SAN ANTONIO (Jan. 23, 2019) - The Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) track and field team is pushing for another successful season. The men are hoping to pick up their first title after coming in third in 2018."
Head Coach Stephen Sherman said, "We are better than we were last year. We have more depth, we are more talented. We will want to push with the grou."
The men are faced with more obstacles this year. "They are a little more interesting with the emergence of Texas College and the University of the Southwest," Sherman commented. "Wiley also will be a strong contender."
The men return sophomores long-distance runners Samuel Cardenas (SO/San Antonio, Texas), Miguel Segura (SO/San Antonio, Texas) and Jose Zarate (SO/San Antonio, Texas); juniors sprinter Jose Lima (JR/Cibolo, Texas), long-distance runner Andrew Moczygemba (JR/San Antonio, Texas) and hurdler, sprinter and thrower Clayton Townsend (JR/Schertz, Texas); and senior long-distance runners Nathaniel Aguilar (SR/El Paso, Texas), Pablo Cavazos (SR/Pharr, Texas) and Justin Ybarra (SR/Harlingen, Texas).
Newcomers include freshmen jumper and sprinter Thomas Bailey (FR/San Antonio) (FR/San Antonio, Texas), long-distance runners Antonio Bustamante (FR/San Antonio, Texas), Christian Cisnero, Herman Duncan (FR/El Paso, Texas), Patrick Duncan (FR/El Paso, Texas), Izaiah Ramirez (FR/El Paso, Texas), sprinter Ernest Ramos (FR/San Antonio, Texas ) and jumper and sprinter Chandler Sennette (FR/College Station, Texas).
"On the men's returners' side," Sherman said, "it comes down to guys like Clay and Pablo, Nate and Jose - these are guys who've been around for a while. We are going to expect to lean on them. It's definitely an exciting group as well."
Sherman added that on the newcomers' side, "Izaiah had a really huge breakout for us in cross country. We are looking forward to what he can do for us in track. Also, Thomas as a jumper is very talented. We are definitely excited about all of our freshmen."
Assistant Coach Terry Smith returns for his fifth season. Sherman said, "He's huge for us. In terms of the sprint and jump side, I really lean on him to do a lot. We would not be where we are now without him and what he's accomplished. Early on I was a lot more involved but as we've grown together, it's been very easy letting him run things on the spring and jump side."
The Saints begin their indoor schedule this weekend, Jan. 26, in Norman, Okla. The teams will travel to the University of Central Oklahoma for the Weilert Open. After that, OLLU will participate in the Texas Tech University Open Feb. 1-2 and Texas Tech University Matador Open Feb. 15 in Lubbock, Texas. The 54th Annual Indoor Track and Field National Championship will take place Feb. 28-March 2 in Brookings, S.D.
They will begin their outdoor schedule on March 2 at the Trinity University Open, and March 14-15, they will run at the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) Spring Break Invitational. The teams will travel to Kingsville, Texas, next for the Texas A&M University – Kingsville Cactus Cup on Feb. 23. Feb. 28-31, the teams will travel to Austin for the University of Texas Relays.
After the UIW Invitational April 12-13, the Saints will get ready for the RRAC Track and Field Championship that will take place at Pine Tree Independent School District in Longview hosted by Wiley College Feb. 19-20. The Saints will run one more meet for qualifying purposes on May 4 at Texas Tech University – Masked Rider Open in Lubbock, Texas. Then they will get set for the 38th Annual Outdoor Track and Field National Championships will take place May 23-25 at Gulf Shores, Ala.
Future home of the Saints
The Saints are looking forward to working with Southwest Independent School District. The university signed an agreement with them that allows the Saints to use their high school facility, which has lights, a full track field and restroom accommodations. "We are wanting to be able to host some of our own meets in the near future and call this location our home."
Academics are everything
Last year, Derek Barnett was named an NAIA Scholar Athlete, and this year, Sherman looks forward to having more athletes achieve academic awards. "Academics are everything, it's what they are here for," Sherman said.
Fans encouraged to attend local meets
Sherman encourages all Saints fans to come out to their local meets. It's very easy to come out and watch, especially since we will have at least one person in most every event."