DMR Sets Tone for Stonehill on Day One of New England Championships

Junior All-American Corey Thomas broke his own school-record in the 60-meter hurdles with his prelim time of 8.07-seconds on Friday night to qualify second for Saturday's finals. (PHOTO BY Blake Wood)

Skyhawks DMR automatically qualifies; Capezzuto provisionally qualifies for NCAA Championships

BOSTON, Mass. (February 25, 2012) – Stonehill College, ranked fourth in this week's U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association (USTFCCCA) Division II East Regional index, opened the 2012 New England Indoor Track & Field Championships with a pair of NCAA qualifying efforts at the Boston University Track & Tennis Center on Friday night.

Stonehill's 4000-meter distance medley relay shattered the school-record and automatically qualified for the NCAA Division II Championships in Minnesota in two weeks with their time of 9:50.33 to place second out of 22 teams – just a quarter of a second behind first place University of Massachusetts Lowell (9:50.08). The Skyhawks broke the previous school mark of 9:53.45 set on this very track at the 2011 BU Valentine Invitational. Earning All-New England honors for their efforts on Friday night were sophomore Justin Blaszczyk (Saint James, N.Y./Smithtown) with a 3:00.2 split on the opening 1200-meter leg, while freshman Patrick Cooney (Douglaston, N.Y./Archbishop Molloy) completed in the 400-meter leg in 50.6-seconds, junior All-American Sean Hanlon (Georgetown, Mass./St. John's Prep), who was also a part of the previous school-record holding DMR team, finished the 800-meter leg in 1:52.2 and freshman Daniel Zawalich (Paxton, Mass./St. John's) completed the mile anchor leg in 4:06.9.


Junior All-American Corey Thomas (Brookline, Mass./BC High) and sophomore Xavier Harris-Dixon (New Bedford, Mass./New Bedford) both qualified for Saturday's final in the 60-meter high hurdles. Thomas qualified second (out of 29 competitors overall) and won his preliminary heat with a school-record time of 8.07-seconds, while Harris-Dixon qualified sixth overall in 8.33-seconds to finish second in his heat. Thomas clipped his own previous school record of 8.08-seconds set at the NCAA Championships in Albuquerque, N.M., last March.

Freshman Nicholas Capezzuto (North Reading, Mass./North Reading) didn't qualify for the 800-meter finals, but came within a second of the school record and provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships next month with his time of 1:52.81 – the 14th fastest time in Division II so far this winter. He placed 15th overall in the field of 29 competitors with his prelim time.

Stonehill stands in eighth place in the team standings following the first day (four events) with the eight points it earned in the DMR. The University of Connecticut leads the team standings with 25 points, with the University of Rhode Island second with 19.50. 

Other Stonehill highlights on Friday include:

Senior Daniel Kincade (Brookfield, Conn./Brookfield) placed 11th in the weight throw with a distance of 54-feet, 11.50-inches.

Junior Ethan Penney (Haverhill, Mass./Haverhill) led three Stonehill participants in the 5000-meter run with his time of 15:04.81 to place 16th, while senior Stephen Polito (Worcester, Mass./Doherty) placed 18th in 15:06.73 and sophomore Trent Fontanella (Pelham, N.H./Bishop Guertin) finished 23rd in 15:23.56.


Junior Luke Byrnes (Glen Head, N.Y./Chaminade) matched his own school record in the pole vault as he cleared 14-feet, 7.25-inches to place 15th in the event.


Freshman Teague Grubel (Phoenix, Ariz./Shadow Mountain) placed 22nd in the 200-meter dash with his time of 22.55-seconds.