This weekend was a little different than usual for the men’s indoor track & field team.
Usually, the team performs Saturday, and then recharges for the next week.
On this occassion, however, the Jackets competed on both Friday and Saturday at the Youngstown State National Mid-Major, an event that included schools like Robert Morris, West Virginia and host YSU.
From the nosebleeds, it’s impossible to tell how the Jackets performed collectively, since there was no team scoring at the event. Individually, however, Waynesburg continued to impress, with 75% of competitors improving upon last week, according to coach Bill Lubich.
“That 75% improvement included 18 total personal records,” Lubich said. “So that puts us on a pretty good training track for our next two meets.”
One of the 18 that set a personal best in Youngstown was freshman Eric Townsend II. Townsend finished with times of 7.22 seconds and 23.27 seconds in the 60 and 200 meter runs, respectively. He was even better in the long jump, where he jumped 6.76 meters, besting all D-III competitors and setting a top mark for anybody in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference this season.
Lubich is well aware of Townsend’s potential, but was surprised that he set a personal best in all three of his events as opposed to just one or two.
“I knew he would improve on any one of those [categories], but to hit all three was very good,” he said.”
Also in sprints, JaWuan Jones finished with times of 7.2 seconds and 23.29 seconds in the 60 and 200 meters, respectively.
“He’s had a nagging hamstring injury in the past, even last season when he did well,” Lubich said. “So we’re kind of getting cautious, because hamstrings just never go away for some reason. They’re always annoying and nagging. So we’re being cautious with that.
Another performance that stuck out to Lubich was that of freshman Aidan Sheely, who PR’d in both the shot put and weight throw.
One odd quark about the event took place Friday, when Lubich said the indoor facility didn’t feel like it was a the correct temperature.
“The facility was very warm on Friday for some reason,” he said. “It was almost uncomfortably warm. So particularly with are distance people, that might have had some effect. The air was very dry, and there wasn’t a lot of movement. That would bother a distance runner more so than a sprinter or a thrower.”
The Jackets have two meets left in the short season, starting this Saturday, Feb. 8, at the Jim Wuske Invitational, before concluding the indoor portion of the track campaign Feb. 27 back in Youngstown for the PAC Championships. For Lubich, the key to holding up through the season is straightforward.
“Keeping everybody healthy,” Lubich said. “Not forcing any strained hamstrings or leg injuries. There’s a little bit of a respiratory flu going around. The people that have it now are being held back a little bit on their training. The people that haven’t had it yet, hopefully they don’t get sick.”
While there have been some issues health wise, overall, Lubich is pleased with how things are going.
“From a coaching standpoint [and] a training standpoint, we’re, no pun intended, right on track,” he said.