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Track and Field Year-End Notebook


 
 

MEN’S TRACK UPDATE: Head coach Robert Radnoti and administrators within Pepperdine’s Athletics Department are working out details in order to support a smaller version of the Waves’ men’s track program heading into the 2009-10 academic year. 

It was previously announced in late February that men’s track would be discontinued alongside women’s swimming and diving due to the current economic environment; however, Radnoti is determined to find a way in which his top distance runners can qualify and compete at the NCAA regional and national level. 

“I’m grateful to the athletics department for giving student-athletes the opportunity to pursue All-America honors,” Radnoti said. “We haven’t hammered out all the particulars as of yet, but a select few will represent Pepperdine during the track season.”

Radnoti has yet to establish standards for the men’s track team, but will work to identify those athletes who will benefit most and will represent Pepperdine at the highest levels. Those not on the official team will also train and compete during the track season under other provisions allowed by the NCAA.

RADNOTI HEADS HOME TO HUNGARY: Radnoti is heading to his native homeland of Hungary this week to begin a month-long trip working at an orphanage based in Miskolc, which is located two hours northeast of Budapest.

Radnoti was introduced to this opportunity by close friend and Pepperdine German professor David Dowdy, whose daughter and son-in-law operate the orphanage. While there, Radnoti and other Church of Christ members will conduct a sports camp and provide English language lessons.

“I’ve seen some of (Pepperdine professor) Dr. Andrei Duta’s presentations at the University Church on his work with Romanian orphanages and thought, ‘I could do that,” Radnoti said. “I figure we’ll mostly be playing soccer during camp time, but I hope to share some running drills and instill a desire in them to run.”

Radnoti plans to return stateside on July 10 and hopes to updated his blog, which is linked to the cross country and track pages at pepperdinesports.com. Radnoti's most recent blog update can be found here

TRACK’S 2009 HIGHLIGHTS: During the 2009 track and field season, Radnoti's student-athletes broke 19 varsity records and five Stotsenberg Track records out of a combined 25 men's and women's events. All seven relay records were rewritten as well as the field marks in the shot put and discus set by sophomore Aneka Myles (Victorville, Calif./Silverado HS).

On the track, freshman distance runner Lauren Lodge (Hopkinton, Mass./Hopkinton HS) led all Waves with three new individual school records established in the 1,500-meter run (4:39.68), 3K (10:05.44) and steeplechase (10:54.93), while senior Brieanna Carroll (Pusan, South Korea/Pusan American HS) left as Pepperdine's leader in the 5K (17:59.34) and 10K (37:36.08).

“Brie is the first Pepperdine student-athlete who I coached from freshman through senior year and it was thrilling to see her break the school’s 5 and 10K records during the final month of competition even though she was dealing with the pressures of her senior thesis and R.O.T.C. commitments,” Radnoti said.

Elsewhere on the track, sophomore Conrad Wozniak (Irvine, Calif./Woodbridge HS) broke one of three varsity records on the men's side, clocking a time of 8:41.02 in the 3K at UC Santa Barbara.

Pepperdine's sprinters also put forth a solid effort. Sophomore Amanda Ajdari (Valencia, Calif./Hart HS) broke the school's record in the 200-meter dash with her time of 25.56 and classmate Bridgette Walker (Oak Harbor, Wash./Oak Harbor HS) became Pepperdine's all-time fastest runner in the 400 with her mark of 58.03.   

“The teams really proved how resilient they were at our home meet the day after the department cuts were announced,” Radnoti said. “They did not shrink from the challenges and were determined to keep moving this program forward and that was exciting for me to witness. Everyone, including our freshmen, just kept improving as the season continued.”

Even though Radnoti’s men’s track team will be downsized, the third-year head coach remains determined to build a quality program that provides competitive experiences that are second to none yet finds time to give back to community.

This past year, members of all four of Radnoti’s teams volunteered to clean up Malibu’s Dan Blocker Beach and traveled to Tampa, Florida to assist with the orphans of Hope Children’s Home.

“I’m looking forward to building the depth of these teams by attracting high quality student-athletes, who want to continue making progress as a thrower, sprinter or distance runner,” Radnoti said. “We smashed a slew of school records last year and I want to see them all erased again next season.”


 

 

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