By John Ojukwu
On April 27, 2019 the Worcester State University track team proved all the doubters wrong by winning the second place trophy at the MASCAC Conference Championship Meet. Some athletes set personal records and won Conference Championship medals. However, most athletes did not do nearly as well as they could have since the weather conditions were not the best for some events. Nevertheless, my team and I all made huge contributions to the team’s success in the MASCAC Conference Championship Meet.
I got the chance to catch up with some athletes during the last few day of practice. Marcus Viera won a first place medal and scored a lot of points for the Lancers at the MASCAC meet.
“There were terrible conditions, but as a captain I can’t let that phase me,” Viera said. “I used mental toughness to make sure that I came out on top despite the weather conditions. I focused on form and execution on all my throws to make sure that I score points for the track team. I also made sure that I got the other boys fired up to do well and be as mentally tough as possible no matter what conditions we are running in.”
Pat Donahue scored 18 points for the team. He is a distance runner whose main event is the mile, but also ran a great 800 meter race.
“I set a personal best in the mile today,” Donahue said. “Since it was windy, I used the wind to my advantage by pushing really hard when I was running into the wind, and taking it easy while the wind was pushing behind me. With that strategy, it helped me PR easily in the mile and I scored 10 points for my team in that race. I got second in the 800 and scored another 8 points that way”.
Markiesh Harmon finished sixth in the high jump and expressed his feelings about how he felt he did.
“I am not happy with the height I cleared, only clearing 6’2,” Harmon said. “I know what I am capable of doing and as upsetting as it is to not reach my potential in such a big meet, I am happy to say that I scored 6 points for the team and contributed to winning that second place trophy.”
I talked to Head Coach Matthew Swett about the team’s performance. He gave me his opinion about how I performed.
“Last Saturday was definitely not the best conditions for a track meet. Especially for sprinters like John Ojukwu and Pole Vaulter Scott Page,” Swett said. “I loved how people set personal records and made sure they used their mental toughness to tough out the conditions so that the team can succeed even though there may not be any personal best times and marks. No one thought we would finish the meet as one of the top five teams in the Conference Championships, so it feels great to get second place.”
Despite the wind and the rain the Worcester State Track Team overcame the odds and came home with the second place trophy.