North Carolina almost feels like home to the men’s track team.

After a grueling week of training at North Carolina State University over the spring break, Yale placed second at its first outdoor meet of the year, the Wake Forest Relays held March 21 and 22.

The Elis return this weekend to North Carolina for another competition, the Raleigh Relays.

At the Wake Forest event, sprinter and jumper Anthony Thomas ’03 and thrower Nathan Lawrie ’04 led the Bulldogs in scoring. Each contributed 14 points to Yale’s total score of 158. Miami of Ohio won the meet with 205 points and swept hurdles and the long distance events. The meet featured 19 events, and each team could only score a maximum of two athletes per event.

The Bulldogs trained for eight days before the meet, practicing twice most days. Assistant coach David Shoehalter said he used the meet mainly for training and knew that the team would be tired.

Some good efforts in jumps and sprints, Shoehalter said, were encouraging. Both groups improved greatly on their performances at the indoor season’s Heptagonal Championship.

Thomas’ performance in the long jump particularly pleased Shoehalter. Thomas, who jumped 7.23 meters, was not far from the NCAA regional meet’s qualifying mark of 7.32 meters.

After several knee injuries, Thomas barely missed the IC4A meet in the indoor season and said he was especially happy about returning to form.

“I haven’t jumped that far in a really long time,” Thomas said.

He said his knees still bothered him a little at the meet.

Team captain Al Czerwinski ’03 won the javelin throw and placed fourth in the hammer throw, although the fourth place earned no points since his mark was only Yale’s third best.

Czerwinski has battled bone spurs in a joint in his elbow, and he said that his technique was slightly off. He said his elbow pain was considerable.

The team was without some of its strongest distance runners; Shoehalter felt they needed a rest. Robert LoBue ’04, Casey Moriarty ’05 and Lucas Meyer ’05 did not compete, while other members of the distance squad ran in multiple events as part of a workout.

Jumper Jihad Beauchman ’06 took second in the triple jump and third in the high jump. He said the Bulldogs’ strength at the meet came from field events. Beauchman is already jumping ahead of his pace in the last spring.

“I was definitely surprised — because we did a lot of training the last week,” Beauchman said.

The team continues the outdoor season this weekend with the Raleigh Relays at North Carolina State.