2019 Men's track and field preview

Conrad Pereira comes off a great freshman season looking to add to his repertoire in 2019
Conrad Pereira comes off a great freshman season looking to add to his repertoire in 2019

With arguably the best recruiting class in program history, the Men of UC Santa Cruz are looking to have a phenomenal 2019 season. With 12 incredible freshman, the 2019 roster will have a new, youthful presence. With a balance of talented upperclassmen and motivated newcomers, the Banana Slugs look to add numerous All-Region Honorees and National caliber performances during the 2019 Track & Field season.

Sprints/Hurdles/Relays

Highlighted by a trio of sophomore sprinters; Conrad Pereira, Max Schoerner, and Thomas Thomsen look to pick up where they left off last season.  Conrad surged to breakthrough performances in the 400m becoming one of the most talented freshman in the West Region. Max made breakthroughs in the short sprints and Long Jump to become an elite sprinter/jumper.  After a year of transition to the collegiate High Hurdle, School Record Holder Tommy had a great pre-season and appears ready to make great strides in the Hurdles.

Freshman Ethan Bizzack (St. Mary's College HS, Berkeley, CA) and Nico Phocas (International School of Bangkok, Thailand) look to contribute at a high level instantly. Ethan had an incredible last month of his Senior season that resulted in a NCS Meet of Champions berth. Ethan should provide instant speed in the long sprints, and be able to add quality legs on both relays. Nico has the potential to contribute in a number of events, but the 400 hurdles is where he should make an immediate Regional and National impact.

Middle Distance/Distance

After a phenomenal 2018 Cross Country season, the Banana Slug Men will continue to excel across all of the distance events. USATF Junior Nationals Qualifier Nick Kleiber had a breakout Cross Country season that saw him shatter the 8K School Record.  He'll looks to improve his current School Records in the 1500m and 3000m Steeple. 3x NCAA Cross Country Championships Qualifier Paul Colosi looks to improve on his 5K All-Region performance last season, and make his 10K track debut. Cross Country National Qualifiers Raymond Breault, Dante Capone, and Tyler Rule looks to produce upperclassmen depth in the distance events. With a collegiate Track season under their belt sophomores Kellen O'Neill, Luke Trafecanty, and Mateo Ramirez look to challenge our School Records and move up in the National rankings.

After tremendous freshman Cross Country campaigns, Will Daschbach (Gilbert, AZ), Walter Teitelbaum (Piedmont, CA), and Perry Winsor (Davis, CA) look to make immediate impacts on the Track. Will enters as the second fastest freshman in Banana Slug Cross Country history, and will look to break the freshman School Record in the 5000m. Perry and Walter showed significant improvements during the Cross Country season and should immediately transfer that speed to success in the middle distances.

Jumps

Sophomores Mason Pierce, Conrad Pereira, and Max Schoerner look to continue to lead the Banana Slugs in 2019. Mason ended the 2018 season as one of the top Freshman Vaulters in the country and narrowly missed becoming the first NCAA qualifier in UC Santa Cruz Track & Field History. Conrad and Max look to build on their 2018 Regional Rankings and jump into the national spotlight.

Freshman Christopher Lee (Johns Creek, GA) looks to add depth at the Pole Vault event. Already clearing 4.29m (14 ft.) in High School, Christopher has made huge improvements this offseason and should be expected for a breakthrough season.

Throws/Multis

Senior Captain Brandon Nicely will look to lead the Multi-Eventers this season. With a year at UC Santa Cruz under his belt, expect Brandon to make huge improvements this season. He'll be joined by Conrad Pereira making his Multis debut this season. After making huge contributions in the Sprints and Jumps, Conrad will look to be equally impressive in the Decathlon.