SAN ANTONIO (Jan. 16, 2020) – The Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) men's track and field team tied with Texas College for second place in the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) championship meet last season with 163 points. With the talent coming in this year, Head Coach Stephen Sherman has no doubt the team has a real shot at winning conference this year.
Sherman said, "We have one of the biggest teams this year, and we are definitely the most talented. We have the most depth we have ever had across all events. I am impressed with how well-rounded we are.
"The men are definitely hungry for a plaque for themselves. They've been getting after it since August. I really like the urgency."
In last year's conference meet in Bullard, Texas, The University of the Southwest captured the title with 176 points, closely followed by the Saints and Bulldogs with 163. Huston-Tillotson finished at 102, Jarvis Christian College at 91 and Wiley College at 44."
Two Saints' winners returning to the team this year are Andrew Moczygemba (SR/San Antonio, Texas), who won the 5000m, and Clayton Townsend (SR/Schertz, Texas), who won the 110mH. Patrick Duncan (SO/El Paso, Texas) was second in the 4x800mR, while Miguel Segura (JR/San Antonio, Texas) was second in the 4x800mR, third in the 3000m and fourth in the 1500m. In addition, Jose Zarate (JR/San Antonio, Texas) placed second in the 3000m, third in the 1500m and fourth in the 800m.
Sherman said OLLU's strongest competitors will be Southwest and Texas College.
"Last year, Clay crashed through what I thought was his ceiling," commented Sherman. "He absolutely destroyed it, so it's going to be interesting this year to see who Clay is. He is a guy who has worked so incredibly hard and Coach [Terry] Smith has done such an incredible job with him."
Sherman also mentioned Moczygemba. "Drew is a steady force for us. He gives us a lot of options in terms of his range." Regarding Cavazos, Sherman said, "Pablo is somebody who has improved a lot, and we're hoping he can continue on that trend." On the other senior, Lima, Sherman said, "Hopefully this year is where we can get out his full potential."
Other returners include juniors Segura (long distance), Zarate (long-distance, thrower); sophomores Antonio Bustamante (SO/San Antonio, Texas) (long distance), Duncan (long distance), Chandler Sennette (SO/College Station, Texas) (jumper, sprinter),
"Zarate is someone we are going to lean on quite a bit," Sherman said.
The team has added 11 freshmen including Derek Brown (FR/Amarillo, Texas) (hurdler), David Dada (FR/San Antonio, Texas) (jumper, sprinter), Ryan Fuentes (FR/San Antonio, Texas) (sprinter), Tamaj Gordon (FR/San Antonio, Texas) (jumper, sprinter), Christoper Marcus (long distance), Isaac Martinez (FR/Weslaco, Texas) (long distance), Hector Puente (FR/McAllen, Texas) (long distance), Nathaniel Rodriguez (FR/San Antonio, Texas) (long distance), Johnny Samudio (FR/San Antonio, Texas) (long distance), Colton Townsend (FR/San Antonio, Texas) (jumper, sprinter), Paul Williams (FR/Houston, Texas) (sprinter).
According to Sherman, "Paul is going to be good for us. He's probably the best short sprinter we have ever had. He's just a really fast guy with a lot of athleticism."
"Nate is coming off a cross-country championship and Hector has also done very well – both will have a really good track season."
Sherman indicated the team will be more well-rounded this year with the addition of pole vaulting, discus throwing and javelin throwing. These events will be in addition to sprinting, jumping, long-distance, hurdles and shot put.
Assistant Coach Terry Smith returns for his sixth 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. 18, in Norman, Okla. The team will travel to Houston Texas next for the FasTrack Collegiate Invitational Jan. 24-25. On Feb. 21, the Saints will be in Lubbock, Texas, for the Texas Tech Matador Qualifier. From March 5-7, the 55h Annual Indoor Track and Field National Championship will take place in Brookings, S.D.
They will begin their outdoor schedule on March 6 at the Trinity University Invitational, and March 20-21, they will run at the Texas A&M University – Kingsville Cactus Cup in Kingsville, Texas. They will follow that with a trip to San Angelo, Texas, for the Angelo State University David Noble Relays on April 4. After the UIW Invitational April 10-11, the Saints will host the Red River Athletic Conference Championship April 17-18. The meet will take place at the Southwest Independent School District facilities in San Antonio. The Saints will participate in the Texas Tech University Corky-Crofoot Shootout May 1-2, and then get set for the NAIA National Championship May 21-22 at Gulf Shores, Ala.
Academics are everything
Sherman said, "It's always our goal to have our student-athletes excel in the classroom. I expect our men will succeed in the classroom, just as how our women have"
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."