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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Indoor Track kicks off season at UMB Invitational

Tad+Delaney
Tad Delaney

The 2013-2014 University of Massachusetts Boston Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track and Field teams are finally ready to hit their stride this upcoming season, a season Head Coach Consandria Walker calls “rebuilding year.” Walker, now in her fourth season as Head Coach, said her squad will face a tough uphill battle, losing some of the team’s key components in seniors Henry Morales, Hamza Abdul, your’s truly, and Samara Faustin. Other role-players such as Julian Hubbard and Matthew Nardiello have transferred for personal reasons. However, the team does return a few outstanding athletes in Tylor Hart, a National Outdoor Qualifier in the High Jump, Fritz Gustave, last year’s Outdoor Little East Conference Champion in the 100 and 200 meters, and transfer Shawn Lawson.
On the Women’s side, sophomores Hulerie McGuffie, an Outdoor All American in the 400 meters, and Anisha Trappier look to build on incredible freshman seasons and continue their success in the sprints and jumps, while seniors Anitra Kloczewiak, Renee O’Brien, and Ariana Leao bring leadership and are more than capable of scoring a decent amount of points in the sprints, jumps, and throws.
Coach Walker did not hesitate to mention junior Chhenlee Ly, a hurdler-turned-middle-distance runner for the winter, as someone who can step up and supply leadership and depth to the team. Fellow junior Tad Delaney will be taking over as the team’s top distance runner. He is coming off a strong Cross-Country season, and has a tremdous amount of endurance. Tad has the potential to be a scoring threat in the Mile, as well as the 3000 meter run. Sophomore transfer Angelica Pizzi is the Women’s top distance runner. Like Delaney, she is coming off a good Cross-Country season, and will be competing in the middle-distance events. Junior thrower Nicole Aube will also be a big help for the Women’s team, as she looks to continue to improve her personal bests, as well as assist in the improvement of her fellow throwers. The team has a new throwing coach this year, as Carly Mauch has taken over for Bill Foley.
According to Coach Walker, one of the most important aspects of a team with many new faces is “understanding to be patient.” She said “we inherit some athletes that come in and have some bad habits (i.e. throwing technique, running form), so what we want to do is break those habits and build off of that.”
In terms of where this team is at right now compared to the rest of the Little East Conference, it’s hard to say that they are ready to be a contender…at least not yet. “(Being a Conference contender) will take more time because we still don’t have the numbers,” Coach Walker says. “We have about 20 people per team and we are going up against teams with about 40 athletes. We will have individual champions.” Coach Walker also cites the fact that the school lacks the facilities and other necessities (such as campus housing) to sway recruits to come to UMass Boston. As she states, “If we can get dorms and facilities, I think we can improve, but it will take time.”
On Dec. 7, the team hosted the Second Annual UMass Boston Invitational, the team’s first meet of the season. Some top performances included junior Shawn Lawson, who placed third in the 200 meters and 16th in the 400 meters, while fellow junior Nobert Simon placed 32nd in the 200 and 20th in the 400. Freshmen Kelly Desane placed 24th in the 200 meters and Xavier Romero placed ninth in the 60 meters hurdles. Tylor Hart picked up where he left off from a season ago, placing fourth in the high jump.
On the Women’s side, sophomore Hulerie McGuffie and senior Renee O’Brien placed first and fourth in the 400 meters, respectively. The duo also teamed up to place third and fifth in the 200 meters, respectively. Senior Ariana Leao placed second in the 800 meters, and classmate Anitra Kloczewiak placed 12th in the weight throw. Freshman Jasmine Smith placed sixth in the shot put. The Beacons will be back in action on January 4th at the Roxbury Community College Tiger All-Comers Meet.