Stonehill returns to Nationals with DMR for the second-straight year
McNamee and Connolly will be competing in their first NCAA Indoor Championship, while Vercollone and Taxter will be running in their second (PHOTO BY: Mark Connolly)
EASTON, Mass. (March 6, 2019) – Stonehill College men's track and field 4000-meter distance medley relay team, including seniors Stephen Vercollone, Lucas Taxter, Joe Connolly and freshman Nickolas McNamee, are set to represent the Skyhawks at the 2019 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships, hosted by Pittsburg State University at the state of the art Robert W. Plaster Center.
Along with the relay, Taxter and Vercollone will also compete for their first time, individually in the mile and 800-runs, respectively. Stonehill's DMR will be the lone Northeast-10 Conference representative in the event, while Taxter and Vercollone will be one of three in their respective events.
Taxter is seeded second out of 16 competitors in the mile run, as he took home his first NE10 individual title in the mile (PHOTO BY: Bob Blanchard)
The DMR is seeded fourth out of 12 teams with their school record time of 9:47.11 on the NCAA heat sheet. This specific quartet has run the event just once this season clocking in a school record time of 9:47.11, placing them first at the Boston University Last Chance Qualifier Meet on February 24. Prior to this meet, the DMR was run two other times, the first at the New England Indoor Track & Field Championships, where Alex Demeule, Hampton Boyd, Vercollone, and Taxter ran a provisional qualifying time of 9:53.89. This time placed them first out of 11 teams, earning the Skyhawks their first New England Championship in the DMR in program history and All-New England status for the eighth-straight year. Following this performance, McNamee, Jack Bowers, Christopher Lanahan, and Demeule finished third at the NE10 Championships with a time of 10:12.02.
Stonehill has sent a DMR to Nationals seven times out of the last 12 years, all coming back with All-America honors. Last year, the team, including Vercollone, Taxter, Demeule, and Joshua Hubbell '18 finished fifth with a program best time of 9:49.12. The Skyhawks have seen a program best finish of third at Nationals in 2015, when Daniel Zawalich '15, Patrick Cooney '15, Teague Grubel '15, and Nick Kirkpatrick '16 placed third with a time of 9:50.82.
In the mile, Taxter is seeded an impressive second out of 16 competitors where he has clocked in a career best time of 4:03.39. Two other NE10 competitors will toe the line with the senior, including Benoit Campion from American International College and Terrell Patterson from Southern Connecticut College.
Taxter ran the mile three times this season, progressing each time to his new personal best time of 4:03.39 that he ran at the NE10 Indoor Championship in mid-February. The senior earned his first NE10 individual title in the mile, collecting his seventh All-Conference honor in cross country, indoor and outdoor track & field. The Readville, Massachusetts native provisionally qualified for the mile last indoor season, but only ran the DMR at Nationals.
Vercollone will compete at Nationals in his first event as an individual, second time with a relay (PHOTO BY: Bob Blanchard)
Vercollone is seeded 17th out of 17 in the 800 meter run with his career-best time of 1:51.40. Two other NE10 competitors will be present at the line as well, Nick Fenton from American International College, and Hugo Arlabosse from Franklin Pierce University. The senior ran the 800-meter run four times this season, just missing out on his personal best by .21 of a second (1:51.19). His season best of 1:51.40 occurred at the NE10 Indoor Championships just making the accepted entries list for Nationals. The Pembroke, Massachusetts native has provisionally qualified two other times for the 800-meter run, missing out on the opportunity to run at Nationals.
The NCAA Track and Field Championship schedule will run from Friday, March 8 to Saturday, March 9. The men's mile first round will begin at 4:45 p.m., followed by the men's 800-meter run first round at 6:00 p.m., and then the men's DMR finals at 8:00 p.m. on Friday. On Saturday, the men's mile finals is at 6:50 p.m. and the 800-meter finals is at 7:35 p.m.
All session passes for the NCAA Division II Track and Field Championships are $20. Single session passes are $15 for adults and $10 for children and seniors. Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Pittsburg State University Ticket Office or online. Tickets may also be purchased on the day of competition at the spectator entrance to the Robert W. Plaster Center. Links to live results as well as live video webcast will be available via stonehillskyhawks.com for both days.
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