Men’s track and field start outdoor season

“This is the nicest first day of outdoor season we have ever had,” said head coach Dario Donatelli when the men’s track and field team gathered for its first practice this season. Having just finished Indoor University Athletic Association (UAA) with a tie for second place, the Tartans were ready to begin outdoors, with the post-spring break weather in their favor.

The men’s track and field team traveled south to Lexington, Va. for its first meet of the outdoor season this past weekend at the VMI-W&L Track and Field Carnival, hosted annually by Washington and Lee University. There, they were again greeted by warm weather and pleasant competition conditions for nearly the entire duration of the two-day meet.

Working as a team, sophomore Mike Standish, junior Benjamin Nealy, first-year Thomas Vandenberg, and junior Noel Titus ran the 4x400 meter relay race on Friday, finishing strong in fourth place with a time of 3:21.85. Vandenberg also competed in the 800-meter run the next day, finishing with a time of 1:58.33. Sophomore Joshua Newby came in second overall in the 5,000-meter run in 15:03.89.

In the field events, many Carnegie Mellon athletes made strong marks. Sophomore Nathan Cheek placed seventh in the shot put, throwing 13.36 meters. Sophomore Zachary Erra-Hernandez threw the shot put a distance of 14.92 meters, earning an overall first place title in the event. He also placed sixth in the discus, as well as eighth in the hammer throw.

“I’m hoping to build off of all the practices, as well as from the indoor season, to get better each time during outdoors,” Erra-Hernandez said.

In the pole vault, junior Daniel Cardenas Rivero finished second after clearing a height of 4.10 meters, his career best. Competing in his first outdoor season, first-year Michael McDermott placed sixth in the pole vault, as well as third overall in the high jump with a height of 1.90 meters. Senior Ryan Kissell placed sixth in the long jump with a distance of 6.56 meters. He also came in third in the triple jump, clearing 12.94 meters.

The men’s track and field team will continue to utilize the rare good weather for practice. They will be competing this Friday and Saturday at Washington and Jefferson University.