It might be easy to become disheartened when half of your team is missing from a competition, but members of the men’s track and field team did not let that stop them from earning the success they did.

The Bulldogs traveled Friday to Kingston, R.I., for the University of Rhode Island Invitational. With the distance runners training at home, the rest of the Elis finished in fourth place as a team with 57 points, ahead of Maine, Central Connecticut and Quinnipiac. The winner of the invitational was the University of Connecticut, with 226 points, followed by URI and the University of Pennsylvania. Robert DeLaski ’06 was the Bulldogs’ best competitor of the day, tallying 16 points with his performances in the 200- and 400-meter dashes.

“The team did pretty well, and we put up good points with half of the team out,” DeLaski said. “It’s always hard with a small squad to cheer you on, but I am happy with how it went.”

DeLaski finished first in the 400-meter dash with a time of 48.77. Besides rewarding him with gold, the time is also DeLaski’s personal best for the event.

“The race went exactly as I wanted it to go,” DeLaski said. “I got out quick, stayed relaxed and was able to hold on to the lead.”

DeLaski also placed third in the 200-meter dash, posting a time of 22.53 and edging out teammate Russell Kempf ’07. Though Kempf placed fourth with a time of 22.79, he was not pleased with his performances at the meet.

“I was not physically or mentally ready for the races, but hopefully I will do better next week,” Kempf said. “There was a quick turnaround between my races, and I guess I will have to get used to that.”

Kempf also competed in the 4×400-meter relay, which placed fourth, clocking in at 3:25.20. Three other Bulldogs also scored for the Bulldogs in track events. Kevin Alexander ’07 finished sixth in the 400-meter dash, Shomari Taylor ’06 earned eighth in the 500-meter dash, and Michael Marino ’06 posted a seventh place in the 800-meter run.

On the field side of competition, Jordan Chapman ’05 led the Elis with third place in the high jump and fifth in the pole vault. Chapman cleared 1.91 meters in the high jump and vaulted to a height of 4.55 meters. Chapman said he was pleased with his performances in both events.

“I hadn’t competed in the high jump since last April, so it was nice to start jumping again,” Chapman said. “In the pole vault, I didn’t miss on any of my attempts untilÊ[4.7 meters], and that’s the sort of consistency that’ll become crucial as we get closer to Heps, where clearing heights on the first attempt can mean the difference between placing high andÊnot placing at all.”

Other field athletes to finish well for the Elis were Derin Bray ’04, Jihad Beauchman ’06, Eoghan O’Dwyer ’04 and John Langhauser ’07. Bray finished tied with Chapman in the high jump, while Beauchman earned fourth place in the triple jump with a mark of 14.24 meters. Langhauser and O’Dwyer also scored with a sixth place finish in the shot put and a seventh in the hammer throw, respectively.

Chapman said he attributes part of the success to the solid training the team has been doing this season.

“I think the new weight room program has helped us more than most of the guys would probably acknowledge,” Chapman said. “This year the program is more clearly structured and less monotonous than it has been in the past.”

DeLaski also attributes the early season victories to coaching.

“The coaches have been excellent, and they have really put a lot of effort into this team,” DeLaski said. “It is easy to trust them, and we are already seeing results from what they have been having us do in practice.”

The Bulldogs’ next test of their training and coaching will be this coming weekend, when the entire team travels to Boston for the Husky Invitational and the Terrier Classic.

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