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Albany High Looking To Improve In Outdoor

April 3, 2013

by Eamonn Coughlin

The Albany High School track and field team has always been a threat in the Big 10 conference; this year is no different. The Falcons look to continue their dominance on both the boys and girls sides. Matthew Ayscue, Albany’s head boys coach, is confident that both teams will be successful within the Big 10.

This outdoor season, Coach Ayscue is excited about the talent that both teams offer. Athletes such as Devrin Grant, Chris Walcott, and Blessing Uzoeshi will help score points in the sprints and jumps. While the long distance events are led by Philo Germano, Alessio Fasolloh, and Jac Chaumont. Athletes like these are “hopefully the missing pieces to the puzzle,” said Coach Ayscue.

“We have strong sprinters. The goal is to lengthen those kids out to the 400 and I think we will achieve that,” Ayscue said.

The Falcons strength has always been in the sprints. However, an athlete who is dominant in the distances, such as Germano, will increase Albany’s chances of becoming a real threat in the Big 10.

“Anytime we have a guy that can go 4:17 in the mile, it’s definitely an addition,” said Ayscue.

The goal for Coach Ayscue this season is to have the sprinters work on their endurance and the distance runners to improve their speed.

“If we can build 400 and 800 runners up we can have a lot of success,” Ayscue said. “The real reason behind that is we need more of these types of runners than anywhere else just for the simple fact of being able to put them into relays, and also you can always pull the 400 sprinters down to the 100 and 200 and they’ll typically have a lot of success.”

The Falcons look to capture Big 10 titles

Senior Germano is looking to build on a strong cross country season. During  the fall, Germano qualified for the Nike Cross Nationals, an experience he will always carry with him. After a season that lasted from the summer until early December, Germano decided to take off the winter season and train for outdoors.

“I’ve dropped a lot of times off my easy runners especially over indoor. I was just doing a base period of running some mileage,” said Germano about his break over the indoor season which lasted from December to February.

Both Germano and Ayscue said he should make it to the state meet in June.

Another athlete Ayscue said should qualify for the state meet is Blessing Uzoeshi. Uzoeshi is also a senior who will make a huge impact for the Falcons. Her main events include the 100, 200, 400, and the triple jump. Uzoeshi competed in the state meet during the indoor season for the 300 meter race and is hoping this success will carry over into outdoor. She said that commitment and working hard at practice are important factors to excel in outdoor track.

“You come to practice and do what you have to do and dedication because you definitely have to be committed to do something like this. You have your hard days and your easy days and you need dedication, hard work, and commitment” Uzoeshi said.

This is the first year that Coach Ayscue has been a head varsity coach at Albany High. His first indoor season as a head coach resulted in a second place finish behind Schenectady for the girls, and the boys finished sixth. His goal for the outdoor season is to have the girls win and hopefully have a similar finish for the boys.

The Falcon’s first Big 10 meet is Wednesday, April 10 at Troy High School against the Flying Horses of Troy High and the Cadets of LaSalle Institute.

Although track is a sport that tends to focus on individuals, Ayscue knows that it is not always about the individual. He wants to build a team that can compete in the Big 10 for years to come.

“We’re starting to put a team together that can compete. In the past we always had an outstanding athlete here or there but our focus right now is to put a team together that can really compete,” said Ayscue. “Personally I believe we accomplished that during the indoor season. We built a pretty good base for the majority of our members.” -30-


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