By Karen Flores, Arts & Entertainment Editor
The Manhattan College Track and Field Team welcomed six recruits to the upcoming 2023-2024 indoor and outdoor season.
Amongst the six recruits are Christopher Purchia, Thomas Dubnov-Raz and Matthew Coyle.
Purchia, an engineering major, participates in the jump and sprint events, specializing in long jumps. He said that the dynamic in college athletics is very different from the one he had experienced in high school.
“It’s definitely bigger than my high school team, and it’s more intensity and focus going into the sport than in high school,” Purchia said. “In high school, I feel like there’s more room to pull back and relax whenever, but college track is more event-focused and overall focused on getting better.”
Dubnov-Raz, a management major, expresses similar sentiments about the change in dynamics. He competed on multiple Israeli national teams in the U23 division and completed three years of military service. He compared his past experience to his current one at MC.
“Before, I had to combine [military and track],” Dubnov-Raz said. “My team at home was also a lot smaller. But the track in America is totally different, for example, we don’t have indoor seasons in Israel since it’s too hot and muggy, and everything looks more professional here in America. It’s very different.”
Purchia also added that one of the first and most important things being a student-athlete has taught him is time management.
“I would definitely say as an athlete in general, really just managing your time, making sure that you have time for everything is harder than when I was in high school. I think all athletes that are coming in, especially freshmen, are gonna have to go through the learning curve and find their balance between athletics and academics,” said Purchia.
Coyle, a mechanical engineering major, said that he has gotten a hang of his scheduling, making sure that he keeps up with athletic and academic expectations.
“The team kind of forces us to learn time management as quickly as possible because if you aren’t managing your time you kind of get lost right from the beginning,” Coyle said. “I’ve been scheduling pretty much everything and making sure that I get all my work done before I go to practice. Someone said to me, ‘You are a student-athlete, not an athlete student’. I was aware that this distinction was a big part of what I was coming into.”
Dubnov-Raz found that many of the faculty members and coaches were very understanding about his scheduling in regard to his religion and being a student-athlete.
“I found that a lot of the coaches and professors are understanding from the coaches about all the schedules conflicting with the quizzes and assignments,” Dubnov-Raz said. “They are also very understanding about some religious stuff that could overlap with the training schedule and they do not mind changing the times according to those specific needs. But overall, everyone knows that studies first.”
Purchia is looking forward to the new season and hopes that they will produce good results.
“I feel like everybody is here to support one another because, at the end of the day, we all have the same goal,” Purchia said. “That goal is to perform to succeed and to do the best we can consistently and I feel like if we all have that same goal, we got the drive, then we could grow together and produce the best we can as a group,” expressed Purchia.