#24 Stonehill Captures First NE-10 Track & Field Title

Senior All-American Corey Thomas won his second NE-10 high jump title and completed a four-year sweep in the indoor hurdles with his 60-meter championship. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Skyhawks edges pre-championship favorite UMass Lowell by 2.5 points to snap third-place Southern Connecticut State's ten year reign 

ROXBURY, Mass. (February 16, 2013) – The Stonehill College men's track & field program, ranked 24th in this week's U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division II ratings index, stunned the field to claim its first Northeast-10 Conference Indoor Track & Field Championship at the Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Center tonight.

Stonehill, also ranked fourth in the USTFCCCA East Regional rankings, compiled 162 points on the night and captured its first track and field title by just 2.50 points over pre-championship favorites University of Massachusetts Lowell who finished with 159.50 points. Southern Connecticut State University, who had won each of the last ten NE-10 indoor titles, finished third with 158 points in the tight championship battle. American International College finished a distant fourth with 71.50 points, while Bentley University rounded out the top five with 41.

Senior All-American Corey Thomas (Brookline, Mass./BC High) led the way for Stonehill with a pair of individual NE-10 Championship performances. He won the hurdles title for the fourth straight year and established an NE-10 Championship and school-record time of 7.98-seconds in the 60-meter hurdles final. He broke his own previous record of 8.04-seconds set at the Joe Donahue Intercollegiate Games in January. Junior Xavier Dixon (New Bedford, Mass./New Bedford) finished second to Thomas in a personal best time of 8.19-seconds to improve his NCAA Championships qualifying time and claim his third All-Conference performance after qualifying second in 8.32-seconds. Thomas, who now ranks eighth nationally for the event, qualified first in 8.21-seconds.

Thomas and sophomore Nick Staley (Medway, Mass./BC High) swept the top two spots in the high jump as Thomas won the event title for the second time over his career by clearing a height of 7-feet, 2.25-inches. Staley took second with a height of 6-06.25, earning his first indoor All-Northeast-10 honor.

Senior Sean Hanlon won the 1000-meter run and also competed in the 4x800-meter relay team (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Thomas also anchored Stonehill's 4x400-meter relay team that placed fourth in 3:22.34. Sophomore Robert Smith (Woburn, Mass./Woburn Memorial) ran the opening leg in 51.2-seconds, followed by junior Tyler Moules (Billerica, Mass./Billerica) in 51.2-seconds, Staley in 50.9-seconds and then Thomas with the anchor leg in 48.8-seconds.

Moules earned his first individual NE-10 title with a victory in the 500-meter run with his time of 1:05.51.

Senior All-American Sean Hanlon (Georgetown, Mass./St. Johns Prep) won the 1000-meter run in 2:32.21 for his first individual NE-10 title. Juniors Justin Blaszczyk (Saint James, N.Y./Smithtown) and Christopher Dooley (Weymouth, Mass./Weymouth) placed seventh and eighth, respectively, for the Skyhawks. Blaszczyk was seventh in 2:35.14, while Dooley finished in 2:36.44.

Hanlon then anchored Stonehill's 4x800-meter relay team that placed second in 7:54.13. He ran the anchor leg in 1:57.9 after freshman Nick Kirkpatrick (Carmel, Ind./Brebeuf Jesuit Prep) completed the first leg in 1:58.3, Blaszczyk ran the second leg in 1:59.3 and freshman Robert Massey (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford) posted a time of 1:58.6 in the third leg.

Stonehill successfully defended its 4000-meter distance medley relay title with a time of 10:17.73. Running the event for the Skyhawks were senior Tim Johnson (Thomaston, Conn./Thomaston) with a time of 3:08.0 over the 1200-meter opening leg, before sophomore All-American Patrick Cooney (Douglaston, N.Y./Archbishop Molloy) finished the 400-meter leg in 51.3-seconds, sophomore All-American Daniel Zawalich (Paxton, Mass./St. John's of Shrewsbury) ran the 800-meter leg in 1:57.1 and then senior Sam Spencer (Seekonk, Mass./Seekonk) completed the 1600-meter anchor leg in 4:20.

Junior Tyler Moules won the 500-meter run and was part of the Skyhawks 4x400-meter relay.

Cooney also earned All-Northeast-10 honors with his second place finish in the 800-meter run. Stonehill placed two runners in the top three and three in the top five at the event, led by Cooney's time of 1:55.49 – just 0.38-seconds off the pace set by UMass Lowell's David Brown. Kirkpatrick finished third in 1:55.71, as the top three placed separated by just 0.60-seconds and then Spencer placed fifth in 1:57.14.

Johnson and Zawalich finished third and fourth, respectively, in the one mile run. Johnson posted a time of 4:11.31, while Zawalich finished in 4:11.72. Massey also earned a valuable point with an eighth place finish in 4:20.06.

Junior Herby Saintil (Roslindale, Mass./BC High) and freshman Fortune Kalala (Lawrence, Mass./Central Catholic) clinched the championship for Stonehill with their performances in the triple jump. Saintil broke the program record with his distance of 45-feet, 7.25-inches to place third behind a pair of Southern Connecticut State athletes, while Kalala placed sixth with a leap of 42-06.00. Saintil edged out the previous school record of 45-01.50 set by Max Hoddwells at the 2009 NE-10 Championships at Southern Connecticut State. Junior George Georgaklis (Westwood, Mass./Westwood) finished ninth with a distance of 42-feet even. 

Junior Herby Saintil broke the school record in the triple jump with his third place finish.

Other Stonehill Highlights Include:

Senior Luke Byrnes (Glen Head, N.Y./Chaminade) finished third in the pole vault as he cleared 14-feet, 7.25-inches. 

Sophomore Teague Grubel (Phoenix, Ariz./Shadow Mountain) placed in the points in two sprint events for Stonehill. He finished fifth in the 60-meter dash in 7.06-seconds after qualifying fourth in 7.11.Junior Michael Harris (Danvers, Mass./Danvers) finished 12th in 7.25-seconds. Grubel also took sixth for the 200-meter dash in 22.67-seconds.

Sophomore Daniel Cormier (Methuen, Mass./Methuen) placed fourth in both the weight throw and shot put to earn points in two events for Stonehill. He posted a distance of 50-feet, 7.50-inches in the weight throw and then broke his own school record in the shot put with a throw of 47-feet, 8-inches. Cormier surpassed his previous record of 47-03.75 set at the Tufts Cupid Challenge on Monday night. 

Junior Trent Fontanella (Pelham, N.H./Bishop Guertin) finished fourth and classmate Scott Waller (Andover, Mass./Andover) sixth in the 3000-meter run. Fontanella posted a time of 8:42.10, while Waller turned in a time of 8:46.20.

Senior Ethan Penney (Haverhill, Mass./Haverhill) ran fourth in the 5000-meter run with his time of 15:08.84. Juniors Stephen Leonard (Chatham, N.J./Chatham) and Paul Cina (Pembroke, Mass./Pembroke) placed sixth in 15:22.17 and seventh in 15:23.51 for the Friars, responsibly. 

Stonehill is back in action next weekend for the New England Indoor Track & Field Championships, hosted by Boston University, at the BU Track & Tennis Center on Friday and Saturday.

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