One week away from the NCAA indoor championships held in Fayetteville, Ark., some members of the men’s and women’s track team will be tuning up while others will be competing for spots at the NCAAs during this weekend’s IC4A and ECAC championships. Held in Boston, the two-day meets will invite a host of schools from the east coast, including Georgetown, Penn State, Maine, Binghamton, Boston College, Vermont and New Hampshire.
[img_assist|nid=21800|title=Sand save.|desc=Senior pole vaulter Nick Burnett, seen here competing at the Kane Invitational on Feb. 3, will travel with the track teams this weekend to Boston as the men compete in the IC4A championships and the women in the ECAC championships.|link=node|align=left|width=100|height=69]
The IC4A competition will be the last chance for senior co-captain David Pell and sophomore Garrett Huyler to qualify for the national meet in the high jump.
“It is the last meet for us,” Pell said. “We have absolutely nothing to lose.”
In last weekend’s Heps championships, both Pell and Huyler jumped with a mark of 7 1/2, falling short of the 7-1 mark Pell feels would be good enough to get into nationals.
“We videotape our jumps and we watch them, looking to see what we need to keep working on,” Pell said. “[Qualifying for nationals is] within reach for both of us. We are heading on the right path.”
Other members of both sides, men’s and women’s, will take the meet with a more laid back approach. Already qualified for the indoor nationals, junior Muhammed Halim’s main goal this weekend is to stay healthy enough to defend his No.1 standing in the triple jump.
“I might do the high jump, but I probably won’t do the triple jump [this weekend]” Halim said. “I just want to make sure that I am fresh for nationals.”
Coming off an impressive performance at Heps, senior co-captain Morgan Uceny will be in competition this weekend, but like Halim, it will be minimal.
“This meet will be good for preparing me for nationals,” Uceny said. “I am only going to run the 4×400 to tune up for next weekend. I am not particularly tired from last weekend; I feel in good shape. … It is more of a mental thing.”
Uceny, who holds the No. 3 spot in the nation for the 800-meter dash, realizes the importance of performing well this weekend, even though it doesn’t seem to be as important as the Heps or nationals.
“It is very important to be prepared for this weekend. Mentally it is very important,” Uceny said. “It is nice to have a fun meet this weekend. It is nice to have downtime to get some speed work in. It is beneficial to have this meet.”
Unlike the women’s side at the ECACs, the men’s squad enters the IC4A meet with a little bit more to prove than the women. Coming off a disheartening second-place finish to Princeton in last weekend’s Heps meet, the men feel as if they have a chip on their shoulders.
“I feel like a lot of us have something to prove this weekend,” Halim said. “Everybody is trying to do well because of how last weekend finished.”
The men lost to Princeton by a mere three points, a loss that motivated the Red for this upcoming meet, and hopefully for the remainder of its campaign.
“We were one performance short of winning the title,” Pell said. “We still had a bunch of amazing performances. … Now we know, everybody has to be in the mindset to do even better.”
Now it is just of matter of doing it, starting with this weekend.