Other, Sports

Track teams “cool off” at Husky Invite

The Boston University men’s and women’s track and field teams officially kicked off the outdoor season at Northeastern University’s Husky Spring Invitational this weekend, but with the winter chill still in the air, the event was really more of a warmup. Well, sort of. ‘It was a cool off, if you will,’ BU coach Robyne Johnson said. ‘It was a little too cold for sprinters to be out there last weekend, so we’re going to wait until this weekend where it’s supposed to be 60 degrees and kind of kick our sprinters off on the outdoor season over at Tufts [University].’ Five throwers made the trip to Solomon Track, three from the men’s team and two from the women’s. Sophomore Jen Fleser finished fifth in the hammer throw with a 42.8-meter toss, and classmate Abbey Baslock-Bechler’s 32.67-meter discus throw was good for 11th. On the men’s side, senior Mike Salem placed 30th in the javelin throw with a distance of 38.73 meters. Sophomore Dan Withrow finished second in the discus throw with a toss of 49.86 meters, and junior Jan Bicanic, making his return from a hand injury, recorded a 46.35-meter launch for fourth place. ‘Dan’s been working really hard, and he started out last year making huge improvements and then continued it on through the indoor season,’ Johnson said. ‘I really believe he’s going to continue that on through the outdoor season and just continue to get better and better, and that’s exactly what we need from him.’ In all, Johnson said she was pleased with the throwers’ first outdoor showing. Fleser, Baslock-Bechler and Salem came close to setting new personal records, she said. ‘Some of them actually were close to their [personal records],’ she said. ‘ And Jan Bicanic was just kind of back from an injury to his hand . . . [he] was decent, just a little off rhythm. They all did a good job, and Dan Withrow did an excellent job as per usual.’ Bicanic’s healthy return will be a boon for a men’s team that struggled with injury problems through the indoor season, ultimately finishing fifth at the America East Conference Championships. Johnson said the men fought through injuries to seven ‘very key people’ indoors, and that the team’s performance really didn’t reflect the quality of its talent. A pair of sprinters, sophomore Joel Senick and senior Chadd Steinhauser, are also healthy and preparing for the outdoor season. Johnson said the staff is hopeful that freshman Tewado Latty, another sprinter, will be back soon as well. With a healthy team, she said, the men are stronger than they showed in the winter, though a run at first would be a major challenge. ‘It would be hard to make a run at [the University at] Albany because they just have so many people. They’re a huge team, and they just score in so many events,’ she said. ‘But the men’s team is much stronger than it was last year if everyone is healthy.’

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