Vercollone & Taxter Improve NCAA Marks to Lead Stonehill at Valentine Invitational

Vercollone broke the program's ten-year-old record for the 800-meter run today. (PHOTO BY SportsPix)

Vercollone breaks ten-year old 800m school record for Skyhawks

BOSTON, Mass. (February 10, 2018) – Juniors Stephen Vercollone (Pembroke, Massachusetts/Pembroke) and Lucas Taxter (Readville, Massachusetts/Xaverian Brothers) both improved their NCAA provisional qualifying marks in leading the Stonehill College men's track & field contingent competing at the David Hemery Valentine Invitational, hosted by Boston University, at the BU Track & Tennis Center today.

Vercollone broke a ten-year-old school-record for the 800-meter run to highlight Stonehill's entries on Saturday, improving his NCAA provisional qualifying time in the process. His time of 1:51.92 placed 20th out of 231 entries on Saturday and breaks the previous school mark of 1:52.00 set by former All-American and National Athlete of the Year Keith Gill '09 at the same event nearly ten years ago to the day on February 9, 2007. Vercollone's time ranks 20th nationally in Division II as he looks to earn a spot at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships in Pittsburg, Kansas, next month, and ranks third in the NE10 this season.

Classmates Matthew Shaw (Goffstown, New Hampshire/Goffstown) and David Lockhart (Stoughton, Massachusetts/Stoughton) finished 121st and 125th, respectively in the 800-meters for Stonehill. Shaw finished in an indoor personal-best 1:57.33, while Lockhart clocked in at 1:57.44.

Taxter improved his NCAA PQ time in the mile today. (PHOTO BY Mark Connolly)

Taxter also improved his NCAA provisional qualifying status in the one mile run, finishing in a personal-best 4:08.24 to take 36th place in the field of 360. He moves up to 24th nationally in Division II for next month's NCAA Championships and holds at No. 2 in the NE10 this winter. Junior Alexander Demeule (Merrimac, Massachusetts/Pentucket Regional) placed 89th in a personal-best 4:14.63 to move up to sixth in the NE10, while classmate Riley Dowd (Peabody, Massachusetts/Peabody Veterans Memorial) finished 129th in 4:18.48 and junior Chris Drace (Franklin, New Jersey/Pope John XXIII) was 166th in 4:22.17.

Sophomore Justin Ireland (Norton, Massachusetts/Norton) placed third, out of 50 entries, in the 60-meter dash, winning his section in 7.16-seconds. He was also 77th out of 200 sprinters in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.65-seconds.          

Stonehill returns to championship competition next weekend, when it competes at the Northeast-10 Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships on Saturday and Sunday, November 17 and 18, at Smith College Track in Northampton, Massachusetts.

For the latest on Stonehill Athletics, follow the Skyhawks via social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Fans can also download the Stonehill Skyhawks "Front Row" mobile app, powered by PrestoSports, on iTunes and the Android Market.