Today: Jun 25, 2024

Owls stay sharp over winter break

Chris Torres
Copy Editor
The Southern Owls placed 14th as a team and recorded nine top 10 finishers at the Great Dane Classic in Albany, NY, their most recent meet. Selasi Lumax provisionally qualified in the 800-meter run, as he placed fourth (1:53.54), while Josh Perry placed eighth in the 1,000-meter run (2:29.77) and Jared Dixon placed sixth in the high jump.
“We did OK, we didn’t fare as well as I would have liked,” said Coach John Wallin. “I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that we’ve been working out so hard over the winter session and the kids are a little tired.”
Wallin also said not only was the team a little tired but possibly a little nervous as well because of the high level of competition. Southern was the only Division-II school at the meet and was competing with schools such as UConn and Villanova.
If there is one area for improvement on the team, Wallin said it would be for them to not give an opponent an advantage by assuming they’re better because they’re from a Division-I school.
“Track and field is kind of man versus man and it’s a little bit different from some of the other sports,” he said. “In our case, you can give your opponent a massive advantage if you assume they’re better than you because they’ve got a UConn or Boston College jersey on. We’ve always had a great success in the Northeast against Division-I opponents and I think that’s something that we always get to work on is not being so intimidated.”
The previous week, the Owls competed at the Yale Invitational where once again the Owls recorded nine top 10 finishers. A.J. Guerra took first place in the weight throw (56 feet, 5.25 inches), while fellow teammate Nicholas [something is missing here???] in the same event (52 feet, 9.25 inches). Patrick Waszczak came in second place in the pole vault (16 feet, 2.75 inches) and senior Nana Ocran came in third in the 400-meter (49.91).
The Metropolitan Coaches Invitational on Jan. 7 in New York marked the Owls’ first meet since the Harvard Season Opener, a little less than a month earlier. At the Metropolitan Invitational, Joseph Poulsen placed fifth in the mile (4:25.72) and then teamed up with Logan Sharpe, Josh Perry and Selasi Lumax to place second in the 4×800 relay (7:51.23).
The nearly one-month layoff didn’t stop the Owls from focusing on their goal of getting better each meet. Sophomore sprinter Thomas Phommalinh said track is all about focus.
“There are phases in running, where you have to take things little by little and I’m used to it,” said Phommalinh. “We start training in the middle of September and our first meet was in December. That’s three and a half months of just practicing. You just have to come in and do what you’ve got to do.”
Phommalinh, who runs the 60-meter dash, also said he would like to improve on his technique. Wallin said Phommalinh showed great promise in the fall and has done a great job in the past couple meets.
“Tommy’s a great kid for Southern Connecticut because he’s a great student,” said Wallin. “That’s always a plus when you’re talking about the student athlete, but he also has such a great personality, he’s definitely one of the favorite guys with the coaches and the kids on the team.”
The Southern men’s track and field team is back in action on Friday as they will be at the Metropolitian Championships in Manhattan.

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