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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Track and field continues to sprint towards goals

Image from Regis Spring Classic. Photo by Katie Wilbert

And the teams keep running, running and running, running and running, running and running, running. UMass Boston got their track and field season started with familiar faces from both men’s and women’s cross country leading the way. Winter track began in early December, with the Suffolk relays on Dec. 3 being the first event held, and many UMass Boston students showed out with terrific performances, including an absolutely tremendous, record-breaking run by graduate student Jimmy Cannon, who has carried his strong cross-country season over to winter track.

Men’s track ended up finishing in 11th place out of the 16 teams that participated with a total accumulation of 12 points, but Cannon’s run was definitely one of the biggest highlights of the season, let alone the day. Cannon was able to shatter a UMass Boston record set 34 years ago in 1988, having an unforgettable career day in the 5,000m run. He finished in first place for the competition and became the new UMass Boston record holder for the event after he shaved over two seconds off former UMass Boston track player Peter Gregory’s record time. Cannon finished in 15:20.18 and defeated Gregory’s previous record of 15:22.60 (1).

Other noteworthy performances included the one put on by Jimmy’s brother Rob Cannon. Rob notably had a very strong cross-country season that saw him win multiple Little Eastern Conference awards. He finished the 5,000m run in 10th place in his indoor track debut, while both brothers finished in first and second place in the second section of the 5,000m run (1). Runs by other players included freshman Melvin Wiltshire, who came in 32nd place in section eight of the 200m run with a time of 24.22s, while UMass Boston finished 11th overall in the 4x200m Relay with a time of 1:43.22 (1).

Women’s track ended up having a very strong showing at the relays as well, where they finished in fifth place out of the 14 teams that participated in the event. The team came out of the event with 38 points scored, much attributed to exceptional displays all around that included a number of top-five finishes (2). Sophomore Dorinda Okorji came in fourth place in the 60m finals with a time of 8.12s, while freshman Angelina Mazzone came in second place in the 600m Run with a time of 1:58.60. Mazzone fell just a second behind Emmanuel freshman Emily Green, who finished atop the leaderboard (2).

Sophomore Harleen Bassan also provided six points for UMass Boston after she came in third place in the 800m run with a time of 2:46.62 (2). Freshman Jacqueline Earner, who was a top performer in cross country this past fall, also made her indoor debut and came in fourth place in the 1,000m run with a time of 3:35:08, as she tacked on another five points for the Beacons (2). Both teams anticipated a carryover of momentum in their meet the following week at the UMass Indoor Open on Dec. 10.

Women’s track saw remarkable performances put on by Okorji, who finished first among all Division Three runners in the 60-Meter Final with a time of 8.19 seconds, placing her eighth overall (3). Okorji also finished 36th in the 200m final with a time of 26.27s, while sophomore runner Grace Colon came in 20th in the 3000m run. It was Colon’s first meet of the season and she finished with a time of 12:32.67 (3). Bassan also finished 11th in the 800m run at 2:41.64, while Earner came in 12th in the mile run with a personal best of 5:45:00 (3).

For the men’s team, the Cannon brothers performed well, with Jimmy coming in seventh place in the 3,000m run with a time of 8:48.24 (4). Rob came in 17th in the same event with a time of 9:36:56 (4). Jimmy also participated in the mile run, coming in 23rd and setting a new personal record that dated back five years to the 2018 Springfield Maroon and White classic. He beat his previous record by nearly eight seconds for a time of 4:35.93 (4).

Needless to say, both teams performed well in their first two events of the season, with both personal and collegiate records shattered in the matter of a week-long span. Knowing how great the performances have been so far, not to mention the terrific output that many of these players showcased in the fall during the cross-country season, there’s a lot to look forward to. With a lot of newcomers and undergraduate students making up both teams, it will be exciting to see more personal and professional records be broken once again, especially knowing it’s possible that will be the case soon with the players out there now.

    1. Jimmy Cannon Breaks 34-Year Record in 5,000 Meter Run at Suffolk Relays – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)

    2. Mazzone, Women’s Indoor Track Have Strong Showing at Suffolk Relays – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)

    3. Women’s Indoor Track Competes at Beacon Invitational at New Balance – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)

    4. Men’s Indoor Track Competes at Beacon Invitational at New Balance – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)

About the Contributor
Nick Collins, Sports Editor