Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Track teams rest for IC4A and ECAC meets this weekend

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

Heading into the IC4A and ECAC meets this weekend, the men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams won’t have their usual strenuous workouts.

While all physical preparation settles down, the mental preparation may prove to be the most paramount it has been all year.

Senior harrier Sean Duncan will be competing in the mile this weekend, having qualified for the IC4A’s a week and a half ago at the Atlantic 10 Championship meet with a time of 4:16.44.

Duncan said that practices leading up to championship races tend to dip in intensity and that they’re more about honing in on certain skills the athletes have focused on throughout the season.

However, Duncan also said that mentally preparing for these races is the most stressful part because the competition will be higher than any other meet thus far.

One phrase that keeps getting thrown around by athletes and coaches at these practices is that the “money’s in the bank.” In other words, the team has done all of the work it could have done and it’s time to “withdraw” that money this weekend.

Other members of the team competing in the IC4A’s will be fellow senior miler Daniel Barry, Tyler Cotto in the 60-meter hurdles, Zachary Koncki in the 60-meter hurdles and the long jump, Scott VanderMolen in the 1,000 meters, Patrick McGowan in the 3,000 meters and Sean Busch in the pole vault.

Duncan said that he believes the IC4A meet is a time to focus more on the individual events, but still believes that there will be a great team atmosphere.

“I think everyone who qualified is really, really excited,” Duncan said.

As far as the competition goes, Duncan, having been there before, said that a meet as big as this one will feature tough competition. The talent pool that had three or four athletes battling to get on the podium at A-10’s will increase to around 20 at the IC4A meet.

“[The coaches] know we’re ready. We know we’re ready,” Duncan said.

Duncan said that while he doesn’t have a specific goal for the timed mile, it’s more about just giving your best effort and if the time ends up meeting the next qualifying mark, so be it.

If Cotto improves on his New England championship time of 7.87 in the 60 meter hurdles, he has a chance to qualify for nationals.

Junior Deanna Julian of the Minutewomen echoed sentiment that this week’s practices won’t be too difficult in preparation for the ECAC meet.

“It’s a down week, not as much lifting, just nice running because we’ve already put in the work,” Julian said.

Coach Julie LaFreniere said that she planned on resting a lot of the athletes this week after what has been a tiring couple of weeks.

“It’s tough to have three championships in a row,” LaFreniere said. “And they’re long, long track days.”

Julian also added how much tougher this meet will be than the others.

“Even in prelims you have to fight to get into the next round. It’s very heavy competition,” Julian said.

Still, Julian said that the entire team remains confident.

Eric Mansfield can be reached at [email protected].

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