y./West Seneca West), Larry Salerno (Mentor) and Ben Szymanski (Lake View, N.Y./Frontier) will also bring experience from their first cross country season into track this spring.
Sophomore Robby Becker (South Amherst/Firelands) will be the lone hurdler for the Yellow Jackets, rounding out the track athletes.
In the field events, senior All-OAC thrower Zak Dysert (McDonald, Pa./Fort Cherry) finished the 2017 outdoor campaign as a conference champion in discus and third in hammer throw. Dysert hopes to carry that momentum into his senior season to capture a few more OAC crowns before he graduates. Sophomore Ted Achladis (Avon Lake/Elyria Catholic) will lead the way in the shot put while junior Academic All-OAC thrower Milton Woods (Chicago, Ill./Whitney Young) looks to score big in the weight throw after transitioning from jumping a season ago.
Senior Travis Giardina (Wampum, Pa./Mohawk Area), sophomore Carson Kinney (Greenwich/South Central), freshman Patrick Coughlin (Middleburg Heights/Berea-Midpark) and freshman Daniel Wilson (Milford) will each look to challenge for top marks in the throwing events. Senior thrower Nigel Simmons (Librun, Ga./Snellville Brookwood) will throw only in the outdoor season.
Sophomore Kyle Aerni (Strongsville/St. Ignatius) and freshman Alex Dempsey (Madison) will be the two primary jumpers for the Yellow Jackets. Dempsey could also make an impact on the track in the 60-meter dash in his first collegiate season while sprinter Washington competes in the long jump as well.
BW begins the indoor season on Friday, January 19, when the Yellow Jackets host the OAC North Split on the Harrison Dillard Track inside the Lou Higgins Center Fieldhouse. Field events will begin at 4 p.m. while running events will begin around 5 p.m. The Yellow Jackets also host the Dr. William Taraschke Classic on Friday, January 26, and the Mid-February Meet on Friday, February 9 during the indoor season and the 49th Sparky Adams Invitational on April 21 and the Harrison Dillard Twilight on May 11 inside George Finnie Stadium during the outdoor season.
The OAC Indoor Championships will be hosted by Capital University February 23-24 inside the Capital University Field House while Ohio Northern University hosts the OAC Outdoor Championships April 27-28.