The Keene State College Owls hit the ground running after the cross country and track and field teams experienced a sudden coaching change back in August of 2014.

Tom Pickering was named the interim head coach of the KSC track and field and cross country teams this past October 2014.

Pickering took the position following his predecessor, Pete Thomas, being relieved of his duties in August.

Pickering had spent three years as an assistant coach for sprinters and hurdlers before entering his new position.

Along with his three years at KSC, Pickering has been the head track and field coach at Monadnock Regional High School for the last eight years.

Tim Smith / Equinox Staff

Tim Smith / Equinox Staff

Despite the sudden promotion, Pickering said he enjoys his new role.

“I very much enjoy everyday working in this role for track and field, both for the men and women’s teams. There’s a lot of challenges, but a lot of great young people to work with. The history is strong and we’re working to improve on a daily basis,” Pickering said.

He continued to explain some goals he has in mind for the team this season.

“I’d like to develop a team aspect along with a sense of high-range goals for individuals, but also as a team to work together and support all event areas and through that we’ll be able to draw out the best in the individuals as well,” Pickering said.

The indoor track pre-season began in  November, allowing athletes in events like throwing, jumping and sprinting more time to get to know Pickering, since most of the distance runners were still involved with cross country at the time.

Phillip Parent, a first-year runner, commented on Pickering’s sudden coaching switch.

“Really, so far, Tom is doing a pretty good job. I mean, he was just kind of thrown into the position and he knows there’s certain areas that he needs to work on and he’s been working on those to make it better for everyone, and so far it has been working well,” Parent said.

Sophomore sprinter Alyssa Lombardi agreed.

“He’s really good. He’s very involved with both teams. He’s doing a really good job,” Lombardi said.

Given the temporary nature of an interim position, the two runners both expressed desire for Pickering to become the permanent head coach.

“I think he should stay. If there were a new coach I think it would be more of a struggle for the girls and guys to get into it, but since he was already there I think it’s easier of a transition,” Lombardi said.

“I would like to see Tom be a long-term coach,” Parent said, “He seems to know what he’s doing. He’s good at understanding athletes and being able to change things and adjust to different situations.”

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