March 6, 2006
BOSTON, Mass. - Uzoma Orji set a new MIT record in the weight throw and placed fifth in the shot put, as he led MIT to a 21st place tie (14 points) in the 51 team field this past weekend at the IC4A Championships. The competition at Boston University spanned two days and 20 events, and when all was said and done, Penn State University had the winning score of 71 points, while Cornell University (55) and Rutgers University (54) followed behind.
All-American senior Uzoma Orji entered the competition as one of the favorites to win both the shot put and the weight throw. However, in the shot put, Orji faced very stiff competition from some of the nation's top performers. Besting Orji's 16.82 meter mark was Steve Meyers of Penn State (16.89), Sam Segond of Rutgers (17.87), rival Derek Anderson of Northeastern (19.06) and winner Milan Jotanovic of Manhattan (19.42).
Despite the setback in the shot put, Orji was determined in the 35 pound weight throw. He moved from fourth to third on his first throw in the finals, and then he took over first on his second throw before capping the victory with his third toss. His 65-10 ½ throw topped his previous personal best and Institute record of 64-09 ¼, set in 2005. Orji's closest competition was led by Manhattan teammates Michael Freeman (64-06.50) and Paul Peulich (63-06.25).
Senior Nate Ball, who was seeded third going into the pole vault, failed to place in the event.
The Engineers next compete in NCAA Division III Championships on Friday, March 10 in St. Olaf, Minnesota. The competition will begin at 9:00 a.m.