Before the season began, head coach Matt Pimentel and the Merrimack College track team set goals for their four-year-old program.
At the top of the list was breaking all of the program’s records, a feat that while practically daunting – the Warriors have 43 separate records in the record book – was started with a bang last week, when the Warriors took second place at the University of Vermont Invitational, finishing ahead of Division 1 Hartford and watching 10 school records crumble in the process.
John Braga (high jump), Sherif Ali (1,000 meter), John Spencer (55-meter hurdles), Bianca Giacalone (300-meter), Zachary Lyons (3,000-meter), Sarah Muolo (55-meter hurdles), Sarah Barnett (shot put), Emily Mauro (pole vault) and Adam Ochab (weight throw) all set new program records.
Perhaps most promising: Of the 10 new school records, seven were set by underclassmen, including five freshmen competing in their first meet.
“We set that goal because we knew we had a lot of talent,” Pimentel said. “To be honest, I can’t sit here and tell you that I thought we would set 10 new records in our first meet of the season. But we definitely feel like we could re-write our record book this year with the new talent we have brought in and all of the returning talent that has continually improved.”
The Warriors are particularly excited about the freshmen class, which is gigantic in numbers. It has 38 total athletes (14 men, 24 women) and boasts some of the best all-around talent the program has brought in during its brief existence.
“With such a big class there is obviously some really good talent in there,” Pimentel said. “We also have great leadership from our returners and as you would expect, some of our best athletes come from our roster of returners.”
Sophomore Noelia Figuereo didn’t set a new program record in the 55-meter dash, but did win the event to qualify for the New England Championships. Her win was one of five event victories for Merrimack.