The men’s track & field team opened the outdoor season March 17 at the Muskie Duals Invitational in New Concord, Ohio where there was no team placing but rather an opportunity to prepare for the rest of the season.
The weather conditions were more than off putting that teams didn’t even come because of the harsh weather conditions.
Head coach Michelle Cross saw that her runners would be impacted by the weather and saw that her sprinters would be most affected.
“The first meet of the year is always kind of a question mark because of weather,” said Cross. “This first meet was a very cold weather meet so obviously the one that effects the most is the sprint team.”
Cold weather can lead to more pulled hamstrings and other injuries but Cross felt her team was able to handle it well by placing in many of the sprinting events. Overall it was a good meet according to Cross where they may see improvements from some new events.
“In general, I think it was a good start to outdoor. We saw some new arrivals in javelin, people who have yet to compete in javelin and discus. It’s kind of fun to see what talent we have there,” said Cross. “In general, I think it went well, but it was kind of difficult, but it went well.”
Freshman Roman Lessard in the javelin throw has started to make a name for himself, as he placed second. Lessard’s top throw sailed 50.7 meters. Cross continued on why she felt Lessard had an impressive performance.
“Probably the most excited performance from underclassmen was [Lessard],” Cross said, “He did a very nice job in the javelin and I’m excited to see where that goes.”
The weather was a problem in many ways, even for the Waynesburg pole vault record holder, Mitch Kendra, but even through the difficult weather he was able to push through.
“[Kendra] pole vaulted in crazy weather. It was kind of fleeting rain when he did his ended very well,” said Cross. “He did wonderful, he got a 13.6 which is under his 14.6 but it’s very good considering all the conditions.”
One thing that was a problem for Waynesburg was missing competition, ironically. Due to the weather conditions teams deferred not to come or deferred not to bring most of their athletes.
Despite other teams not bringing their full squads, Cross had a reason for making her athletes compete.
“The weather that it was on Saturday could be like that in two months,” Cross said. “Spring is just like that, so they have to learn how to compete in all areas.”
Cross also thought that the weather could have impacted some of the runner’s performance, but the experience provided growth for the runners.
The men continue their season at the Carnegie Mellon Invitational on March 24 in Pittsburgh, PA.