Trax leads the way for men’s track & field team at WVU

Mike Trax wasn’t initially going to participate in the long jump event for Waynesburg track & field. After sizing up the pit and warming up, Trax knew he was locked in and asked his coach if he could be entered in the final moments leading up to the event.

After he was approved to compete, Trax went on to set a new personal record in the long jump and secure a top-10 position in Division III in the event.

“I was feeling good, so I talked to my jump coach Luke Payson and talked to the officials there and they said since it is a smaller meet, you are allowed,” Trax said. “So, I just jumped—it was just one of those feelings.”

Trax won the long jump with a jump of 6.79 meters and finished third in the triple and high jump.

While Trax had a record-breaking day, which got him a top-10 standing in Division III, head coach Michelle Cross said the men’s team was still adjusting to the new season. Cross said the weather was colder and windier than she expected, which also impacted individual performances.

“It ended up being a high of 45 and it was very, very windy,” Cross said. “So, obviously the weather is always something at play with all of that so I thought, ‘OK, I’ll adjust my expectations.’”

Originally, both teams were going to travel to the meet at Carnegie Mellon University but late last week, it was decided the teams would travel to West Virginia University instead. This was the first time West Virginia University hosted a track event for the Presidents’ Athletic Conference, which resulted in fewer teams at the meet. Cross said, however, the smaller nature of the meet was part of her plan.

“I do this in both indoor and outdoor where I kind of arrange the schedule so the first to meets are usually smaller meets that gradually start building,” Cross said. “Then you go to some big ones and then you come back and you do some small ones. I do that just because usually in the beginning of the year, people are still working out schedules.”

While Cross said most of the athletes on the men’s team were adjusting to the outdoor season, she was pleased with some individual results. Cross said Silas Mays ran a ‘decent’ 400-meter dash after he finished second in the meet with a time of 52.27. In the 800-meter run, Cross said Nate Jecelin wasn’t slowed significantly by colder conditions.

“Nate ran a very consistent 800, even with the weather and all of that,” Cross said.

For the field events, Cross said she was pleased with freshman Roman Lessard’s performance in the javelin.

“Roman did well in javelin, I think he got second,” Cross said. “A lot of people, again same thing, were just knocking the rust off, but this was their second meet and it looks like it was exactly what you would expect out of a meet like that. People did well, but no one had any crazy personal records.”

The men’s track & field team will be back in action this Saturday at the Bethany Invitational in Bethany, West Virginia.