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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Men’s track and field runs wild at LEC Championships

UMass Boston’s Men’s Track and Field program participated in the Little East Conference Championships Saturday, Feb. 17. The event took place at the University of Southern Maine. Many Beacons had some impressive performances, but unfortunately for UMass Boston, their point total landed them in last place among the eight teams that fought tooth and nail in each and every race. Nonetheless, there were impressive finishes across the board for the Beacons’ prolific athletes, a few of whom contributed to the team’s score. 

Kicking things off for UMass Boston were Derrick Trouba and Omosigho Asuen in the 55-meter dash. Beacons Athletics reported that both runners were unable to qualify for the 55m finals, but their preliminary marks weren’t too shabby regardless. Trouba nearly became trouble for the finalists with his mark of 6.79 seconds—he was three-hundredths of a second off of paydirt and a chance to make a name for himself in the finals. Asuen was neck-and-neck with him, reaching the finish line in 6.91 seconds.

Following his 55m sprint, Trouba got his feet wet in the 200-meter dash, clocking in at 24.2 seconds in the event, and despite a great time, it wasn’t enough for him to qualify for the finals. Like Trouba, Asuen worked a double by participating in a second event: the 4×200-meter relay. Asuen got things started for UMass Boston, while Melvin Wiltshire, Elmani Debarros and Hugo Dos Santos took the reins as the second, third and fourth runners. UMass Boston wound up nabbing sixth place in the race with a time of 1:40.52, netting a team point in the process. The Beacons ended up with seven total points after their hard day of work. Where did the other six points come from? The Beacons’ top runner, Cody Witthun.

Witthun was one of two Beacons who ran amuck in the 800-meter run, the other runner being Isaiah Stressman. Witthun edged out his previous personal best by .89s—his previous best came the week prior at the Tufts Cupid Challenge with a time of 1:26 flat. His new record of 1:25.11 got him third place, rightfully earning him All-LEC third team honors. Stressman trekked close behind Witthun, and was mere seconds shy of being deemed eligible for the NCAA Division III Regional meet; he crossed after 1:28.43 elapsed. 

Rounding out the track events for the Beacons was Rob Cannon. The lone recipient for the Beacons’ long distance races, Cannon got his running on during the 5,000-meter race, making the finish line eight seconds shy of the 17 minutes at 16:52.34. However, Cannon’s showcase of skills wasn’t enough to get points on the board for UMass Boston, which is arguably uncharacteristic of him given his track record of being a perennial top finisher, not to mention having multiple LEC Rookie of the Week nods under his belt. 

On the field, the Beacons had quite a field day. Stressman also had double duties, seizing the day as both a runner and jumper. He and Prabhdeep Bassan lit up a house of pain for their LEC counterparts, jumping around with distances of 12.27m and 10.52m, respectively. In the final stretch, Olutemi Alofe played a pivotal part in the Beacons’ throwing competitions; the lone ranger unleashed a 10.51m bullet for his best throw of the night, ending both his, and the Beacons’ night, in style. 

Seven cumulative points from the Beacons is a disappointing outcome, but it surely doesn’t show how much talent they possess, as it seems like it was an off day for men’s track more than anything. Plus, the emergence of Witthun and the preparedness of the four runners who lit up the rubber and came together in the 4x200m relay displays the promise this team holds, and above all else, gives them a platform to jump off of. Now, it’s time for UMass Boston to harness that potential as they embark on their journey in the great outdoors, and if there’s anything that springtime teaches the people of New England, it’s that it’s perfect running weather. 


[1] Witthun Headlines Men’s indoor Track LEC Championships At USM – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)

About the Contributor
Nick Collins, Sports Editor