After competing in the Harvard Elite this past weekend, the University of Rhode Island’s men’s track and field team reflected on their performance and work to improve themselves as the championships draw near.
The field team sent three throwers, second-year Alexander Baez, third-year Christopher Tavarone and first-year Theo Puterbaugh, to Harvard over this past weekend to compete at the event. These athletes participated in the men’s shot put and weight throw.
Though this was not the best or worst meet, Assistant Coach Ben Carroll, who coaches the throwers on the team and is in his 14th year as a coach, gave his thoughts about the meet and the throwers over the weekend.
“I thought we did okay, we only took three guys, so kind of a limited amount of people,” Carroll said. “But in terms of individually, I thought they did alright. They held their own.”
Carroll went on to praise Baez after the weekend event.
“Alex’s performance probably was the best of the three, so yeah, we’re right on pace where we need to be going into our conference championship in a couple weeks,” said Carroll.
Baez finished fourth out of the 15 eligible players in the competition with a 19.26 meter mark. While in the men’s shot-put competition, Tavarone finished eighth with a 16.39 meter mark and Puterbaugh, finished 14th out of the 15 eligible players with a 15.22 meter mark.
Baez also gave his perspective on how the event went.
“I didn’t throw my best, but I did okay,” Baez said. “I threw that on my second throw [19.26m] and for me… my goal for it was to kind of comeback feeling stronger because I ended up actually coming off an injury two weeks ago that happened in the middle of the season.”
Baez suffered a lower back injury while doing squats and missed time earlier in the season. According to Baez, he couldn’t do too much physical activity, such as throwing.
As the season continues with meets this weekend, Carroll and Baez believe there can be improvements.
“We got to rise to the competition a little better than we have,” Caroll said. “So hopefully, this is a good tune-up for the meets that lie ahead.”
“I definitely think I can get my form down better back to what it was because I felt really good before I got the injury,” Baez said. “That was when my throws were going really good… but I think with time, I can really get back to how I was feeling before and maybe even better.”
As championship meets draw closer, there is a positive outlook as the season progresses towards its end with the goal of the players becoming champions, according to Caroll.
“I guess it’s kind of been a steady season. There were really no exceptional performances just yet, but that doesn’t typically happen until these last few weeks,” said Carroll. “I think we’re right on pace, I have a super hard working group, so we’re kind of waiting for that work to show out a little bit and big performances to come, which I think are right around the corner.”
Carroll continues on with what he wants by the end of the season.
“My only expectation really is to get better, day by day, week by week, meet by meet,” Carroll said. “So hopefully the guys can do that and hopefully we’ll have a couple of champions in a few weeks.”
Baez said he wants to become the Atlantic 10 weight throw champion, the New England weight throw champion and wants to break the Mackal Field House record at URI this weekend, which is currently 21.03 meters, held by Johnathan Buchanan (‘23).
This weekend on Feb. 10, the men’s track and field will split into two teams, one team will travel to Boston University for the Valentine Invitational, and the other will stay home at the URI Coaches Invitational.