The Belmont Abbey Men's Indoor Track & Field team competed this afternoon at both the Mountaineer Indoor Track Meet from Boone, NC and the Wake Forest Invite from Winston-Salem, NC. The sprinters and most of the field event athletes competed in Winston-Salem, while the distance runners competed in Boone. In Boone, Belmont Abbey finished in tenth place overall and sixth among Division 2 teams.
In Boone, sophomore Thomas Eichorn had his best performance of the season in the mile, which he ran in 4:51.30, a top-10 finish among non-Division 1 runners. Freshman Darvy Soignet (5:17.34) and senior Dominic Forget (5:38.44) also competed in the event.
Freshman Julian Smallwood had a terrific performance in the shot put. His 14.67m throw set a new Belmont Abbey record. He now ranks third in Conference Carolinas in the shot put and 16th in the nation in Division II.
In Winston-Salem, the Abbey had some strong sprinting results as well. Sophomore Matthew Difrancesco's 23.47 time in the 200-meters placed first in his heat. In the 400-meters, junior Michael Koceja ran a solid 50.91-second race. This gave him a top-place finish in his heat and a 12th-place spot overall. He placed ahead of multiple Division-1 opponents.
Head Coach Nick Radkewich offered the following comments: "It was challenging for the young team to split up, they are used the support from the whole team, but overall I felt the strategic selection of meets based on events produced some great results. Julian is continuing to improve with the completion of the throws training area on campus, it will be exciting to see where he finishes the season nationally overall and for freshman. Julia Otranto had the biggest breakthrough performance setting a new Abbey record in the 800m event. Her preparation began following her making the finals in last year's Conference Carolinas Outdoor Championships in the 1500m event. The hard work is starting to pay dividends. Mike Koceja also made a big breakthrough setting a new Abbey record in the 400m which will set him up for a great Conference Championship and his best event the 400m Hurdles during Outdoor Track. I also thought that Thomas Eichorn ran a solid race in the Mile and the Men's 4x400m relay ran outstanding. Next week the team will return to a focus on training and preparation for the Conference Carolinas Championships. Specific team members will be tuning up next weekend at the UNCG Dual Meet Madness hosted at JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem, a unique team format event matching team against each other. It will be a fun format with athletes running multiple events to maximize points.
Belmont Abbey will compete next weekend in Winston-Salem, NC.