Sophomore All-American Corey Thomas is the favorite to repeat as champion of the 110-meter high hurdles at this weekend's NE-10 Championships and looks to add the high jump title after winning the indoor title this winter. (PHOTO BY Gerry Wall)
Skyhawks, ranked third in East Region, looks to prove predictions wrong
Stonehill, picked fourth in the Northeast-10 Conference coaches' poll for the championships, will look to at least repeat its second place performance from the indoor championships earlier this season. Southern Connecticut State, picked first in the coaches' poll, has won each of the last eight men's outdoor titles and captured the indoor title in February. Host UMass Lowell is picked second and American International College third in the coaches' poll.
Senior All-American Patrick Fullerton (Bradford, Mass./Haverhill), ranked fifth nationally, is the favorite for the 1500-meter run on Saturday with his school-record time of 3:47.62 set at the Larry Ellis Invitational on April 22. The runner up in this event at last year's NE-10 Championships, Fullerton is one of six Skyhawks entered in the race with fellow senior All-American Daniel Pilz (Newington, Conn./Newington) ranked sixth with a time of 3:57.00 also looking to score points for Stonehill. Pilz is a three-time All-Conference performer in the 3000-meter steeplechase, winning the event his sophomore season.
Sophomore John Gelcius is ranked first in the javelin after earned All-Conference honors with a second place finish last spring.
Fullerton and Pilz, along with sophomore All-American Sean Hanlon (Georgetown, Mass./St. John's Prep) and freshman Justin Blaszczyk (Saint James, N.Y./Smithtown) will also team up for the 4x800-meter relay. The Skyhawks are ranked third with a time of 7:50.69 set at the Skyhawk Invitational last weekend. They placed fourth in this event last season, last winning the NE-10 title in 2008.
Hanlon is also among the favorites in the 800-meter run, ranking fourth with a time of 1:53.05 at last weekend's Skyhawk Invitational. Senior All-American Nathan Morse (Whitinsville, Mass./Holy Family) is ranked fifth at 1:53.98 and will also be looking to score for Stonehill. Hanlon was eighth at last year's NE-10 Championships in 1:55.36.
Sophomore All-American Corey Thomas (Brookline, Mass./BC High), the NCAA Division II Indoor National Champion for the high jump, is the favorite once again in two events. He looks to win his first NE-10 outdoor high jump title after placing second last season at 6-feet, 9.75-inches. He is ranked first this weekend (8th nationally) with his NCAA provisional qualifying height of 6-feet, 11-inches set at the Larry Ellis Invitational at Princeton University two weeks ago.
Thomas is also the favorite to defend his NE-10 championship in the 110-meter high hurdles with his NCAA provisional qualifying time of 14.45-seconds set at last weekend's Skyhawk Invitational, good for 17th in Division II overall. He won the event last spring with a time of 14.54-seconds. Freshman Xavier Harris-Dixon (New Bedford, Mass./New Bedford), the runner up to Thomas in the 55-meter hurdles at the NE-10 indoor championships in February, is ranked third in Saturday's event at 15.10-seconds set last weekend.
Senior Dan Newton looks to defend his NE-10 title in the discus throw. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)
Sophomore Jonathan Gelcius (Greenwich, Conn./Greenwich) enters the weekend ranked first in the javelin with his school-record toss of 196-feet, 2-inches at the season-opening Bridgewater State University Invitational in March. He was runner-up at last year's NE-10 Championships with a throw of 182-03. Gelcius is also ranked sixth for the shot put (44-4.75) and tenth in the hammer throw (121-2).
Senior Zachary Lankow (Saugus, Mass./St. John's Prep) will be looking to carry the torch for Stonehill in the 10,000-meter run on Friday night. Lankow, ranked third with a time of 32:39.77 set at the Tufts Snowflake Classic on April 2, takes over in the event for junior Stephen Polito (Worcester, Mass./Doherty Memorial), the two-time defending champion of the event, who will run the 5000-meter run this weekend before running the 10,000 at the New England Championships next weekend.
Polito is the highest ranked of six Stonehill runners entered in the 5000 on Saturday with a time of 14:47.08, set at the Larry Ellis Invitational, which is ranked fifth heading into the championships. Senior Daniel Fidler (Carlisle, Mass./Concord-Carlisle) is ranked sixth (15:07.58) in the event and will also be looking to score points for the Skyhawks.
Senior Daniel Newton (Reading, Mass./Reading Memorial) will be looking to defend his NE-10 title in the discus. He is ranked eighth entering this weekend's event with a distance of 126-feet, 7-inches, at last weekend's Skyhawk Invitational after winning the NE-10 title with a throw of 129-03. Newton is also ranked fifth in the shot put (45-10). Senior Mark White (Milton, Mass./Xaverian Brothers) is ranked sixth in the discus at 130-10 set at the UMass Minuteman Invitational.
Sophomore Ethan Penney (Haverhill, Mass./Haverhill) is ranked second in the 3000-meter steeplechase with a time of 9:59.08 at the George Davis Invitational held at the same facility back on April 9.
Junior Daniel Kincade (Brookfield, Conn./Brookfield) is a contender in the hammer throw as he enters the Championships ranked third on the performance chart with his school-record throw of 164-feet, three-inches at last weekend's Skyhawk Invitational. He was fifth at the 2010 NE-10 Championships with a distance of 145-11.
Junior Pak Lul (Portland, Maine/North Yarmouth Academy) is ranked sixth for the 400-meter dash with a school-record time of 48.63 set last weekend at the Skyhawks Invitational.
Sophomores Kevin McCann (Monroe, Conn./Masuk) and Luke Byrnes (Glen Head, N.Y./Chaminade) will look to crack Southern Connecticut's dominance in the pole vault. The Owls take up the top four spots in the pre-championship rankings, followed by McCann with his school-record height of 14-feet, 3.25-inches set at the UMass Minuteman Invitational on April 16 and Byrnes with a height of 13-5.25 at last weekend's Skyhawk Invitational, in fifth and sixth, respectively.