UNCG track and field programs sign four male student athletes to NLIs
GREENSBORO, NC – UNC Greensboro head track and field coach Linh Nguyen announced Wednesday the commitment of four male athletes to National Letters of Intent. The student-athletes will compete in both cross country and track.
Bobby Belcher (Hope Mills, NC/South View HS), Andy Clyne (Washingtonville, NY/Washingtonville HS), Taylor Hurst (Stone Mountain, GA/Lakeside HS) and Anthony “AJ” Savoia (Haverstraw, NY/North Rockland HS) will enroll at UNCG next fall. Savoia, a high school All-American, becomes the first-ever high school All-American to sign with the Spartans.
“I'm very excited about this year's recruiting class. It is one of the most talented classes in our program's history,” said Nguyen. “Every one of these young men has the ability to be serious contenders in the conference both in cross country and on the track. All four of them are not only talented, but driven and dedicated to becoming the best. I look forward to them joining us in the fall.”
Belcher is a three-time all conference selection in cross country and a two-time first-team all-region selection at Hope Mills HS. He was the 2006 cross country conference champion and earned All-State Indoor track honors in the 4x800 relay. Belcher enters with three solid personal records in the 800m (1:55), 1600m (4:28) and 5K (16:24).
“Belcher is a local North Carolina product who I think is going to develop into a really solid contributor for us,” said Nguyen. “He's strong in the middle distances but should also have an impact in cross country. Bobby has a lot of potential and could become a real player in the conference.”
Clyne is a two-time county champion in cross country and has been named to the fourth-team all-state cross country team twice in his high school career. The Washingtonville, NY, native is a two-time NYS Section Nine champion in the 1600m and a two-time county champion in the 1600m. Clyne enters with impressive personal records in the 800m (1:53), 1600m (4:16) and the 5K (15:17).
“Andy is a huge addition to the UNCG team, “said Nguyen. “He could contend for SoCon Freshman of the Year in cross country and be a threat for the conference title in the 1500. Andy has great range and I look for him to have an immediate impact.”
Hurst, one of three signees from outside the state of North Carolina, is an all-state selection in Georgia in the 400m, 800m and the 1600m. He is a county champion in the 800m and 1600m and is Lakeside HS’s sprint medley school record holder. In the Georgia 4A state championships he had third place showings in the 800m (1:55) and the 1600m (4:26). The Stone Mountain, GA native, also finished in third place at the USATF Youth Nationals in the 800m last summer.
“Taylor is another strong middle distance runner, “Nguyen said. “He is one of the top 800m runners in the state of Georgia and has had a lot of success in the 1600 despite only running it 3 times. Taylor could eventually challenge for the SoCon title in the 800m.”
Savoia, a native of Haverstraw, NY, becomes the first HS All-American to sign with the Spartan cross country/track program. He earned All-American status by virtue of a fourth place finish in the 2K Steeplechase at the Nike Outdoor Nationals last summer. He is an eight-time county champion in both cross country and track and earned fourth team all-state honors in cross country. Savoia is also a NYS Section 1 champion in the 3K Steeplechase, the 3200m and the 4x800 relay. Savoia also enters with some of the fastest times the program has seen in the 1600m (4:22), 3200m (9:29), 3K Steeplechase (9:31), 2K Steeplechase (6:12) and the 5K (15:56).
“AJ is the first individual high school All-American in UNCG history,” Nguyen said. “His steeplechase times as a junior make him an immediate threat to win the SoCon. I also feel that he could also be a contender for SoCon Freshman of the Year in cross country.”