The Goergen Athletic Center field house welcomed the men?s track team back for its first meet of the new year last weekend.
UR won Saturday?s ?Millenium Icebreaker? scoring a convincing 156 points over Alfred State University (112) and the Rochester Institute of Technology (84) in what coach John Izzo described as a ?workman-like performance. We knew exactly what we had to do and we did our job.?
One might think that a long winter break may have affected individual performances, but UR seemed unfazed. Senior co-captain Jon Coyles praised the team?s efforts.
?All of our times seemed to be just as good as before [break], if not better. Everyone put in the work over break, and it paid off,? Coyles said
UR placed first in 11 of 18 events, including strong performances by junior Andrew MacMillan who won the 1500- meter run with a time of 4:10.64 and junior Ayaz Abdulla, who won both the long jump and the triple jump with marks of 6.78-meters and 13.51-meters respectively.
However, the team?s true stren-gth however, went beyond first-place finishes. ?We didn?t just win races, we used our depth to place and gain more points,? Coyles said.
Consistency will be key to the team?s efforts this weekend as it travels to face a strong St. Lawrence team in Canton, NY, trying to avenge a close second-place finish behind the Saints last winter. Coyle said the meet will be a good test for the team.
?We?re really looking to come together as a team. It should be a good measure of where we?re at,? he said.
Izzo described this part of the season as an ?experimental stage,? as the team looks to each athlete to define exactly which events they will focus on in qualifying for East Coast Athletic Conference, New York State and national meets.
Several athletes have already qualified for both ECAC and state- level competition. A few, including Abdulla (long jump, 4×400-meter relay) are on the the brink of qualifying at the national level.
Looking ahead, Izzo expects times to keep improving as the team continues to train and move onto faster surfaces as they will travel to Cornell University and Boston University.
?Our track is excellent for training, but it?s difficult to reach optimal times in the sprints and middle distances. Learn to run here, and when you get on a fast track you can fly,? added Izzo. UR will be back home on Feb. 2 at 4:30 pm for the UR Invitational