Building for the future

by Dustin Smothers

As another year of Storm athletics begins to unfold, the men’sand women’s

cross country teams’ are beginning a fresh season with a newhead coach and a

rejuvenated attitude.

Todd Deely has taken over the reigns as head coach for both themen’s and

women’s cross country teams’. Deely comes to Simpson afterspending six years at the

head of the Roger Williams University men’s and women’s crosscountry program in Rhode Island.

There, he built a strong program, which boasts four consecutivewomen’s

conference championships and three consecutive men’s conferencechampionships.

Deely’s prior coaching experience comes from being the headcross country and

track coach at Westport (Mass.) High School, where the girlscross team has back-to-back undefeated seasons with two leaguechampionships. Deely, who also has collegiate running experience,attended the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth where he was afive time letter-winner in cross country and track and field.

“Taking over a program is difficult, but our goals for thisseason are to institute my program, focus on recruiting heavily,rebuilding and obviously to improve on

last season,” Deely said.

Rebuilding seems to be the name of the game this year for thecross country

program as only four senior men and seven senior women arereturning this year. The men have eight runners out this year andcoach Deely would ideally like to have 18 or 20

guys out.

“Because we have such a small roster we can not afford injuriesthis season,” Deely said.

One important piece of this small group is senior and 2003all-conference selection Nick Bowerman

“Nick has been running well and is a strong member of thisteam,” Deely said.

On the women’s side of things it seems to be the exactopposite.

“We have more depth and more talent on the women’s team, but weare missing a

strong conference performer,” Deely said.

The women have 14 running this year, which puts them in a betterposition than the men, but recruiting will still be a necessity forboth teams.

“It has been a pretty easy transition,” senior Emily Fuerstenausaid, when

asked about the challenges of changing coaches. “We willhopefully make a strong showing in the conference this year and getthe gap from our first runner to last runner even closer thisyear.”

“One of our big goals is going to be to win the conferencechampionship, if

you do that your going to be one of the top ten teams in thecountry,” Deely said.

Recruiting is going to be a must this year and Deely plans torecruit in and

out of state runners, many from the New England area where Deelyspent much of his time before coming to Simpson.

“We are going to visit kids at home, watch meets, make phonecalls and get athletes to come take a look at Simpson, which itselfhas a lot to offer and has a great reputation,” Deely said.