By AJ Pascuzzo
With the spring rolling in, the Bridgewater State University men’s and women’s outdoor track and field teams are looking to replicate their past success this season.
On the men’s team, junior Chinedu Chukwu will be a key performer for the Bears and said the team has high expectations after coming off a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) championship last year.
“This outdoor season is going to be very similar to our indoor season,” Chukwu said. “We have everyone coming back and we are even hungrier than last season.”
Chukwu is a member of the powerful sprinting group the Bears have, along with sophomore Andrew Couture, junior Brian Espinosa who is an All-American from the indoor season and senior Joseph Danner-Hicks.
All of these members make up the 4×1-meter relay team and nationals for these runners is their main goal said Chukwu.
In the field events, the Bears have the very talented senior Joshua Danner-Hicks, who was also an All-American from the indoor season in the triple jump.
Sophomore Conor Murtagh and junior Josh Goehring are also key returners for the Bears who look to excel this season.
BSU men’s head coach Thomas Smith has high expectations for his returners and for the newcomers such as freshman John Keane, sophomore Declan Wirtzburger, and sophomore Carlton Williamson.
“The key returners should stand out,” Smith said. “Our season is going to be very successful. We won the championship last year and this year we should be able to compete for another championship with the returners we have. Our expectations are really just to get better every week and focusing on developing a strong team culture.”
The Bears opened their season on Saturday with the BSU Bears Invitational, which was a non-scoring meet, but according to Smith was a good way to start off the season.
“The meet went well,” Smith said. “We had three wins in the throws and the hurdles. I hope that all of our kids continue to perform at their best this year so we can be the top team that we work hard to be.”
The Lady Bears had a very successful start to their season as well. The throwers look to help the women tremendously this year which showed in Saturday’s meet.
Senior Melissa Chiasson placed fourth in the discus, qualifying her already for DIII New Englands. In the hammer throw, Chiasson had a third place finish.
Two of the top newcomers for the Lady Bears, freshmen Sydney Bennett and Veronica Wiggins, placed second and third in the shot put, respectively.
Bennett said the team is looking really good this year and they have the potential to have a very good team.
“From the performances at Saturday’s meet it looks as though we as a team are going to have another successful season and hopefully win another Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference title,” Bennett said.
Both teams will compete at the Snowflake Classic hosted by Tufts University this Saturday at 10 a.m.
AJ Pascuzzo is a Comment sports writer. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.