By Joshua Boyd
Wicked Local Georgetown
The Stonehill College men's track and field team is a hit. The squad was ranked No. 17 in the country among NCAA Division 2 squads, and Georgetown native Sean Hanlon is part of that success.
Hanlon is a middle distance runner for the Skyhawks, where he is a teammate of former St. John's Prep teammate and fellow Georgetown resident Colin Prior. Hanlon runs the 800-meter individually, and is also a member of Stonehill's distance medley relay team, which recently set a new school record.
Their time at the Boston University Valentine's Day Invitational, held on Feb. 11, was 9:53.45. That was exactly two-hundredths of a second better than the previous school record and was the fourth fastest time in the country in Division 2.
If their time remains in the top 10, or they better it at the New England Championships on Feb. 26 to remain in the top 10, they'll run the event at the NCAA Division 2 Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, N.M., over the March 11-12 weekend.
The Record caught up with the fast-moving Hanlon for a quick Q&A recently.
Q: What were your thoughts after you found out you ran a school record time at the BU Invitational?
A: We were really excited. Before the race, we hoped to run around the time we did. We all had our best days, so it was an almost perfect scenario.
Q: "Almost perfect"?
A: It can always be a little more precise with handoffs. Nothing's really perfect, but the best case scenario happened.
Q: How did that finish stand in the context of the rest of the season?
A: Especially with indoor track, the whole season basically builds up to the last few weeks. I felt like we had a slow start, but we've been building up to these big meets. Each meet this season, I've improved. [On Feb. 13 at the BU Invitational], I ran my season best individually [1:54.39 in the 800] and my best relay split as well.
Q: Is the relay your favorite?
A: In track, there are a lot of individual events, so it's nice to be on a team, relying on each other, taking accountability for what each other does. I'm the third leg of the relay. When I get close to the line, I want to be close to the other guys. Our anchor, Pat Fullerton, is really good at chasing guys down. I was able to set him up so that he could pass the guy from the team that I was behind.
We are provisionally qualified for the Nationals, but we won't automatically go unless we're still in the top 10. Knock on wood — I'm pretty confident we'll go. If our time stays in the top 10 as of the New England Championships, back at BU on the Feb. 26, we won't run it there, but just run the individual events, as the relay will be qualified by then for the national championship meet.
Q: Have you ever been to a big national meet?
A: I ran in the cross-country nationals last fall (33:35 in Louisville, Ky.). As a team, we didn't do well, but I did all right individually in my first cross-country season. Running cross-country made sense for my indoor training. I originally planned on doing it just to get ready for track, but I ended up doing well and started running in bigger races.
Q: What do you think of your individual 800 running?
A: I've raced the 800 twice so far and both times, I've had indoor PRs [i.e., personal records]. I'm definitely where I want to be right now and I'm looking forward to running good individual times in the next few weeks. Coach Karen Boen is really good at getting us prepared for the bigger meets.
Q: How is life at Stonehill? What drew you to choose that college?
A: I'm a business major here, and Stonehill is a really small school with a really small community feeling. That's probably been my favorite part of being here. Since I've been here, it's always felt more like a home than a school.