#25 Stonehill Strong at Two Events on Saturday

Sophomore Scott Waller led an army of Skyhawks in the 5000-meter run at Tufts  with his first place finish as the unit single-handedly placed Stonehill ninth in the event.

Skyhawks place ninth at Tufts Stampede on strength of just one event
Thomas reaches NCAA automatic qualifying standard at Torpey Memorial

EASTON, Mass. (February 5, 2012) – Stonehill College, ranked 25th in this week's U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association (USTFCCCA) Division II men's poll, split its squad between two events on Saturday, sending nine runners to compete in the 5000-meter run at the Tufts Stampede while the rest of the team competed at the Charley Torpey Memorial Invitational, hosted by the University of Rhode Island.

Stonehill's nine competitors in the 5000-meter run dominated the race, collecting 39 points to allow the Skyhawks to place ninth (out of the 21 programs that scored points) with the strength of just one event. The Skyhawks swept the top eight spots and placed all nine in the top ten, led by sophomore Scott Waller (Andover, Mass./Andover) with his first place finish in 15:22.37. Classmate Trent Fontanella (Pelham, N.H./Bishop Guertin) finished second in 15:23.67, while junior Ethan Penney (Haverhill, Mass./Haverhill) was third in 15:24.29 and sophomore Paul Cina (Pembroke, Mass./Pembroke) took fourth in 15:24.74. Sophomore Mike Amirault (Walpole, Mass/Xaverian Brothers) rounded out the top five in 15:35.82, with senior Corey Donahoe (Billerica, Mass./Billerica Memorial) right on his heels in sixth at 15:35.84.

Junior All-American Corey Thomas (Brookline, Mass./BC High) and freshman Nicholas Staley (Medway, Mass./BC High) took the top two spots in the high jump and improved their NCAA qualification standing in the process. Thomas won the event to automatically qualify for the NCAA Division II Championships next month with his season-best height of 7-feet, 0.25-inches – the fifth-best height in Division II this season. Staley also improved his NCAA provisional qualifying standard with his leap of 6-10.25 to place second in the field of 12, now ranking tenth nationally.

Thomas also placed fourth in the 60-meter high hurdles in 8.25-seconds, with sophomore Xavier Harris-Dixon (New Bedford, Mass./New Bedford) right behind him in fifth at 8.36-seconds in the final – just 0.11-seconds shy of the NCAA provisional qualifying standard. Thomas qualified third overall in the field of 22 hurdlers in 8.26-seconds, while Harris-Dixon qualified sixth in 8.59 during the prelims.

Junior All-American Corey Thomas automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships for the third straight year in the high jump. (PHOTO BY Blake Wood)

Junior Luke Byrnes (Glen Head, N.Y./Chaminade) placed third (out of 18 competitors) in the pole vault as he cleared a school-record 14-feet, 6.25-inches. He surpassed the previous school mark of 14-5.25 set by classmate Kevin McCann (Monroe, Conn./Masuk) at the Harvard Open on December 11, 2010. McCann placed fifth overall on Saturday with his height of 14-00.50.

Junior All-American Sean Hanlon (Georgetown, Mass./St. John's Prep) and classmate Samuel Spencer (Seekonk, Mass./Seekonk) ran third and fourth, both qualifying for the New England Championships later this month, as Stonehill placed four runners in the top ten of the 800-meter run. Hanlon came within two seconds of the NCAA provisional qualifying time with his run of 1:55.52 to take third, while Spencer placed fourth in 1:56.54. Sophomore Justin Blaszczyk (Saint James, N.Y./Smithtown) placed sixth in 1:57.33, with freshman Daniel Zawalich (Paxton, Mass./St. John's) seventh in 1:57.41.

Senior Daniel Kincade (Brookfield, Conn./Brookfield) finished fifth in the weight throw with his distance of 49-feet, 5.00-inches. Sophomore Thomas Yates (Baldwin, Maine/Cheverus) placed seventh at 47-7.75.

Freshman Robert Smith (Woburn, Mass./Woburn Memorial) had an impressive showing in the long jump as he set a program freshman record with his leap of 20-feet, 9.75-inches to place seventh in the field of 21. Smith also placed 11th in the triple jump with a distance of 41-feet, 10.50-inches, just behind sophomore Herby Saintil (Roslindale, Mass./BC High) who finished tenth at 42-00.75.

Stonehill's 4x800-meter relay team took third with a time of 8:06.02. Running for the Skyhawks were freshman Nicholas Capezzuto (North Reading, Mass./North Reading), sophomores Christopher Dooley (Weymouth, Mass./Weymouth) and Shawn Cronin (Peabody, Mass./Peabody Veterans Memorial) and freshman Patrick Cooney (Douglaston, N.Y./Archbishop Molloy).


Junior Luke Byrnes set a school record for the indoor pole vault at URI. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Other Stonehill highlights include:


Senior Stephen Polito (Worcester, Mass./Doherty Memorial) finished eighth (out of 27 runners) in the mile with his time of 4:20.44.


Junior Timothy Johnson (Thomaston, Conn./Thomaston) placed eighth (out of 19) in the 3000-meter run in 8:49.94.


Freshman Teague Grubel (Phoenix, Ariz./Shadow Mountain) finished ninth (out of 30 competitors) in the 200-meter dash with his time of 23.07-seconds. Senior John Driscoll (Revere, Mass./Revere) took 15th in 23.49.


Grubel also placed 12th out of 30 entries in the 60-meter dash with his time of 7.26-seconds, while sophomore Michael Harris (Danvers, Mass./Danvers) was 16th in 7.32.


Freshman Ian Parsons (Nashua, N.H./Nashua South) took 11th in the shot put with his throw of 42-feet, 11.75-inches. Classmate Daniel Cormier (Methuen, Mass./Methuen) was right behind him in 12th with his distance of 40-7.50.


Freshman Alexander Lustig (Manasquan. N.J./Saint Rose) finished 11th (out of 23 competitors) in the 1000-meter run with his time of 2:37.81.


Stonehill is back in action when it participates in the Boston University Valentine Invitational on Friday and Saturday at the BU Track and Tennis Center.