Entering the fourth week of the spring semester, the workload for students on the campus of Waynesburg University starts to ramp up. This is no exception for the indoor track & field teams. The men’s and women’s teams competed twice in Ohio over the weekend—Friday night at Youngstown State University and Saturday at the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio.
“We originally planned on just competing at the Youngstown State meet,” said indoor track & field head coach Michelle Cross. “With a big Division I and Division II presence at the meet, there was a cap set on the number of jumpers that could compete. To not put our athletes in an uncomfortable position, we sent our jumpers and others to Mount Union to get more reps.”
With the jumper’s cap at Youngstown, Cross decided to just send some distance runners up north.
“The Youngstown meets typically do not have a strong field for the 5k,” said Coach Cross. “That is why we decided to send just a few to YSU.”
For the men, sophomore Matt Durgin placed 26th in the 5K with a time of 16:44.7, while classmate Jordan Payne took 31st with a time of 17:21.8.
“Right now, we are looking at [Durgin’s] time because he is already faster in the 5K now than he was last year during indoor PAC’s,” said junior distance runner Mike Cappelli. “He is improving quite well—he’s working really hard and it’s hard to match his work ethic. I don’t think any other distance runners have been working as hard as he has.”
On Saturday at Mt. Union, distance runners, sprinters and jumpers all competed.
For the men, sophomore JaWuan Jones qualified for the 60-yard dash with a time of 7.22 seconds in the qualifier. Jones finished seventh in the finals with a time of 7.23 seconds. He also took fifth-place in the 200 meters with a time of 23.43 seconds.
Junior Mike Trax took fifth in the long jump with a leap of 6.34 meters, while sophomore Dorian Hardy took fourth in the long jump with an attempt of 12.62 meters.
As the season starts to move into its final stretch, Cappelli is eager to see how the team meshes together.
“The guys are looking to come together as a team because the guys in the past couple of years have kind of been sporadic,” said Cappelli. “We have had some lapses in some areas, such as sprints, where we haven’t been as strong in the past few years whereas we are getting stronger now and we are trying to come together more as a unit.”
The Waynesburg indoor track & field teams will get a week off competition before they travel to compete in their final regular season meet at Kenyon College on Saturday, Feb. 16. The PAC Indoor Championship meets will take place the Thursday after.
For Coach Cross, the main focus at Kenyon is to prepare for what lies ahead.
“We typically use creative thinking at Kenyon to place our athletes in the events they are comfortable in,” Cross said. “This allows us to set our goals for the PAC championships and eventually for outdoor season.”