PRINCETON, N.J. (7/13/11) - Princeton men's track & field and cross country coaches Fred Samara and Steve Dolan are proud to announce Princeton's 2011 recruiting class.
"This diverse recruiting class displays Princeton's world reach as the class includes students from five countries and eight states," head track & field coach Fred Samara said. "I'm confident that this group will play a major role in our team's future success."
"We are elated about the addition of such talented group of student-athletes that excel in a wide variety of events," head cross country coach Steve Dolan said. "We look forward to helping them chase their athletic and academic potential here at Princeton."
DISTANCE & MIDDLE DISTANCE
After a record-breaking year, the Tigers future is bright as they welcome a very talented class to an excellent core of returners in this event group. Below are the very accomplished newcomers.
Michael Eggleton from St. Paul's Collegiate School in New Zealand was runner-up at the New Zealand U20 Track Nationals in 2010 at 800 meters. He has a personal best of 1:52.60.
Connor Martin is a graduate of Westfield High School in Indiana where he anchored the winning DMR at the Indiana indoor state meet. Martin closed out an outstanding prep career with personal bests of 4:10.03 for 1600 meters and 9:04.29 in the two mile.
Michael Mazzaccaro comes to Princeton from one of the most storied high school programs on the east coast in Christian Brothers Academy of New Jersey. He had a great high school career that included anchoring CBA to a win in the DMR at the Penn Relays and a 15th-place individual finish at the Nike Cross Country Nationals. Mazzaccaro's prep bests are 4:09.53 and 9:02.46 in the 1600 and 3200 meters.
Matt McDonald from North Hunterdon High School in New Jersey qualified for the Foot Locker National Cross Country Championships and was the New Jersey state indoor champion in the 3200. His personal best in the 3200 is 9:04.82 and he has run 4:15.76 for 1600 meters.
Eddie Owens of Packer Collegiate in Brooklyn, N.Y., had an amazing senior year. He ran the fastest steeplechase of all preps in the U.S., as he clocked 8:59.53. Owens also finished runner-up in the steeplechase at the USA Junior Championships to qualify for the Pan American Games. In the fall, Owens capped a great cross country season with an eighth-place finish at the Footlocker Cross Country Finals. He has a best of 9:04.90 in the 3200 meters as well, which he clocked during the indoor season. (Owens is featured on the front page photo)
Bradley Paternostro from Ramapo High School was the New Jersey state champion in the 800-meter run in 2010. He just missed defending his title in 2011 as he finished runner-up in a personal best time of 1:50.72. Paternostro also shows good potential in the mile as he boasts a 1600 meter personal best of 4:14.12.
Sam Pons of South Pasadena High School won the California state championship in the 3200-meter run as a junior and was runner-up in the same event this past spring. He closed out his senior year with one of the top 3200-meter times in the county at 8:50.67. Pons also displayed good middle distance speed as he ran a personal best of 4:10.37 for 1600 meters. He is equally adept on the cross country course as he was California Division III State Champion and a Nike National Finalist.
SPRINTS & HURDLES
This group of newcomers should make an immediate impact on the Tigers already strong sprint and hurdle crew. The group includes the following four strong competitors.
William Egi from St. Andrew's College in Ontario, Canada has personal bests of 10.98 and 6.92 in the 100 and 60-meter events respectfully. He also looks to have great potential at 200 meters as he develops as a collegiate sprinter. Egi will likely be a very valuable member of the Tigers 4x100 meter relay in the years to come.
Tommaso Greenbaum comes to Princeton from Rome, Italy where he attended Liceo Classico. He has consistently run under 10.90 in the 100 meters this spring. His current personal best is 10.76. Greenbaum is known for his rocket start so it should be fun to see what he will run in the 60 meters in college.
Daniel McCord had a great final year at Half Hallows High School in New York. He recorded the fastest 200 meters in the state with a time of 21.47. McCord also ran a strong 100 meters as he clocked 10.76. In addition to his success in the short sprints, he consistently ran as a member of the 4x400 meter relay team. That relay opportunity will certainly exist next year as three members from the Princeton 2011 NCAA finals quartet return.
A double threat in the hurdles, Rob Mohr comes to Princeton from Batavia High School in Illinois. Mohr posted one of the top times in Illinois for the 110-meter hurdles with a strong run of 14.17. He also had big breakthrough in the 300-meter hurdles this past spring clocking an impressive 37.58 in the event. Look for Mohr to display his talent in both the long and short hurdles for the Tigers.
Adam Bragg from El Toro High School in California should be a great addition to the Tigers national caliber pole vault crew. Bragg should be a threat to score in the Ivy League immediately as he has a best of 4.95 meters (16-3).
Nana Owusu-Nyantekyi earned the distinguished honor of most accomplished student-athlete at Eton College in England. He was the 2010 British junior champion in the triple jump and has a personal best of 14.89 meters (48-10.25).
Stephen Soerens displayed his great jumping ability on both the basketball court and track at Fayetteville High School in Arkansas. He will focus his attention on track at Princeton as he enters with personal bests of 2.01 meters (6-7) in the high jump and 14.4 (47-3) in the triple jump. With his size and all around athletic ability, Soerens has great potential in the multi-events as well.
Scott Rushton of Episcopal High School in Pennsylvania will join already strong throwing unit. Rushton's primary event at the high school level was the shot put where he has a personal best of 18.22 (59-9.50). He was the Pennsylvania state indoor champion in 2011. Look for Rushton to excel in the 35 lb. weight and hammer events at Princeton as well.