The men’s outdoor track program welcomed the return of graduate student Tom Martin with nothing but praise last week, and he returned the gratitude with his first place finish in his respective event at the Wagner Invitational held in Staten Island, N.Y.
Martin finished first in both the 5000 meter and 3000 meter steeplechase with times of 15:48.39 and 9:39.4.
Head coach Shawn Green did not really know how Martin would react as it was his first meet on a track in months.
“We were kind of using the meet as a workout. We need to see where we were at in terms of upcoming meets” Green said.
Martin was without eligibility for the indoor season. If the Bobcats hope to do some damage at the NEC Championships, Martin needs to compete like they did this past cross country season, by winning.
The Bobcats were also faced with the tumultuous task of competing in two meets in five days at the Iona quad meet between Quinnipiac, Stony Brook, Providence and Iona. Green did not want to wear down his runners too much this early in the season so many runners were used sparingly and the meet was treated as more of a tune up.
The schools competing were forced to foster up athletes in 10 events in order for it to be a sanctioned NCAA meet. All of the programs are primarily distance programs so many athletes were found competing in some unfamiliar positions. On the women’s side, junior Jenna Nechamen placed second with a leap of 15′ in the long jump, an event seemingly unheard of when talking about Quinnipiac track.
Junior Joanna Perez continued with her impressive performance from indoor season as she placed second in the one mile run.
“She has gone to a whole new level that she doesn’t realize she’s at yet” Green said of his star 800 meter runner. Perez was using the mile for strength in the 800 meter, and Green sees how much confidence can do for the psyche of a runner.
“Joanna has always had a confidence about her, and Jenna Nechamen seems to have had something click in her head as her confidence continues to grow.”
The men’s team also had a decent outing at the Iona meet. James McDonald finished second in the 200 meter, and Green expects big things of him in the hurdles this season.
“(McDonald) is the first true hurdler we have had. We used the 200 meter for speed in the hurdles” Green said.
One of the notable absentees of the two meets was junior Katie Gwyther. She sat out both meets in order to rest up for later meets. She is penciled in as making her debut in the 5000 meter at the New Hampshire Invitational on April 16 in Durham, N.H.