NCAA, Sports, Track and Field

Consistency key to BU track and field’s success

For much of the Boston University track and field team’s indoor season, its coaches have stressed one thing: Consistency. At the New England Championships hosted Friday and Saturday at the Track and Tennis Center, several athletes proved an ability to perform consistently — even breaking a couple records in the process.

“I think that [consistency] is an important measure of a team,” said Assistant Director of Track and Field Bruce Lehane after the meet. “People getting better, and then moving to higher levels, and then maintaining well … Doing it once is one thing, but going back out there and recreating it is certainly nothing to be taken for granted or automatic.”

One of the athletes who showed her consistency was senior Allison Barwise, who started the weekend by setting a new meet record in the pentathlon Friday, totaling 3,976 points. She won the high jump with a season-best mark of 1.84m and claimed first in the long jump (5.62m) en route to her overall victory. Saturday, she also placed fifth in the high jump, with a mark of 1.75m.

“[It] probably solidifies her position for the NCAA Championship,” Lehane said of Barwise’s performance. “Alli is a clutch performer.

“She had to weather a couple of injuries early in the season, but with the help of the training room and BU’s doctors she’s come to that form and she’s competing as well or better than ever. So we’re all real excited about that.”

Friday also featured strong performances from three Terriers in the weight throw. On the women’s side, junior Sarah Dillard placed fifth (15.59m) and senior Susan Ottey finished sixth (15.30m). For the men, freshman Reuben Horace placed sixth, with a mark of 17.83m.

Graduate student Zachary Ray continued the theme of consistency, setting the America East standard in the long jump, in which he placed second with a jump of 7.19m. Senior Sam Arsenault placed eighth in the event with a mark of 6.86m.

The next day, Ray matched his season best in the 60m hurdles with a time of 7.94 seconds. The time earned third place in the finals.

“He’s got to be one of the most consistent people of all sports,” Lehane said of Ray. “He competes at a very high level.”

In the women’s 60m hurdles, senior Nikko Brady placed third (8.65 seconds), while freshman Sophie Jancsurak placed fourth (8.86 seconds). Brady also contributed five points to the team score in the long jump, finishing fourth with a mark of 5.70m.

Senior R.J. Page finished second in the 200m with a time of 21.32 seconds behind Central Connecticut senior Aaron Radden, who won with a blistering time of 21.01 seconds.

“He again showed that he’s one of the top guys around,” Lehane said of Page’s race.

Page owns the school record in the 200m at 21.25 seconds, which he recorded earlier this season. Lehane said he thinks Page is capable of an even faster time

“I think he’ll be looking to be a little quicker next time out,” Lehane said. “I think he’s got a little more in him.”

While several of BU’s top distance runners were held out this weekend, some younger runners took the opportunity to shine. Freshman Kevin Thomas turned in a personal-best time of 8:18.32 to finish sixth in the men’s 3,000m.

“Kevin’s shown a lot of promise, and he did a good job,” Lehane said. “For a freshman, that’s pretty good running … Looking back over the years, I think he’s the quickest [freshman from the United States] we’ve had.

“If you watch Kevin, he’s a very economical, contained runner, and I think he’s got a very big upside. I’m excited about him.”

The women’s 4×400 relay team of senior Julia Mirochnick, junior Carolyn Maynard, sophomore Gemma Acheampong and freshman Jade Paul finished third, with a time of 3:48.12. The mark just missed the school record of 3:47.39.

Saturday’s events ended with a memorable race by senior Tewado Latty, freshman David Lagerberg, Page and Ray in the men’s 4×400 relay. The foursome combined for a time of 3:09.45, winning the race and breaking the meet and school records. The previous best time in school history was 3:09.83, set in 2003.

“That was super,” Lehane said. “Tewado Latty led off, had a really strong leg, running that 47 flat … That kind of set up the record mark.

“That was fun to see them break the school record, that’s a good record,” Lehane later added. “Great to end the meet with a win.”

The men finished fourth as a team with 43 points, while the women were seventh with 44 points. Both were the best among all America East teams. The University of Connecticut claimed the team titles on both sides.

With the final indoor meet before the NCAA Championships approaching this weekend, Lehane emphasized the significance of the upcoming meet.

“The standards are pretty high,” Lehane said. “For [some], they’re interested in winning the race … It’s always an exciting meet.”

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