Freshman Taj Blount-Oden leaps into the long jump pit Saturday, January 31 at the John Covert Classic at Rauch Field House. The Mountain Hawks will return to action next weekend at the Giegengack Invitational at Yale University. (Meghan Reilly/B&W photo)

Track hopes to achieve championship results


After promising finishes from many of the team members at the Armory Invitational, Giegengack Invitational and Bucknell Tune-Up, the Mountain Hawks are looking to finish in first place this year for their first ever Patriot League Championship.

This upcoming weekend, the men’s and women’s track teams will compete in the Patriot League Championship at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. The meet will start at 12 p.m. on Friday and will continue through Sunday evening.

“The teams have put in a lot of hard work and I look forward to see the hard work pay off with personal records and in the Patriot League Championships results,” sophomore sprinter Leah Ferguson said. “This weekend is a great opportunity for us to get momentum going into our outdoor season.”

This year, both teams are looking to improve their places at the championship. The men’s team came in fifth last year, winning the high jump and the 3000 and 5000 meter runs. The women’s team secured its best finish ever, placing second, with current sophomore Courtney Avery named Rookie Athlete of the Meet and Brooke Astor of the Class of 2014 earning Field Athlete of the Meet. The teams took second, as they were beaten only by Boston University.

“I am expecting there to be positive turnouts, especially in the field events,” said junior Cody Israel, a long and triple jumper. “We have multiple jumpers ranked highly throughout the patriots giving their best efforts and we also have multiple highly ranked jumpers in both long and triple jump.”

Since their last meet, the Mountain Hawks have been putting in a lot of work in order to prepare themselves for this weekend.

“During practice, my event group has continued to push each other, and we have gained confidence from running at Bucknell,” senior mid-distance runner Victoria Mullane said. “We know who is in the top eight in each event and those people need to step up and finish higher than their ranking. I am excited to see how this weekend plays out.”

This season, the Mountain Hawks have made considerable progress. 32 members of the track team made the qualifying times and will be participating this weekend.

Although not all the members are participating, they all have been supportive of each other and are pushing each other to perform up to their potential.

“I personally am not going, but I know that everyone on the team has been working diligently since preseason with the goal of winning Patriots in the backs of their minds,” freshman thrower Brandon Merluccio said. “The coaching staff has been preparing for months, analyzing performances across the league and determining who would go to compete. As of now we know that we have great athletes who can win events and other athletes who will step up and surprise the other teams both on the girls and boys side. We are all looking forward to it.”

After this weekend, the men’s and women’s track teams will be preparing for the ECAC/IC4A Championships hosted by Boston University. It starts on Friday, March 6 and concludes Sunday, March 8.

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