Men's track team looks to build on strong indoor campaign
After a successful end to the indoor track season, the men?s track team is ready to take on their outdoor season, finishing a great first week of training. Though the team decided to skip the Clarion Early Bird meet, they should still be primed to compete at home next week to open their season.
There were many highlights from the indoor conference meet at the Armory Stadium in New York, including six Carnegie Mellon record breaking performances. The 4 x 400 meter relay team (time of 3:19), the Distance Medley Relay team (10:11), and sophomore sprinter Russel Verbofsky (22.19 in the 200-meter dash) all set University Athletic Association records.
Tom Matta was named UAA indoor track athlete of the year after winning both the weight throw and the shot put. Finally, the men?s coaching staff, headed by Dario Donatelli, was named UAA coaching staff of the year. This impressive conclusion to the indoor season starts the athletes with a strong base for their outdoor season.
The team will face a number of familiar teams this spring. There are a total of six scheduled races for this year?s outdoor season, two of which will be held at Carnegie Mellon?s Gesling Stadium.
The track team will be in action on campus during the Western Pennsylvania Championship on Saturday and the Carnegie Mellon Invitational on April 13. This differs from the indoor season, where the team was forced to travel for each meet since the campus has no indoor track.
In the upcoming season, UAA champions Matta, Verbofsky, Nik Bonaddio, and Matt Dalka will all be seeking to defend their titles. In the early season meets, they will take on local rivals like Grove City, Allegheny, Robert Morris, Washington and Jefferson, and Waynesburg. Though the team?s ultimate goal is the NCAA Championships, the whole season will lead up to the UAA championships, where the men look to improve on their second place finish from the indoor season.
This year?s conference championships will be held at Washington University in St. Louis on the weekend of April 23. With the help of hard training and good weather, the men?s team hopes to use its streak of school and UAA records to set the tone for the rest of the track season.