Men's Track & Field/Cross Country Welcomes New Recruits for 2012-13 Season
Ravens ready to begin 2012-13 season in the fall with the cross country schedule
RINDGE, N.H. (June 7, 2012) – Franklin Pierce University track & field/cross country head coach Zach Emerson announced on Thursday the incoming recruiting class for the 2012-13 men’s program. The upcoming season will prove to be a historic one in Rindge as the University will sponsor the sport of track & field for the first time. The men’s cross country program will also return to intercollegiate competition after disbanding several years ago.
“We are very excited to be welcoming these student-athletes into our program at Franklin Pierce,” Emerson said. “We feel each one of these individuals will represent the University with class, both athletically and academically. They understand the challenges that await them in terms of building this program from the ground up. Personally, I cannot wait for the fall to get here so we can begin competing.”
Coach Emerson also mentioned on Thursday that the women’s recruiting class will be announced at a later date in the near future.
Isaac Fithian is expected to lead a very talented list of runners on the men’s cross country and distance squads. Fithian finished second during his senior year in the mile at the New England Outdoor Championships and was third in the meet his junior year at Prospect Mountain (N.H.). He holds a personal best time of 4:13 in the mile and was a five-time New Hampshire state champion on the track and trail.
Colton Ham will be attending Franklin Pierce in the fall and he will be entering college coming off a fantastic senior season in cross country as he was named the 2011 Gatorade Athlete of the Year for New Hampshire. The Merrimack Valley High School (N.H.) standout had an exciting final year, not only capturing the division two state title and achieving All-New England honors in cross country, but also pumping out impressive personal bests in the two-mile (9:31) and the 800 meters (1:58.4).
Several other freshmen are expected to make immediate impacts in the distance events including Ryan Cross of Suffern High School (N.Y.), who brings with him personal bests of 1:58.5 in the 800 meters and 4:24 in the mile. Chaz Munroe of Concord High School (N.H.) has posted personal bests of 16:15 for the 5K and 9:50 for two miles. Flying milers Lucas McCann of Holy Spirit High School (N.J.), Christopher Birotte of Lynn English (Mass.) and Sean Colford of St. Thomas Aquinas (N.H.) are also experienced distance athletes that will look to make an impact during the first season.
“These are not your typical freshmen,” said Emerson, who praised his recruits for their commitment in constantly working to better themselves as runners. “We are very fortunate to have landed some runners who have not only proven themselves by running very fast times in high school, but who have a very high potential for running fast at the collegiate level. The future looks extremely bright and we can’t wait to see what they can accomplish together.”
Sophomore transfers Antoine Gisore, Makopa Rugabirwa, JT Trujillo and Joseph DiSalvo will bring much needed collegiate-level racing experience to the young distance squad. Last fall, Gisore was the North-Atlantic Conference Runner of the Year, the ECAC individual cross country champion and qualified for the NCAA Division III National Championship with a personal best time of 25:00 for five miles. Gisore was also a three-time New Hampshire state champion on the track for Concord High School. Rugabirwa also comes to campus with an impressive personal best of 25:18 in the five mile.
The recruiting class does not just include distance runners, but also several standout student-athletes who will be bring varying athleticism to track & field.
Vinny Biunno of Central Valley High School (N.Y.) is a versatile athlete, who can compete in a number of events, and will be counted on to be point producer at major meets as a decathlete. Biunno has posted personal bests of 49.7 for 400 meters, 2:01 for 800 meters, 6-5 in the high jump, 14.6 for the 110-meter hurdles and a very impressive 7.7 in the indoor 55-meter hurdles.
Biunno will not be the only multi-event athlete on the Ravens roster as he will be pushed by fellow standouts Ian Goldwasser of Mount Sinai High School (N.Y.) and Robert Jean-Pierre of Lawrence High School (N.J.). Jean-Pierre has impressive bests of 14.74 for the 110-meter hurdles and 22-2 in the long jump.
In the sprinting and relay events, Ryan Dionne of Newburyport High School (Mass.) will arrive in Rindge as one of the most dominant sprinters in Cape-Ann League history and is expected by Emerson to make an immediate impact. Chaz Myers will come to the track squad as he was the 2012 New Hampshire champion in the indoor 300 meters, winning the event by an incredible 1.5 second margin with an outstanding time of 35.8. Adam-Corey Rander of Cardinal Hayes (N.Y.) arrives with bests of 36.1 for the indoor 300 meters and 50.0 for the outdoor 400 meters, while Mike Abrams of Williamstown High School (N.J.) brings outstanding times of 48.42 in the 400 meters and 21.92 in the 200 meters. Shawn DeCost of Nashua South High School (N.H.) is also expected to help create some very competitive relay lineups.
New Hampshire state high jump champion Parker Lyttle of Milford High School (N.H.) will be joining the program and he will bring to school with him a personal best leap of 6-6. He will team up with Tyler LaFountain of Central York High School (Pa.), who has cleared 6-5 during his scholastic career.
In the other field events, AJ Gillis of Oxbow High School (Vt.) arrives on campus as a multiple Vermont state champion in the heavy throws. Chris Bohi of Merrimack Valley High School (N.H.) was the New Hampshire state pole vault champion with a best leap of 13-4, while also being crowned the state champion in the javelin with an incredible mark of 176-10. Axel Lougbo of North Andover High School (Mass.) was a division two Eastern Mass champion and will make an impact in the horizontal jumps.
For more information on Franklin Pierce men’s track & field/cross country, please visit the teams’ respective pages at athletics.franklinpierce.edu(.) To follow the programs even further, please visit Franklin Pierce Athletics on YouTube (www.youtube.com/FranklinPierceSports), Twitter (www.twitter.com/FPUathletics) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens).