Lake Erie Kicks Off Indoor Season Today and Saturday at Kent State
Dec 11, 2009
PAINESVILLE, Ohio - Anticipation. The Lake Erie College men's
and women's track teams are brimming with it, heading into their
first indoor meet of the season at the Kent State Golden Flash
Gala, beginning Friday (Dec. 11) evening and continuing into
Saturday (Dec. 12).
The Storm, led by head coach Bryan Harmon, is in its third year
at Division II status and is looking to compete at a high level
beginning this weekend.
"It's a chance for us to go out and prove that we belong and
we're just as good as anybody else," Harmon said. "We're not just
this start-up program any more. We have a respectable Division II,
Both the men's and women's units bring back solid performers from a
On the men's side, sophomore Joe Lockard (Columbus,
Ohio/Circleville) will compete in sprints with junior Jason Vitek
(Brookpark, Ohio/Midpark). Sophomore Mike Gritz (South Euclid,
Ohio/Brush) is the leader amongst the throwers, while junior Kyle
Griffith (Painesville, Ohio/Harvey/Capital) will lead a distance
corps that is coming off a successful cross country season.
"Those are our leaders in their events," said Harmon. "When they
work hard, everyone else works hard. Those are the captain-type
guys on the team."
For the women, sophomore Allison Wright (Columbus, Ohio/Hilliard
Davidson) returns as a distance runner, while sophomore Cierra
Hicks (Richmond Heights, Ohio/Richmond Heights) comes back as a
sprinter. Sophomore Kaitlyne Perrill (Ashville, Ohio/Teays Valley)
comes back as a hurdler.
"The returners from last year are key," said Harmon. "Most of them
last year were freshmen. It's tough to stand out as a freshman, but
they were able to do it."
The Storm should get solid performances from a few freshmen
athletes this season as well.
Andrea Boyd (Bedford, Ohio/Bedford) could be an NCAA provisional
qualifier in the 60-meter hurdles.
The Storm is also looking for quality outings from freshman Chris
Burrows (Trotwood, Ohio/Trotwood-Madison) in sprints and rookie
Quinton Harley (Rochester, N.Y./Edison Tech) in hurdles.
Lake Erie also has Isaac Snyder (Salesville, Ohio/Buckeye Trail)
running hurdles along with his twin brother, Ethan, who
participating in the heptathlon this weekend.
"We have a lot of freshmen and they are going to be very impactful
this year," said Harmon.
With more than 60 athletes between the two teams, Harmon needs the
help of his assistant coaches, Renee Poprocki and Markham Hyde.
Poprocki works with the jumpers and sprinters and Hyde works with
the throwers, while Harmon mainly coaches the distance runners.
"I have my eyes and ears open to everything, but I have complete
confidence in my coaches," said Harmon. "They don't want me looking
over their shoulders every single minute of the day. They're doing
great and it's going to show this weekend when our throwers,
jumpers and hurdlers really perform well.
After this opening meet at Kent State, the Storm athletes will have
more than a month off from competition before they return to the
track on Jan. 16, again at Kent State.
Lake Erie will then compete at Baldwin-Wallace and Findlay to close
out January before participating in the Division II Team Challenge
at Findlay on Feb. 6.
That meet will feature Division II teams from around the country
including last year's women's national champion, Lincoln (Mo.). The
meet will also feature other teams within the GLIAC and the Great
Lakes region, like Ashland and Tiffin, giving the Storm a taste of
the conference competition before it makes the jump in to the GLIAC
"It's going to be a really good meet, almost like a miniature
national meet," Harmon said. "It's going to be fun."
Overall, though, Harmon is excited for this season to get going,
saying he's been waiting months for weekend.
"I'll get really excited about one aspect and then a couple minutes
later I think about something else that's going to be good. We have
a lot of really good athletes. It's going to be fun to see just
what we look like as a whole team."
And he'll have that chance when his teams step off from the
starting block Friday evening.