Led by a strong core of throwers, the Binghamton men's track team heads into the 2003-04 season determined to make a substantial jump in the America East Conference. Despite placing sixth at last season's conference meet, head coach Mike Thompson feels that is squad is deeper and more talented this year.

"We have a lot of depth on our team," Thompson said. "We should excel, especially in the technical events. I feel that have the potential to finish in the top three in the conference outdoors."


The strength of the men's team is unquestionably in the throwing events. Senior Andrew Cloud is the top returnee in the hammer event. Last season, he placed ninth at the ECAC Championship with a school-throw of 173-5. Cloud's performance was all the more impressive considering that he was seeded 18th at the start of the event. Senior Gabe Fletcher, who finished second in the shot put and fourth in the shotput in the 2002 America East Conference meet, is perhaps the most versatile of the throwers and can be a top scorer in any of the events he enters. Junior Todd Wassinger excels in the shot put, where he was fifth at the conference meet last season, and was also eighth in the javelin. Sophomore Paddy Hennessy, who was eighth in the hammer throw at last season's conference meet, also has the potential to score at the conference meet in the javelin. Junior Jared Ketchuck finished fifth in the hammer and sixth in the shot put at the conference meet last season and is the strongest thrower on the squad. Senior Matty Fuchs has the potential to score in the 35 lb. weight event while freshman Kevin Hall should excel in the shot put and is also working on the hammer and weight events.

"Our throws work very hard," Thompson said. "A few were good in high school but most of them have improved because they have put in a lot of effort."


Junior Nick Tillman, who finished second in the high jump at the conference meet last season, is the top returnee. A pair of freshmen, Rafiq Umar and Rory Quiller are also expected to make an immediate impact in the jump events. Umar will competed in the long and triple jump events, where he was the New York State Indoor champion as a senior while Quiller will compete in the pole vault. Freshman Mike Shomek and junior Andy Kirsch, will also compete in the pole vault. Quiller and sophomore Matt Nolan are the top runners in the decathlon.


In the sprint events, sophomore Joe Flucus, who was fourth in the conference in the 200, and junior Hasani Hampden, who was fourth in the conference in the 400 hurdles are among the top returnees. Junior Neil Case and senior Mike Stewart are expected to improve. Sophomore Adam Goldberg is the top newcomer in the hurdle events while sophomore Jim Lawless, who competes in the 400 and 500 (indoor season), is the hardest worker on the team.


Having lost Steve Reese and Frank Savinon to graduation, Binghamton is in a rebuilding stage in the distance events. Freshman Andrew Jezik is the top 800 runner on the team. Fellow freshman Dominic Catalano will excel in the 1,500 while sophomore Prahlad Genung, who placed sixth in the steeplechase at the conference meet, is the top returning upperclassman in the distance events. Freshman Tom Williams will compete in the 10,000.





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