DMR Leads Top Stonehill Performances at BU Valentine Invitational

Freshman Daniel Zawalich was a key member of Stonehill's 4000-meter DMR that provisionally qualified for nationals and also turned in a strong 1000-meter race.

Skyhawks relay team provisionally qualifies for NCAA Championships for second-straight year

BOSTON, Mass. (February 12, 2012) – Stonehill College posted an NCAA qualifying performance and saw two field records fall during competition at the Boston University Valentine Invitational at the BU Track and Tennis Center on Saturday.

Stonehill's 4000-meter distance medley relay team provisionally qualified for the NCAA Division II Championships in Colorado next month for the second straight season with a time of 10:04.38, good for eighth overall (out of 20 teams). Running for the Skyhawks, who won its section race and posted the 15th-fastest time in Division II this winter to date were junior Samuel Spencer (Seekonk, Mass./Seekonk) on the 1200-meter lead (3:05), with freshman Patrick Cooney (Douglaston, N.Y./Archbishop Molloy) on the 400-meter leg (0:50.2), freshman Daniel Zawalich (Paxton, Mass./St. John's) on the 800-meter leg (1:52) and junior All-American Sean Hanlon (Georgetown, Mass./St. John's Prep), the lone returning member of last year's All-America DMR team, running the mile anchor leg (4:15). Zawalich's split was under NCAA provisional qualifying standard for that distance.

Zawalich also turned in a 14th place finish (out of 75 competitors) in the 1000-meter run with his time of 2:28.93 to win his section and qualify for the New England Championships.

Freshman Nicholas Capezzuto (North Reading, Mass./North Reading) led four Skyhawks in the 800-meter run as he placed 54th overall (out of 215 entries) with his time of 1:55.61. Spencer finished right behind Capezzuto in 55th at 1:55.65, while Cooney placed 59th in 1:55.69 and Hanlon 70th in 1:56.06.

Senior Daniel Kincade shattered his own school record in the weight throw.

Senior Daniel Kincade (Brookfield, Conn./Brookfield) shattered his own school record in the weight throw with a distance of 55-feet, 2.00-inches to place sixth overall and qualify for the New England Championships later this month. He broke his own previous record of 51-10.5 set at the Tufts Stampede on February 5, 2011. Sophomore Thomas Yates (Baldwin, Maine/Cheverus) finished 21st out of 38 entries in the event with a distance of 44-3.25.

Junior Luke Byrnes (Glen Head, N.Y./Chaminade) broke the school-record in the pole vault for the second-straight week as he cleared 14-feet, 7.25-inches to place eighth out of 27 entries. He broke his own record of 14-6.25 set last weekend at the Charley Torpey Memorial Invitational at Rhode Island. Classmate Kevin McCann (Monroe, Conn./Masuk) placed 13th with a height of 13-7.25.

Junior All-American Corey Thomas (Brookline, Mass./BC High), the reigning indoor high jump national champion, placed second after a jump off with Findlay University's Cory Vales, both of whom are currently ranked fifth in Division II (7-0.25), after they both cleared 6-feet, 10.75-inches on Saturday with an equal number of overall attempts and misses. Vales earned the top spot with a jump of 2.10-meters in the jump-off.

Junior Luke Byrnes broke the school's pole vault record for the second-straight week.

Other Stonehill highlights include:

Sophomore Xavier Harris-Dixon (New Bedford, Mass./New Bedford) placed tenth out of 47 entries in the 60-meter high hurdles with his preliminary round time of 8.49-seconds. He placed one spot out of the finals, just 0.09-seconds shy of qualifying.

Freshman Teague Grubel (Phoenix, Ariz./Shadow Mountain) finished 39th (out of 167) in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.62-seconds.

Senior Stephen Polito (Worcester, Mass./Doherty Memorial) placed 41st (out of 103) in the 3000-meter run with his time of 8:29.69. Sophomore Trent Fontanella (Pelham, N.H./Bishop Guertin) was also among six Skyhawks in that event and placed 72nd in 8:45.52, while classmate Scott Waller (Andover, Mass./Andover) was 77th in 8:47.70 and junior Ethan Penney (Haverhill, Mass./Haverhill) 78th in 8:48.35.

Sophomore Michael Harris (Danvers, Mass./Danvers) placed 43rd out of 84 sprinters in the 60-meter dash with his preliminary round time of 7.32-seconds.

Sophomore Justin Blaszczyk (Saint James, N.Y./Smithtown) led three Skyhawks in the mile run with his time of 4:19.10 to place 79th overall (out of 253 entries). Junior Tim Johnson (Thomaston, N.Y./Thomaston) finished 94th in 4:21.00, while sophomore Christopher Dooley (Weymouth, Mass./Weymouth) was 101st in 4:21.48.

Freshman Robert Smith (Woburn, Mass./Woburn Memorial) finished 20th (out of 38 entries) in the long jump with his distance of 20-feet, 7.25-inches. Smith was also 25th (out of 35) in the triple jump with a distance of 42-feet, 5.25-inches.

Stonehill opens its championship season next Saturday when it participates in the Northeast-10 Conference Championships at the Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Center in Boston starting at 4 p.m.