Orji and Ball Kick Off Season With Three National Qualifying Marks
Dec. 5, 2005
BOSTON, Mass. - Graduate student Nate Ball and senior Uzoma Orji represented MIT on Saturday at the Northeastern University Husky Track and Field Carnival run at the Reggie Lewis Center, and they made the most of their trip across the Charles. In three events, the two Engineers notched three national qualifying marks. Ball placed second in the pole vault, while Orji took first in both the shot put and the weight throw. The success shared by Orji and Ball was nothing new for the duo which earned 9th place as a team at last year's NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championship.
Going into Saturday's competition, Orji had thrown just a few times in practice this season, but the senior showed no signs of rust. Using the spin technique in the shot put for the first time, he outdid all opponents with a massive throw of 58-6 ¾.
Orji was equally as impressive in the weight throw. His toss of 61-02 was by far the best non championship throw ever and earned him first place. Despite the impressive throw, it was not quite on par with his Division III national record of 64-9 ¼. Both Orji's shot put and weight throw numbers exceeded the automatic standard for the NCAA Championships in March.
Nate Ball was not overshadowed by teammate Orji and vaulted himself to 15-5 ½ on his way to a second place finish. Ball, who has been granted another indoor season on a hardship waiver due to an injury his sophomore year, earned a provisional qualifying mark for the NCAA Championships with his performance at Northeastern.
Orji and Ball will lead the Engineers into their next meet against the Alumni on January 7.