Three of the brightest stars in the Monroe track and field constellation are set to continue their careers in the NCAA. In fact, one has already begun. National discus champion Tatvydas (TK) Kieras has announced that he will be attending Mississippi State in the fall. Distinace runner extraordinaire Ansu Sowe will be at Felician College, and Cassey Griffith has already begun the indoor season at Central Connecticut State.
"This is why we say that a track and field career at Monroe is all about performance and opportunity," said head Coach Mark Goodman. "We work very hard to coach talented athletes to maximize their performances and give them the opportunity to succeed and further their careers. These three have been superlative in every way at Monroe and I am excited for them and their futures. They'll be able to pursue their athletic passion in NCAA programs and at the same time get a quality education."
From the moment the strapping 6'5", 286 lb. Kieras stepped onto the New Rochelle campus, he was a sensation. The decorated Lithuanian discus thrower proceeded to win gold at the prestigious Penn Relays and with an astounding throw of 55.47m (182 feet or 60 yards 2 inchies), became an NJCAA national champion and All-American.
Sowe, too, was an instantaneous star at Monroe. The slender, but athletic 6'4" Gambian has the perfect build for a distance runner and in his very first race for Monroe, he qualified for the nationals in the grueling 10,000m. In his freshman year, he was part of the team that won the Men's Eastrn District Championship, and finished seventh in the 5000m in the nationals. This year he ran cross country, leading the team to a District championship and an appearance in the nationals. He'll be running in the indoor nationals, too, in the distance medley and the 300m.
A versatile sprinter, the 5'2" Griffith, who hails from Sheephead Bay, Brooklyn, qualified for the nationals in the 60m at Yale last year . She was second at Monroe in the 100m (12.26), the 200m (25.49), third in the 400m (1:03:46) and part of the 'A' 4x100 and 4x400 teams.
"We are quite proud that these three will be carrying on what they learned from Monroe into the NCAA," said Goodman, "But this is only the beginning. We're having our best-ever track and field season and I have no doubt that others will follow in their footsteps."