By Kelly Cwik, Staff Writer
The Jaspers Track & Field Team closed out the first indoor track season since 2019-2020 at the ECAC/IC4A Championships. The team traveled to Boston University to compete on March 5 and 6.
At the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC), the women’s track and field team tied for 18th place out of 21 teams on day two of the competition. On the final day, the women’s team finished the ECAC Championships in 26th place out of 39 teams.
Alexandra Preckajlo, graduate student and thrower for the women’s track and field team, had a successful ECAC Championship, finishing in second place in the shot put. Behind first place by less than a meter, Preckajlo’s shot put was 13.97 meters.
“I was happy I was able to place as highly as I did, especially considering my disk distance,” Preckajlo said. “But I’m more excited to move forward outdoor[s], take it one meet at a time and keep progressing.”
For the Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America (IC4A), the men’s track and field team finished day 2 tied for 13th place out of 27 teams. The men’s team ended the final day tied for 24th place out of 44 teams.
Anu Awonusi, a graduate student and thrower for the men’s track and field team, finished in 4th place in the shot put. He threw 16.38 meters, which was only three inches behind third place.
“Honestly, it’s been a really tough season with some injuries and trying to get right,” Awonusi said. “So I wasn’t too happy with the result, with the number, with the performance, but I’m just happy to be able to still come out in fourth place.”
Awonusi has been working through a hip injury which barred him from competition for the 2021 outdoor season. However, as his injury has improved, Awonusi was able to compete this year for indoors.
“I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to compete this year, so it was nice to be able to get out there with the team,” Awonusi said. “I think as a team it was good to see everyone really pull their weight and come away with max feeling good about what they’ve done all season.”
David Lozipone, senior middle distance runner for the men’s track and field team, finished in 37th place at the IC4A Championships with a personal best in the 3000m with a time of 8:25.44.
“It was definitely meaningful. I think just being able to compete at that meet with all the best teams in the northeast was really a great experience,” Lozipone said. “I’ve always been someone that likes to compete up to the best competition level that I can and I feel like achieving that at that meet was something that I was really proud of just because it shows that me and Manhattan College, like our team as a whole can kind of compete with the best teams in the northeast.”
The ability to compete indoors again, after a pause due to COVID-19, was special to the senior and graduate students.
“I think this indoor season was one that everyone was very grateful for,” Lozipone said. “Obviously dating back to 2020, you take it for granted the ability to compete indoors and not doing it for two years. You know, it was great to be back on the indoor track.”
The outdoor season will be their last one with the Jaspers Track and Field team for Awonusi, Lozipone and Preckajlo. They are all excited for the outdoor season and are grateful for the experiences they have had with the team. Below is what each one of them is looking forward to for their final, upcoming season.
“I’m really just looking to enjoy it,” Awonusi said. “It’s my last one with this group, so I’m really looking to enjoy it with them, create some good memories, have a bit of fun, laugh with them, and obviously also compete, really excited to throw the discus.”
“I’m looking forward to throwing the discus,” Preckajlo said. “It’s my main event, it’s my favorite event … So I’m just excited to see where I am. I’m excited to see where everybody is frankly outdoors, so it’ll be fun to see that.”
“I’m just kind of looking forward to taking advantage of every last opportunity that I have, and experiencing everything for the last time, like getting on the line with my teammates or traveling on the bus to a meet, or whatever it might be,” Lozipone said. “Really experiencing those emotions for the last time, it’s something I’m looking forward to.”