Men’s Track and Field | Indoor Nationals preview
Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 7, 2013 02:03
All the hard work has paid off for the men’s track and field team.
Nationals are finally here, which means that a select group will ship off this weekend to represent Tufts at North Central College in Napier, Ill. to compete against the best in the country at their respective events. Seniors Gbola Ajayi, Curtis Yancy, Mike Blair and Jeff Marvel, juniors Jamie Norton and Graham Beutler and freshman Mitchell Black comprise the Tufts delegation.
The Distance Medley Relay team of Marvel, Beutler, Black and Norton is seeded the highest of the Jumbo individuals or teams competing, at third in the country. Tied for the third spot with Bates behind the University of Wisconsin−LaCrosse and SUNY Geneseo, which defeated the Jumbos this past weekend, the Jumbos have a pretty significant chance to pull off a victory.
They ran together for the first time at the Last Chance Meet, so their chemistry has not been fully refined, but having such an experienced group will go a long way to settle nerves and ensure that they run up to their potential.
“I think I’ll be less nervous this second time around, and hopefully [I] can put us in a good position,” Beutler said.
Black also qualified in the 800−meter but elected to participate only in the DMR to avoid fatigue, seeing as the 800 starts just 25 minutes before the DMR.
Blair, seeded fifth in the heptathlon, is the next highest−ranked athlete to represent Tufts. The school record holder in the event, Blair comes in with a seed point total of 4,900, just over 200 points behind No.1−ranked Zach Anderson of the University of Wisconsin−Stout.
Ajayi and Yancy, the senior anchors of a formidable field team throughout the indoor season, will look to assert themselves amid impressive fields.
Yancy is seeded seventh in the weight throw and will hope to build upon his school record−tying heave from February, while Ajayi is ranked tenth and will look to outperform his seed jump of 14.66 meters in the triple jump.
Action kicks off Friday with the heptathlon and concludes Sunday with the crowning of the newest national champion.
“I think all of us are ready to go and just compete at our best,” Beutler added. “Can’t wait to see the results.”