Indoor track off to fast start

Andy McDonough

The Quinnipiac University track team has charged into the indoor season with all the momentum its cross country success has created. Following an NEC Championship for the women and a second-place finish for the men, Quinnipiac’s track teams no longer bear the distinction of underdog.

The indoor track season has gone well for the team, which concentrates on the 400-meter, 800-meter, 1-mile, 3000-meter and 5000-meter distances. One highlight of the season thus far has been All-American senior standout Katie Gwyther’s two NCAA provisional qualifying performances.

Other standout performers on the women’s side have been senior Jenna Nechamen and junior Erin O’Connell. Sophomore Phil Roach and freshman Matt Warren have preformed well thus far for the men’s team.

On Friday, Feb. 3, part of the team traveled to Yale to participate in distance medley relays at the Geigengack Invitational.

Senior Josh Jabaut, sophomore Jacob Gurzler, senior Mark Driscoll, and sophomore James McDonald helped the men’s team finish in eighth by running a season-best time of 10:11.45. That time qualifies them for the IC4A championships.

The women’s team consisting of Gwyther, O’Connell, Nechamen, and sophomore Ashley Uniszkiewicz also set a season-best time this season with a fifth-place finish and a time of 12:05.65. O’Connell established a school record time of 3:37 in the 1200 meters.

The following day the entire track team attended the URI invite as a tune-up for the NEC Championships. The men’s team finished sixth in a seven team field while the women finished fourth in their six team field.

New Hampshire led the men’s field with 181 points while host URI topped the women’s field with 206 points.

O’Connell established a school record time of 1:19.07 in finishing second in the 500- meter race.

“I feel like I have so much momentum because it was a great meet last weekend for everyone,” O’Connell said.

Five female Quinnipiac runners finished in the top eight in the mile run, including sophomore Caitlin Brady, who crossed the line second with a time of 5:15.25. Nine members of the women’s team set personal bests at the invite.

Roach established a highlight for the Quinnipiac men’s team at the URI invite by winning the mile race with a time of 4:22.08. Senior Greg Brink finished close behind in fifth-place with a time of 4:23.35.

“With 200 meters to go I took the lead and tried to get away from the rest of the pack and hold them off so they couldn’t catch me,” Roach said of his efforts in winning the race.

The true test for Quinnipiac’s indoor track season will come at the NEC Championships, which took place over the weekend in Landover, Md.

“We’re very deep and all of our people are running well at this time of year and are in great position to run well this weekend”, head coach Shawn Green said.