A severe thunderstorm and heavy rain forced the cancellation of the Terrapin Invitational in College Park, Md., shortly after it began Saturday. The members of the men’s and women’s track teams only managed to complete five events before warnings of lightning delayed the action. Heavy rains followed for an hour and eventually the meet was called.
There are no plans to make up the event, which had drawn 40 teams from throughout the Northeast.
The Owls, on the other hand, are now setting their sights on the upcoming Duke Invitational on Friday. With the outdoor season still in its preliminary stages, the Owls said they are motivated by an eagerness to get off to a strong start.
Under first-year coach Stefanie Scalessa, both the men’s and women’s teams are looking to make huge improvements after a very challenging indoor season. The Owls were not satisfied with their finish in the conference in the winter, senior Steven Johnson said, and planned to get out of the gates fast this spring.
Johnson, a sprinter and long jumper, said strong performances early in the season would do wonders for the confidence of a relatively young track team.
“Getting off to a good start will help us get over a difficult indoor season,” Johnson said. “Not having a constant indoor practice facility also hindered us a bit. Now, with us practicing and racing outside, none of that will be a problem.”
Much of the Owls’ success will depend on the contributions of many of the talented underclassmen.
“If we can get a lot of our young guys to step up and perform big this year, then we can expect to accomplish many of the goals the team has,” Johnson said. “Guys like Marcos [Edghill], Scott [Facey] and Marquise [Stancil] are capable of performing well, and hopefully they will.”
Edghill, Facey and Stancil, all freshmen, have begun to fill such expectations.
Last week at the Quaker Invitational, the team’s first meet of the season, Edghill, Facey and Johnson, along with junior David Jackson, comprised the men’s 4×100 relay team that qualified for the IC4A Championships at the end of the season.
The women’s team is also hoping the performances of some of its underclassmen at last week’s opener are signs of things to come. The Owls’ 4×100 relay team, which consisted of all freshmen, included Cheryl Anscombe, Natasha Gear, Jessica Starace and Kesha Bivens. The relay finished second in the event with a time of 47.81 to meet ECAC qualifying standards.
Starace had a strong individual performance as well, finishing fourth in the 200-meter.
Jeremy Drummond can be reached at email@example.com.