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The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Men’s track and field falls hard at Tufts Cupid Challenge

UMass Boston’s Men’s Track and Field has recently fallen on tough times, failing to overcome the hurdles they’ve faced. After posting top performances across the board in their previous bouts, their showing at Tufts University’s Cupid Challenge proved to be nothing but a challenge for them to create some magic, as Cupid shot and stopped them dead in their tracks. Only one Beacon runner was able to generate a top 10 finish on the day, while other athletes gravitated toward the bottom of the staircase.

Hugo Dos Santos started the day for the Beacons in the men’s 60-meter prelims, taking 46th out of 51 ranked competitors, according to Harrier Race Management. [1] The rank may not be ideal, but Dos Santos is continuing to improve his strength and stamina as the weeks go on, grabbing hold of a new personal best in the event with a 7.73 second finish, per Beacons Athletics. [2] He felt up for the challenge of working a double at the event, partaking in the 200-meter alongside Elmani Debarros and Brady Poirier. The group finished for the Beacons in that same order, breaking the plane in 40th, 50th and 55th place, respectively.

In the 400-meter, Nouradine Sheck conquered the race alone for UMass Boston, sprinting his way to a 1:02.41 mark and 28th place finish. Despite Sheck’s lower ranking, the Beacons saved their best finishes for the mid-distance competitions. The 600-meter featured the two best finishes the Beacons would have on the day; the race featured Cody Witthun—who’s come into his own the past few meets as an impactful, reliable runner—and Isaiah Stressman, who has also made lasting impressions both running and jumping. While the team slowed down compared to recent weeks, Cupid must have hit the sweet spot for these two because they got in gear with ease. Witthun cracked the top 10 after a 1:26 finish on the dot, while Stressman finished five spots behind at 15th out of the 22 runners, crossing just .29 seconds before a trio of Trinity College bantam weights dropped him to 18th. [1]

Making the 5,280 foot journey around the track were Robert Cannon and Sebastian Bien Amie, and they didn’t run away from their four trips around the synthetic rubber empty handed. Cannon collected a needed morale victory after a not-so-pleasing 43rd place finish, his sub-five minute time of 4:55.82 is certainly something to be proud of. The same can be said for Bien Amie, 50th place is the opposite of what one would hope for in this situation, though he still crossed in a decently short amount of time at 6:38.31. [1]

Cannon and Bien Amie’s efforts in the mile run soon worked its way over to the Beacons’ most established field athletes, who were able to jump and throw because Cannon and Bien Amie ran. Prabhdeep Bassan and Mocktar Seck took everything in stride in the long jump, leaping into 30th and 34th place on the leaderboard after posting lengths of 5.29m and 4.29m, respectively. Bassan also made leaps and bounds in the triple jump, securing 14th place after catching some air with an 11.05m mark. Olutemi Alofe and Arthur Grant put UMass Boston on the map by putting some craters into the ground via shot put, taking 33rd and 41st with throws of 10.76m and 9.39m, respectively. Their throws ended the Beacons’ day with authority.

The Tufts Cupid Challenge did not shower the Beacons with love; in fact, it did quite the opposite. Men’s track has a lot of work to do before the Little East Conference Championship comes around Feb. 17 at the University of Southern Maine. A lot of the Beacons’ success has come from their group of experienced players; people like Rob Cannon—a perennial rookie of the week winner—and Cody Witthun, a now third-year player, come to mind when it comes to who keeps the teams’ wheels turning. Now, it’s on the shoulders of the new players to step up and assert themselves with the intent to halt the success of some of the LEC’s top runners, jumpers and throwers. Practice makes perfect, and perfection doesn’t come overnight, but progress comes from practice, and above all else, a little goes a long way.


[1] UMass Boston’s Results – Tufts Cupid Challenge | Harrier Race Management

[2] https://beaconsathletics.com/news/2024/2/5/general-mens-track-and-field-competes-against-cupids-arrow-at-cupid-challenge-from-tufts-university.aspx



About the Contributor
Nick Collins, Sports Editor