Thomas earns Field Athlete of the Week honors for third-straight week
Staley collects third Field Rookie of the Week selection this season
Thomas, the reigning NCAA Division II indoor high jump national champion, earns his third-straight NE-10 Field Athlete of the Week award (10th career), while Staley earns Field Rookie of the Week honors for the third time this season.
Thomas turned in strong performances in his two events, automatically qualifying for the NCAA Championships for the third straight year in the high jump with his first place performance as he cleared 7-feet, 0.25-inches – the fifth best height in Division II to date. He also placed fourth in the 60-meter high hurdles in 8.25-seconds in the final after qualifying third overall in the field of 22 hurdlers in 8.26-seconds.
Thomas, who captured the first track and field national championship in Stonehill history last March, is a five time NCAA Division II All-American, collecting four in the high jump (two indoor, two outdoor) and another in the 60-meter high hurdles. He has also earned eight All-New England and All-Northeast-10 Conference honors, four U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association (USTFCCCA) All-Region and two USTFCCCA East Region Field Athlete of the Year awards. Thomas has won six Northeast-10 titles (four hurdles and two high jump) and three New England championships, with one indoor and one outdoor high jump championship to go with a 60-meter hurdles title when he became the first double New England champion during the indoor championships as a freshman.
Thomas holds the school record in all five events he competes in at Stonehill. He cleared an indoor school-record 7-feet, 2.25-inches at the 2010 New England Championships and an outdoor record 7-1.5 at the U.S. Junior Nationals at Drake University later that year. Thomas ran the 60-meter hurdles in a school-record 8.08-seconds at the 2011 NCAA Division II Championships in New Mexico, while his 110-meter hurdles time of 14.31-seconds at the 2011 New England Outdoor Championships is the school standard. He also holds the 55-meter hurdles record of 7.45-seconds set at the 2010 New England Championships.
Staley capped a one-two finish for 25th-ranked Stonehill in the high jump to earn NE-10 Rookie of the Week honors for the third time. He placed second to Thomas with his leap of 6-feet, 10.25-inches on Saturday, improving his NCAA provisional qualifying height as he now ranks tenth nationally in Division II.
Staley has shined in the high jump in his first collegiate season, posting a pair of first place finishes in the event at the season-opening Jay Carisella Invitational (6-9.75) before also winning the event at the Reggie Poyau Memorial Invitational (6-8.00), helping the Skyhawks to the team title at the latter event.
Staley, also a former high school teammate of Thomas, was a two-time Massachusetts Division 1 State Champion in the high jump at BC High. He earned Catholic Conference MVP honors during the 2011 outdoor season.
Stonehill, ranked No. 25 in the most recent U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division II index, is back in action this weekend when it participates in the Boston University Valentine Invitational on Friday and Saturday.