Senior captain Rachel Clark makes her final debut for the Musketeers indoor track team Saturday in Findlay.
Dec. 6, 2012
CINCINNATI- The men's and women's track and field teams kick-off their season Saturday at the Oiler Opener in Findlay, Ohio. This will be the first meet of the 2012-2013 indoor season for the Musketeers.
Xavier had one its best seasons in school history in last year. School records were being broken on a weekly basis last winter and 13 new names were penciled in to the record books by both the men and women individuals. The team finishes, however, might be the most notable aspect of last year's team, recording record finishes at the Atlantic 10 Indoor Championships. Though many strong athletes graduated in this past spring, the Musketeers are poised for a successful season in the Atlantic 10 conference.
Head coach Ryan Orner is optimistic for the start of the season Saturday, which will also be his first meet as head coach of the Musketeers. Orner is also the coach of the cross country team, a team loaded with men and women that rewrote the record books this past fall and will also contribute during the track and field season.
Coach Orner is anxious to see the team in action in a couple of days. "We are very excited to have all of our track only athletes who have been doing conditioning work for the past three months get into a meet situation and compete for the first time. We have a strong group of freshman women in the field events that assistant coach Scott Stevens has been working with that I'm especially excited to watch."
"On the women's side," Orner added," we will also have a strong group of middle distance runners competing in the 800 meters and mile. We have two very talented athletes that I had to redshirt in cross country, Rachel Clark and Caterina Karas that will be running in their first meet on Saturday and should make a big impact to our team. Rachel is a returning senior captain and Caterina is a freshman and former standout high school runner in Kentucky."
Clark has been a force for Xavier track and field since her arrival four years ago. Last year she had five top-10 finishes during the indoor season and set the Xavier 800-meter record at the Atlantic 10 Indoor Championships with a time of 2:14.57. Karas had a career-best time of 2:16.3 in the 800-meter at Martha Layne Collins High School.
"On the men's side we will have several middle distance runners competing as well as senior Matt Coniglio who was injured during cross country," added Orner. "Our men's sprints and hurdles had their best pre-season ever and should compete well at Saturdays meet. "
The women's side is predicted to finish 13th in the Atlantic 10 this indoor season after finishing a school-best 10th last season. The men are predicted to finish 10th in the conference this year after finishing a school-best 7th last year.