January 24, 2009

Casertano Preparing For Run at MLL

Jan. 24, 2009

Tyler Casertano, a former Yale lacrosse player, is dreaming of playing the sport as a professional. Instead of taking a traditional route to prepare for this spring's tryout, he is going to the mountains to hike and ski.

Casertano, picked by Denver in the second round of last December's Major League Lacrosse Supplemental Draft, was the 19th overall selection.

Yale's leading scorer last spring is living in Jackson, Wyo., and training at the famous Jackson Hole Resort.

"I will be skiing that (Jackson Hole), which will be a great workout for my legs, but I also plan on doing a lot of skiing in the back country. It means skiing the unbelievable mountains in the Teton Range, which are truly spectacular peaks," said the Millbrook, N.Y., native who attended Loomis-Chaffee.

Casertano will be hiking and skiing the mountains in Teton National Park and the mountains that sit near the Teton Pass, a road that travels through the mountains. These are not typical ski mountains. There are no chairlifts and skiers have to hike to the peaks with skis strapped to their backpacks.

"I can use special bindings and skins that strap onto the bottom of my skis. It's like I am cross country skiing my way up the mountains. As you can imagine, that's a pretty intense workout," said Casertano.

Casertano, the Bulldogs' leading scorer in 2008 with 41 points and a first-team All-New England pick, has not abandoned all the traditional training methods.

"I have also been running and lifting weights, doing my best to follow the incredible routines that Coach [Emil] Johnson designed for us back at Yale."

Casertano has also discovered some unique lacrosse training regimens in the gym.

"The gym out here also has an amazing indoor rock climbing facility. Rock climbing is an unbelievable workout for your hands, wrists and forearms, all of which are very important in a stick-based sport like lacrosse. All of these workouts are enhanced by the fact that the town of Jackson sits more than 6,000 feet above sea level, and the mountains stretch above 10,000 feet. The lack of oxygen in the air up here makes the workouts more difficult but also more rewarding, both physically and mentally."

The 2008 academic all-American is doing exactly what he should be at this point in his life, trying to become a professional athlete in his favorite sport. And it's a more interesting way to do it.

"When I'm out of the gym, I don't think of these activities as workouts. I am just having fun climbing mountains and skiing down them, enjoying the truly remarkable environment that surrounds me."

Release filed by Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD & Sports Publicity Director