Today: Jun 17, 2024

Men’s Track wins 17th NE10 title

Matt CainContributor

The Owl’s men’s track and field team competed and dominated at the NE10  conference meet after winning their fifth straight conference title and 17th overall championship in program history.  

The team plans to score this postseason in certain events, propelling them to another NE10 title. Nill said they had high hopes and were very optimistic about the conference meet.  

“The big plan going into the conference is coming out with the same result but also healthy,” Coach Nill said. 

Part of why the owls competed and dominated in certain events was due to many injuries. Most of the older guys were coming off an injury or did not, and they were playing it safe not to get injured. 

However, these guys being hurt did not stop the owls from dominating NE10 weekend. The coaching staff had it all under control.  

“The main thing is to also go into conference strong but also come healthy.” Coach Nill stated.  

The Owls compiled 230 points to win and consistently scored in the sprint and middle-distance events. This year the owls dominated most of the field events. This year they scored big in the shot put; senior thrower and 2020 NE10 Indoor Shot-Put Champion Bernardo Mbaya threw a mark of 16.26 and won Silver for the event.  

 Sophomore Cameron Belton won the Shot Put and was one of the ten gold medals the Owls won.  

The Owls also racked up points in the relays; they placed in the 4×400 meter relay, 4×800, and the distance medley relay. The dominant team in the field events needed the number one sprinter, junior Eli Henry. Henry has been on the sidelines for most of the season due to his injury; he also made it a point to cheer on the rest of the team this postseason.  

“My goal this postseason is to support everyone in their respective races,” Henry said.  

Henry is one of the captains, focused on the rest of the team. Since he was absent from the conference, many young guys stepped up.  

Henry said, “I got to make sure the young guys are following behind the older guys.”  

The freshmen and sophomore athletes stepped up at NE10s. Nolan Freeman, a freshman sprinter, placed seventh in the 60-meter dash, and sophomore, Johnathan Volpe won the 1000-meter race. Volpe, in the fall, was also on the Owl’s cross-country team that also won NE10s. Volpe was also on the 4×800 relay team, consisting primarily of first- and second-year students.  

Volpe will be a big point scorer for the future of this program.  

Jason Sawicki, a sophomore, won the NE10 High Jump Championship. The Owls won 10 gold medals during the championship weekend and 11 silver medals.  

However, a lot of the young guys did not compete. They were brought on to watch, cheer, and take in the winning atmosphere. Most of them are red-shirting or just waiting until outdoors. Freshman Peyton Adams did not compete but supported the team throughout the process.  

“My goal is to support the team at the conference and hopefully win the conference,” Adams said.  

The Owls have a good core group of first- and second-year students adapting to the team and building chemistry for the next few years.  

 They were now looking forward to the next stop. They will now start preparing for the NCAA nationals. The coaching staff was relieved and joyful from winning NE10s; this team is very different from last year, and they adapted very well, said Coach Nill.  

“We are a different team; we have to work with the kids we have and make the best of it,” Coach Nill said.  

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