NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Looking to take even greater strides in its third official season as a varsity program, the Merrimack men's and women's track and field teams officially begin the 2012-13 campaign on Saturday, Dec. 1, when the Warriors compete in the UMass-Boston Invitational to commence the indoor season.
Competing in the event for the first time ever, the Warriors will rely on a blend of experience from the familiar faces who have been pioneers for the young program, as well as a blend of newcomers who have already proved to run well beyond their years in the fall's cross country season.
For the men, the Warriors will turn to familiar faces in junior Jesse Fowler (Lynn, Mass.) and graduate returners Ethan Weaver (Brooklyn, Conn.) and Ian Weaver (Brooklyn, Conn.), who return to pace short-distance sprints and the middle-distance relays.
Fowler has been an anchor in the short-distance sprints, owning the school record in the 60 meter, 100 meter and 200 meter races. Both Weavers, meanwhile, have dominated the 400 meter in their career and have combined to hold the top five best times in school history.
Heading to the distance events, Merrimack will have to replace the strengths of 2011-12 captain John Doherty, but returning sophomore Luis Cruz (Lawrence, Mass.) should have plenty of help in freshman Nick Christensen (Peabody, Mass.) and sophomore transfer Sherif Ali (Cliffside Park, N.J.), who are both coming off stellar fall cross country campaigns.
Over on the women's side, plenty of experience highlights what should be a well-rounded and much-improved squad heading into the year.
Lead sprinters Mary Murphy (Boxborough, Mass.) and Desiree DeLeon (Salem, Mass.) will look to improve on their successful freshmen seasons. Heading toward the distance races, junior Briana Devereaux (Londonderry, N.H.) will be guided by the influx of new talent, highlighted by the Northeast-10 Conference Female Rookie of the Year Kerry Phelan (Peabody, Mass.), who enjoyed an impressive debut season in cross country.