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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Track Finding Success, Even in Brutal Weather

Carl+Joseph+is+looking+to+make+his+senior+season+a+memorable+one
Carl Joseph is looking to make his senior season a memorable one

Some things just don’t go well with bad weather. Whether it be walking down the sidewalk in less than ideal conditions, or worn car tires trying to navigate the slick surface of a road. If these actions we perform daily are affected by the crappy weather we’ve been forced to deal with this season, imagine trying to run, jump, or complete any other athletic motion in that setting.
It’s damn near impossible.
The University of Massachusetts Boston track and field teams have learned this first hand. Although the Beacons were able  to start the outdoor portion of their season at the Shamrock Invitational in Myrtle Beach, S.C., over spring break, like many of us, the teams have been troubled by the rotten weather we experienced throughout the winter.
“A lot of schools have been canceling meets because of the weather, which is frustrating,” said senior Carl Joseph, who stars in the high jump for the men’s team. “Sometimes when they get canceled because of bad weather we have to move the meet inside. Once we do that, according to NCAA rules the meet can’t count, so that’s frustrating. Nobody likes putting in work at practice preparing for a meet that won’t even count.”
Only a week after returning to Boston following its trip, UMass Boston was forced to battle bitter and cold temperatures in the low 30s at the Snowflake Classic at Tufts University on March 28. Despite the conditions, which were obviously far from perfect for the athletes, both the men’s and women’s teams had strong performances.
Among those who starred at Tufts, freshman Dom Nda continued to impress after having a breakout freshman campaign during the indoor season. The Pittsfield native captured first place in the long jump, with his final distance of 21-11.00 feet, which bested all competitors. While Nda was a bright spot for the men’s team, the women also took home two top-five finishes in the event, as Anisha Trappier (16-05.25 feet) and Hulerie McGuffie (16-01.75 feet) each had strong showings.
Any success the Beacons experienced at Tufts was certainly due to the team’s trip to Myrtle Beach, where UMass Boston got its first taste of outdoor competition.
“We usually try to start the outdoor season somewhere in the south,” said Joseph. “It was definitely cool to see how some of the big schools down south perform at meets. There was a big turnout, not only Division III, but Division II and Division I teams, too. We got to compete against some athletes who will probably compete in the Olympics—that was cool.”
Joseph and Taylor Hart each showcased their talents in the field events, where both of the senior high jumpers recorded final jumps of 6-.06.00 feet. With their sights set on the National Championships later this spring, Joseph said going up against some of the best athletes the country has to offer helped motivate the team’s performances throughout the trip.
On the track, the women’s 4×200 meter relay team also met the challenge of going up against premier competition. The team, consisting of Emily Andrews, Vanessa Ojekwe, McGuffie and Trappier, absolutely crushed the previous school record by nearly seven seconds with a time of 1:47.35. In the same event, the men’s team of Nobert Simon, Fritz Gustave, and Gath Miriyoga also set a new record for the program, as its time of 1:30.48 was good enough for a seventh-place finish.
For many of the Beacons—especially those who will be graduating later this spring—this year marks one they will never forget. Joseph definitely feels that way, as he also starred on the Beacons men’s basketball team. While the senior hopes to reach new heights for his individual performances, he also remains optimistic about what both teams may accomplish by the end of the season.
“It’s definitely a special year,” he said. “I have a chance to end my career at UMass [Boston] as an All-American, and as a program, both teams have the opportunity to compete for the league title and a National Championship. We’re definitely excited for the year to continue to progress.”
Hopefully the weather will continue to improve so UMass Boston’s footing is even better as the season reaches full swing. The two teams have clearly adapted to be successful no matter what the conditions are, whether hot and sunny down south, or cold and icy back home. Though, it will be exciting to see the Beacons perform without dealing with a frigid setting.