Men's, women's track and field teams welcome exciting group of newcomers
February 18, 2010
Phil Brozynski, Media Relations Manager
In his second season as Benedictine University’s track and field coach, James Kluckhohn looks to continue the building process he began last season. Entering the 2010 season, the Eagles hope to keep the momentum rolling with a strong set of returners and an exciting group of newcomers.
“We have a lot of new faces this year, we will be able to cover our events more and establish depth in events we haven’t been able to in the past,” Kluckhohn said. “We are going to be a stronger team this year and should finish in the top half of the conference.”
Last season, Benedictine had many outstanding finishes at the Northern Athletic Conference (NAC) indoor and outdoor championships. Junior Dylan Roff finished fourth in the 55-meter hurdles at the indoor championships. He also collected a first-place medal in the 400-meter hurdles and turned in a third-place finish in the 110-meter hurdles at the outdoor championships.
Entering their final seasons with the Eagles, seniors Alex Arman, Devin Montgomery and Robert Sanford will look to continue their individual successes in the NAC. Sanford placed second in 55-meter dash at the indoor championships. At the outdoor championships, Montgomery took home third place in the discus and javelin. Arman finished seventh in the 800-meter run and eighth in the 1500-meter run.
The Eagles set several new school records and one NAC record last season. Roff set the indoor record in the pentathlon along with the 55-meter hurdles. His teammate, sophomore Danny Graham, also recorded a school record in the outdoor 3000-meter run. On the women’s side, sophomore Megan Kunesh set a NAC record time in the 100-meter hurdles at the outdoor championships.
The women’s distance medley relay team of Kunesh, Danielle Smith, Jennifer Murray and Hannah Miller also set a school record of 13:28.00; Miller set school marks of 5:21.03 in the indoor mile, 2:23.97 in the outdoor 800-meter run and 4:50.31 in the outdoor 1500-meter run; and Montgomery set a school mark in the men’s javelin with a throw of 56.10 meters.
Along with being the champion in the 100 meter hurdles and a member of the champion distance medley relay team at the indoor championships, Kunesh finished second in the 55-meter hurdles and sixth in the 55-meter dash. At the outdoor championships, Kunesh was second in the 400-meter hurdles and fourth in high jump.
Smith, another member of that champion distance medley relay team, also turned in a sixth-place finish in the mile at the indoor championships.
“The returners will be able to contribute significantly in different ways,” Kluckhohn said. “They will be the leaders of the team and they will have to teach the newcomers how to compete at the college level. We have a couple of athletes who could earn qualifying marks toward nationals if things go well.
The Eagles will also be looking to their new members to make big contributions. For the men, freshmen Kendrick Cross (East Aurora H.S.) will compete in the long jump and triple jump and Ryan Kirby (Paris H.S.) will sprint for the Eagles. They were both state qualifiers. Freshman Joe Manzie (Burlington Central H.S) will be a big impact in the pole vault and will be looking to compete for a conference title.
“We will be a lot more competitive this year,” Kluckhohn said. “We have a lot of talented new kids. It will take time to learn how to compete in the college level. They will need to learn how we prepare in practice and overall take care of our business.”
The women will also have more depth this year. Junior transfer Vanessa Mensie (Fremd H.S.) from Harper Community College was two-time Junior College National Champion in the hammer throw and discus. Freshmen Melissa Gregory (Lyon Townships H.S.) and Angie Maranan (Driscoll Catholic H.S.) will also be looking to be make a big impact for the Eagles.
“Having these newcomers is very exciting,” Kluckhohn said. “The biggest challenge for them will be to learn how to compete at the college level. The depth we will have this year will really help us in conference and we want the new kids to come out and contribute right away.”
With the excitement of the new season and some promising new talent, the Eagles are looking forward to the first gun to start the 2010 season.
For more Athletics News, visit the Athletics Web site
Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 10,000 students in 56 undergraduate and 19 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the sixth consecutive year in 2016. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ben.edu.