For those members of the men’s indoor track team competing in the IC4A championships this weekend, spring break is only three days long.
The Elis will travel to Boston this weekend and wrap up the indoor track season by competing for the Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America (IC4A) title. The championships, founded in 1876, predate any NCAA track championships.
Most teams that are a part of the IC4A are in the northeastern United States. After a three-day vacation, the Bulldogs then head for North Carolina March 13 and will remain training there until the end of spring break.
The IC4A championships, like the NCAA championships, is a time-qualifying meet. Runners must post a mark better than a fixed standard to compete, thus limiting the number of Bulldog athletes who will compete in Boston.
Casey Moriarty ’05 qualified to run the 3000-meter race by two seconds. Qualifying, he said, was especially sweet because last year he missed the mark by about a second.
The distance squad will take the confidence boost from last week’s success at Heptagonals and use it as motivation to perform even better, Moriarty said.
“Basically, we have nothing to lose right now,” Moriarty said. “We need to go in there confident and ready to make a name for ourselves.”
The team has been “keeping sharp” this week, middle distance runner Robert LoBue ’04 said. LoBue will compete in the individual 800-meter race and the distance medley relay.
“Personally, I’d like to win IC4As at least in the open 800,” LoBue said.
LoBue hopes he will qualify for the NCAA championships. Though he calls it an “outside shot,” he is only two seconds off the qualifying mark in the 800.
No male Elis have qualified for the NCAA meet yet. LoBue said Robert Dwyer ’04 and Lucas Meyer ’05 are the team’s other best chances for putting an athlete in the NCAA championships.
The team goal for this weekend, LoBue said, will be for runners to post their fastest times all season.
Returning only recently from a knee injury, Anthony Thomas ’03 did not qualify for the IC4A meet in the long jump at Heptagonals. Thomas will still get to compete in the one-mile relay, however, because usual relay team member Shomari Taylor ’06 has injured his hamstring.
“I just really screwed up in long jumping at Heps,” Thomas said. “I didn’t even jump until halfway through the season.”
Whatever the squad can prove this weekend will be impressive — all of its members, except for Thomas, are freshmen.
After the meet, many members of the indoor team will travel to North Carolina to prepare for the men’s outdoor track season with practices twice a day. The trip will conclude with an outdoor meet, the Wake Forest Relays, March 21 and 22.
“Spring break’s great, because it’s a time where you can really work hard,” Moriarty said.