Monday, May 12, 2014

Men's Track and Field Nationals Preview

Men's Track and Field: Jhoan Lino 2014
The Hawks begin competition at the national meet on Thursday. (Jim Cummins)
UTICA, N.Y. – After placing runner-up at the 2013 DIII Outdoor Track and Field Championships, the Harper College men's track and field team begins its quest for a sixth national crown in the last eight years at the 2014 DIII Outdoor Track & Field Championships, hosted by Mohawk Valley Community College. The national meet begins on Thursday and concludes on Saturday.

Head coach Renee Zellner's men's team will send 19 athletes to nationals and is particularly deep in the distance events this year and also features some talented sprinters. Sophomores Jhoan Lino (León, Guanajuato/Streamwood) and Nick Modlin (Wheeling, Ill./Wheeling) will be counted on to score points in their respective events. Lino will run in the 800m and 1500m while Modlin will run the 5k and the 3000m steeplechase.  Lino thinks it'll take an immense effort to take home a national title, and Modlin agreed.

"We need to push our limits in more than one event to make that difference," Modlin said.

Sophomores Max Anderson (/Cary Grove) and Tom Rohn (/Cary) represent much of the sprint talent on the squad. Anderson will run the 400m, 800m and three relays while Rohn will run the 200m, 400m and two relays.

"We have a lot of depth but have a shortage of some runners and some field events. We will all need to step up," Anderson said.

Sophomore Vince Greco (Elk Grove Village, Ill./Elk Grove) will run the 5k and 10k at the national meet. He is joined by Juan Barajas (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Schaumburg) andSebastian Ramirez (Lima, Peru/Palatine), who will run both events as well. Fellow freshman Zach Stella (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) will tackle the 800m and 1500m. Brennan Albuck (/Hoffman Estates) will take on the 3000m steeplechase and 5k. Andrew Guibord (Crystal Lake, Ill./Prairie Ridge) will compete in the 3000m steeplechase, and John Majerus (Elk Grove Village, Ill./Elk Grove) will cover the 800m and relays as well.

John Walker (/Huntley) will be a key part of the 4x100m relay and also run the 200m and 100m. Ernest Downing () will be busy at the national meet, as he qualified for nationals in five events (400m hurdles, 110m hurdles, long jump, two relays). Daniel Lim (Schaumburg, Ill./Streamwood) joins Downing in the 110m hurdles.

Brad Walls (/Palatine) and Will Botehur hope to continue the tradition of strong Harper throwers. Walls will participate in the hammer throw and javelin, and Botefuhr's single event is the hammer throw.

Alternates Junious Matlock ()Connor Williams (/Wauconda) and Brennan Bryan (/Wilmington) are ready to go in the relays if any of their teammates is unable to compete.

The whole team feels the tough competition against several four-year schools throughout the spring has helped prepare them for this big stage.

"We're used to what we are going to see. We just have to perform," Rohn said.

"For the national meet, we will take that experience and amp it up even further," Modlin said.

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