March 26, 2005
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - MIT men's track and field opened its spring season with a tremendous performance at the UC San Diego Collegiate Open. Both Uzoma Orji and Nate Ball punched their tickets to the NCAA Championships, while Ball once again shattered the Institute record in the pole vault.
The Engineers completed their first outdoor meet in second place out of 18 schools that scored. Just like the indoor season, Orji and Ball paved the way with dominating efforts in their respective events. Orji easily won the shot put, winning by over four feet with a mark of 54'5". He also won the hammer throw with a toss of 172'7".
Ball authored Tech's top highlight on the weekend, clearing 16'8.75" in the pole vault. The mark outdistanced a trio of Division I vaulters from the University of Southern California while setting a new Institute record.
Zach Traina also enjoyed a promising start to the spring, winning the 200-meter dash with a clip of 22.03. The Engineers added numerous top-five finishes throughout the day to finish with 90.5 points, off the pace of host UC San Diego, but ahead of the remaining field that included Division III national powers Middlebury College, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Azusa Pacific.