Men’s track and field earned three Top 5 finishes, including a personal best by senior Tim Boeni. The women placed in the Top 5 once.
While Jamaican superstar and world’s fastest man Usain Bolt stole the show at The Penn Relays last weekend, Temple coach Eric Mobley and the men’s and women’s track and field teams quietly put together solid performances.
The men’s 4×100 team, which consisted of junior Miles Dryden, senior Tim Boeni, senior Josue Louis and junior Emmanual Freeland, finished third in the College Men’s 4×100 IC4A event with a time of 40.99 seconds. The Owls finished .56 seconds behind Hampton University’s winning time of 40.43 seconds.
Boeni also competed individually in the College Men’s Long Jump Eastern event and finished second out of 26 participants with a mark of 25-8. The mark was a personal best for Boeni, whose previous personal best of 24-1 was set at the New Balance Collegiate Invitation in February. Dryden competed in the same event and placed seventh with a mark of 23-8.
Louis recorded a high jump of 2.04 meters for a ninth-place finish out of 27 competitors in the College Men’s High Jump Eastern event.
“I thought overall we performed very well,” Mobley said. “We had a lot of good performances. Two athletes made it back to the men’s long jump in the finals. Tim Boeni had a huge personal record, so it was pretty good.
“A couple of the teams made it back to the finals,” Mobley added. “We had a lot of athletes performing on Saturday. I thought my men’s team did pretty well. It was the first time that we had that many guys make it back to run on Saturday in a long time, so that was pretty refreshing.”
Junior Bob Keogh and senior Bryce Buffaloe competed in the College Men’s Hammer Throw and placed eighth and 10th, respectively. Senior Grant West placed fifth in the championship portion of the College Men’s Hammer Throw with a toss of 59.27 meters. West’s personal best in the hammer is 59.85 meters, which he set at the Golden Ram Collegiate Invitation last month. What made West’s performance even more impressive was the fact that he was not even in the country until hours before the event.
“Grant West was actually stuck over in England and just got back on Friday and performed in the Top 5 in the hammer,” Mobley said. “West performed very well. It was a pretty good showing.”
The women’s 4×100 team, made up of senior Brittney McRae, freshman Dia Dorsey, senior Shaniece Stonewall and sophomore Andrea Butler, struggled in the College Women’s 4×100 Heats. The Owls finished 80th out of 95 teams with a time of 49.36 seconds. The 4×400 team, comprised of senior Christiana Taylor, junior Tashima Stephens, freshman Tessa West and junior Paris Williams, placed 25th out of 89 teams in the College Women’s 4×400 Heats with a time of 3 minutes, 43.84 seconds, 12 seconds behind the first-place pace of 3:32.81.
Individually, the women experienced some success. McRae finished 13th out of 28 competitors in the College Women’s Long Jump Eastern event with a mark of 18-6. Sophomore Alanna Owens recorded a mark of 43-2.5 in the shot put for a 10th-place finish in the College Women’s Shot Put Eastern event.
While none of Temple’s athletes competed in the same event as Bolt, just being around the Olympian had an impact on the team, Mobley said.
“It was really cool because right before our guys had to run in the 4×100, I walked down and Usain Bolt walked past me and our guys were walking in at the same time,” Mobley said. “It was a pretty exciting time for those guys to get to see them and be so close to him.”
Entering the weekend, Mobley said the coaches had a general idea of what the athletes could do in their events. However, some of the athletes were still learning how good they could be, Mobley added.
“We had some really talented athletes, and I think they’re getting close to performing to the level they should be,” Mobley said. “There were no big surprises. Some of our athletes are learning how talented they really are. What we wanted [was] for them to start coming together around championship time and just support each other and get ready to run hard for the program.”
All in all, the teams showed that they could compete with the likes of Louisiana State, Princeton, South Carolina, Florida and the giants of the sport. Next up, the teams will travel to the University of Massachusetts to compete in the Atlantic Ten Conference Championships this weekend. The Penn Relays are the perfect warm-up for the conference championships, Mobley said.
“[The Penn Relays] gets them ready for competition,” Mobley said. “You’re competing against some of the best competition in the country, so it’s good to know that you can do well against them. You’re competing with everybody, so it should boost your confidence heading into the conference week.”
Kyle Gauss can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.