Senior Justin Lyttleton is aiming for a big outdoor season to cap off an impressive career at UR. Photo courtesy of Justin Lyttleton.

The track and field team headed south this past weekend to take part in the Washington and Lee/VMI Track and Field Invitational in Lexington, Virginia. Among those to make the trip down was senior Justin Lyttleton.

In addition to his 11th-place finish in the 100-meter dash (11.44) and 14th-place finish in the 200-meters (23.36), Lyttleton helped the men’s 4×100-meter relay team — which also included freshmen Gene O’Hanlon and Kevin DeFranco and junior Nick Chisholm — to a third-place, ECAC-qualifying time of 43.98 seconds.

What’s your major?
American History.

When did you start running?
I started running track as a freshman in high school at St. Raymond’s in the Bronx, N.Y. where I competed in cross country as well as the indoor and outdoor seasons.

What else do you participate in on campus?
Besides track and field, I’ve been Publicity Chairman for UR Hip-Hop for the past two years.

Do you have any pre-game rituals or superstitions?
It is considered  unlucky to drop the baton before the race begins. I also enjoy listening to the song “Power” by Kanye West just before my race, because it gets me hyped.

What’s a more nerve-wracking task — receiving the baton or handing it off?
I  would say [that] for me receiving is the more difficult part, because you need to be able to properly judge the incoming speed of your teammate. If you take off too early, you risk the chance of being out of the fly zone and will be disqualified.

Were you at all suprised by your relay’s performance, especially this early in the season?
It was a huge surprise that we qualified last weekend considering that it was much colder than we anticipated and that we only had one day of relay passes. The fact that we had a top-three finish and an ECAC qualifying time made it all the better.

You have obviously spent time with the members of the relay in practice, working handoffs and running workouts. How has this affected your ability to work with and trust your teammates?
Despite the fact we only had one day of relay practice for the week, we do spend a fair amount of time training and working on our starting and passing techniques. We all have connected quite well over the past couple of weeks, so I have no problems working with my teammates.

What are your hopes for the 4×100-meter relay team when the late season comes around?
Our new goal is to remain healthy and cut our time down by an entire second, hopefully reaching a time in the high 42-second range, before the championship meets in early May. Maybe before the season ends, we can break the school record. But we still have a lot more training to do.

Bernstein is a member of
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