While not included in the varsity athletics program, the New Paltz club track and field team is no stranger to success and popularity.
The New Paltz club track team is entering its third season this winter. The team was started in 2009 by New Paltz student Dan Caruso as a way for the New Paltz Cross Country team to train outside of the fall and spring seasons.
“The ultimate goal of the club is to show that there is both enough interest in track and field on campus and that our team is able to compete, to lead a varsity track and field team and track club for those who don’t wish to participate in NCAA Div. III Athletics,” third-year runner Ethan Cohen said.
In its second year, Cohen took over control of the team. He will step up to the plate once again and will be in charge of the team for the second straight year. Cohen said in this short amount of time, the team has seen its fair share of success.
“In the past we have run very well,” Cohen said. “We took second place in the Mixed division on the Ragnar Relay, which is a 200 mile relay race. We always place well at the Vassar Invitational at the end of the season and last year we put several runners in the top 10 at the Ed Erichson 5 mile race.”
Cohen said he and the team hope to continue this success throughout the upcoming season.
Third-year runner Megan Ehrlich has been a member of the team since its inaugural season as well. Ehrlich runs the 1500 and 800-meter races and said she truly loves running for the team.
“I have been a part of this club team since my freshman year and plan to stay a part of it,” Ehrlich said. “It’s club because it allows people who are not a part of the school cross country team to run and race with us. I know we are going to have an awesome season and I am excited for it to start.”
In her first season, first-year runner Samantha Harris will also be running the 1500 meter and 800 meter races for the club track team this winter.
“I am joining the club team because I really enjoy running, and most of all I love being with all the people on the team that I met while running Cross Country for New Paltz in the fall,” Harris said. “I am really looking forward to getting my times down and having a lot of fun with my teammates.”
Looking to past success during the team’s tenure at New Paltz, the members are excited for another fun, successful year. Cohen said he and the team have very high hopes and the upcoming season looks to be a promising one.