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Track and Field gets set for Reebok Boston Indoor Games

The Massachusetts men’s indoor track and field team visited Rhode Island on Saturday and came away with third place overall in a field of seven teams at the Rhode Island Invitational. 

Leading the way for the Minutemen was junior sprinter Darius Velez, who etched his name into the UMass record books by winning the 55-meter dash in a time of 6.39 seconds. Velez is currently the second fastest sprinter in the 55-meter in school history, with his first place finish qualifying him for both the New England and Eastern College Athletic Conference championships.

“He’s one of our top guys,” UMass coach Ken O’Brien said. “He’s our fastest sprinter and one of our best athletes, and we’re very happy with how he’s been able to help us out in his career so far.”

In the 55-meter hurdles, senior Tyler Cotto took second place with a time of 7.65 seconds. Sophomore Philip Weltman also earned fifth place in the 200-meter dash, recording a time of 23.27 seconds, as O’Brien was pleased with what he saw from his leaders.

“Tyler and Darius have been a great one-two punch for us,” said O’Brien. “They push each other in practice and in meets, and we’re excited to see them continue to impress throughout the season.”

The Minutemen travel to Roxbury, Mass. on Friday to compete in the Reebok Boston Indoor Games.

On the road in New York, the Massachusetts women’s track and field team took fifth place overall in the Great Dane Invitational on Saturday.

After a fast start to the 2010 season, senior Lisa Wilson set her second school record of the year, this time in the weight throw. Her mark of 55.01 seconds was good enough for third place at the meet, helping the Minutewomen finish fifth in a field of 25 teams. Wilson now holds five school records in her career, and has qualified for the New England and Eastern College Athletic Conference championships.

In her second meet as a collegiate athlete, freshman Nicole Pompei placed first in the pole vault competition with a height of 11-11.75 to place as third in school history also qualifying for both the New England and ECAC championships.

Additionally freshman Courtney Baldwin placed second in the 1000-meter run and qualified for the ECAC championship with a time of 2:56.92. She has qualified for the New England Championships in both the mile and the 1000-meter run this season.

The Minutewomen will attend the Boston Indoor Games in Roxbury on Friday.

Michael Wood can be reached at mcwood@student.umass.edu.

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