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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Men’s track and field adventures outdoors with spring season

Get ready to smell burnt rubber for the next three months, Beaconville, because UMass Boston Men’s Track and Field is making their way outside with blazing speed for their spring campaign. Although, before they embark on their expedition to become one with nature, the group must follow an arduous regimen that will help them maintain a good relationship with running—one that will hopefully strengthen over time. Truth be told, being able to jump-start their preparation for the spring could help them spring miles ahead of where they’d like to be, and frankly, they need a lot of the help they can get.

Having had their winter season indoors, the Beacons looked like a shell of their former selves, going into hibernation and finishing at the bottom of the Little East Conference’s barrel for several weeks on end. To put things into perspective, the biggest performer for men’s track in recent memory, Jimmy Cannon, ended his career at UMass Boston after graduating last spring. Cannon was a workhorse for the team, earning All-LEC second team honors for his efforts in the 5k run, as seen on Beacons Athletics [1]. Beacons Athletics also reported that, prior to his second place finish at the LEC Championships, he won the same event twice in back-to-back weeks—not to mention that he has stood alone atop the leaderboard for other events, including the 800-meter and 1,500-meter run [2,3,4]. 

Since his departure, the Beacons haven’t been the same; many players finish in the 25th percentile of their races, and the team has made a habit of finishing in last place among other schools. Two of those events include the LEC Championship from a few weeks ago and the Reggie Payou Invitational from Jan. 13, as shown on Beacons Athletics [5,6].

Then again, even with their trials and tribulations, there’s no need to go down the route of conducting a great reset. Instead, it’s about finding sustenance in what they’ve accomplished in recent memory and taking advantage of what went right in those moments. In the grand scheme of things, many athletes on the team—despite holding some inconsistencies—have gone nip and tuck in their respective races, coming down to the wire in some circumstances. For others, they may fall a tad behind—in some cases, only by split seconds—and wind up creating a substantial difference in placements relative to their teammates. If anything, it shows how much things can change when you fall ever so slightly behind, and in this case, it has nothing to do with being a day late or a buck short. 

There are profound examples of these placements across the board, including events that transpired at the LEC Championships and DIII Regionals. At the University of Southern Maine, Derrick Trouba was just .03 seconds off of making the LEC finals heat for the 55-meter dash, an epitomic reflection of how unforgiving this sport can be. Meanwhile, lancertiming reported that Cody Witthun, the sole representative of men’s track at the NCAA Northeast regionals, was five seconds shy of first place, and yet somehow, someway dropped 25 spots to 26th [7]. Granted, dropping 25 spots in five seconds may be expected, especially in one of the most important races of the year, but nonetheless, it’s still absurd, and falling behind is the Beacons’ kryptonite. 

With some of the negatives come positives though, and even with their lack of success as of late, there’s still a lot of excitement to fill the air. Witthun is the biggest example of such; his emergence as a star for the team is promising, and his unforgettable performance in the LEC championship for the 600-meter run exhumes and exudes his upside as a top runner for the program. Trouba has also sparked speculation with his sensational running in the past; his highway robbery in the 55m comes to mind regarding his skills as a runner. Rob Cannon may be one of the biggest heads to look out for, though. As seen on Beacons Athletics, he hasn’t performed up to his standards in recent meets, and he hopes to revamp himself as a true fighter on the rubber—being a perennial LEC rookie of the week winner, as well as earning All-LEC rookie honors provides clear cut evidence of how great he can be. 

That being said, there are a number of other athletes that can substantially help turn the program around—the likes of Melvin Wiltshire, Isaiah Stressman and Brady Poirier come to mind. A lot of the time, the Beacons are shoe-ins when it comes to top ten or top-15 finishes, but recently, they’ve been having to get over the hump of not performing up to speed. With the spring season approaching, it’s a perfect time to get outside and train, especially with Spring Break basically here. The more time out there, the better; getting used to warmer weather will help when burnt out and winded, and if they begin training now, they’d have a head start on their LEC counterparts. The sun may have set early for the Beacons in the winter, but thankfully, here comes the sun for the spring, and from where men’s track stands right now, it’s all right.

 

  1. Men’s Track and Field Nets Trio on Little East All-Conference Team – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)
  2. Men’s Track and Field – Story Archives – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)
  3. Men’s Track and Field Competes at Jim Sheehan Memorial Invitational – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)
  4. Men’s Track and Field Notches Numerous Top-5 Finishes at Regis Spring Classic – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)
  5. Reggie Payou Memorial Invitational Results – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)
  6. 2024 LEC Indoor results MEN (PDF) – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)
  7. Track Scoreboard (lancertiming.com)
About the Contributor
Nick Collins, Sports Editor