Junior All-American Corey Thomas will defend his indoor high jump national championship on Friday afternoon. (PHOTO BY Blake Wood)
Thomas ready to defend indoor high jump title, will also compete in 60-meter high hurdles for third straight year
Thomas will be defending his indoor high jump national championship and also looking to repeat his All-America performance in the 60-meter high hurdles from a year ago, while Stonehill has qualified its distance medley relay team for the second-straight year and fifth time in the last six overall.
Thomas will get underway on Friday when the high jump finals commence at 3:55 p.m. (EST), followed by the 60-meter hurdles preliminary rounds at 7:35 p.m. The men's DMR final will start at 8:45 p.m., while the 60-meter hurdles final will be Saturday at 6:35 p.m. The NCAA Championships will be webcast live via www.ncaa.com, with links also available through www.stonehillskyhawks.com. Updates will also be made available through the Stonehill athletics Facebook and Twitter pages.
Thomas, named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division II East Region Field Athlete of the Year for the third-straight season, is seeded fifth as he looks to defend his high jump title won at the 2011 Championship in Albuquerque, N.M., when he cleared 7-feet, 0.5-inches. Thomas won his second New England indoor high jump championship two weeks ago when he matched his own school record with his leap of 7-2.25, marking the fifth best jump in Division II this winter.
Western State University junior Oliver Harsanyi is ranked first for the high jump with a height of 7-feet, 5-inches, while Lake Erie College sophomore Edward Dudley, the third place finisher at the 2011 NCAA Championships, University of New Haven sophomore Matthew Jeune, who won the NE-10 high jump championship this winter, are among three jumpers ranked second at 7-2.50. 2010 NCAA Indoor Champion Christopher Copeland, a senior from Saint Augustine, is seeded sixth (7-1.75).
Junior All-American Sean Hanlon is the lone returning member of last year's 4000-meter DMR team that placed seventh at last year's championships. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)
Thomas, who has reached the NCAA Championship in his two events all three years, will also compete in the 60-meter high hurdles. He will be looking to collect All-America honors for the second straight year after placing fifth last March in Albuquerque with a then school-record time of 8.08-seconds. Thomas has since broken that mark this season when he clocked in at 8.07-seconds in his preliminary heat at the New England Championship two weeks ago. He is seeded 14th in the event this weekend on his converted 60-meter time of 8.01-seconds from his winning performance in the 55-meter hurdles at the Joe Donahue Boston Indoor Games in 7.48-seconds in January.
The defending national champion, senior Tyler Sipes is the top seed for the event with a season-best time of 7.82-seconds. Five of the eight finalists from 2011 are among the returning field this year in Mankato. Thomas has captured all three Northeast-10 championships in the 55-meter hurdles since coming to Stonehill and won the New England 60-meter hurdles championship as a freshman when he became the first two-time New England Champion with his high jump title that year as well. He has collected three indoor All-America honors with his two high jump efforts and last year's finish in the hurdles.
Stonehill's 4000-meter distance medley relay team will also be looking to repeat its All-America performance from a year ago as they enter the Friday night final seeded sixth with its school-record time of 9:50.33 set in its runner-up finish at the New England Championship two weekends ago. Junior All-American Sean Hanlon (Georgetown, Mass./St. John's) is the lone returning member of last year's DMR team that placed seventh in Albuquerque with a time of 10:12.85 – first among the three NE-10 entries.
Hanlon, who will run the 800-meter third leg, is not only the lone returning member from last year's squad which notched Stonehill's fifth All-America honor in this event in six years, but the only upperclassman on the team. Sophomore Justin Blaszczyk (Saint James, N.Y./Smithtown) will run the 1200-meter lead leg, with freshman Patrick Cooney (Douglaston, N.Y./Archbishop Molloy) on the 400-meter leg and freshman Daniel Zawalich (Paxton, Mass./St. John's) on the anchor mile leg.
Stonehill is one of four Northeast-10 teams entered in the DMR, with Southern Connecticut State University (9:50.62) seeded fourth, the University of Massachusetts Lowell (9:52.48) fifth and American International College (9:53.80) seeded eighth. Adams State University is the event's top seed (9:47.43), with Colorado School of Mines (9:49.04) seeded second and reigning national champions Shippensburg University (9:49.97) third.
In addition to its second place finish at the New England Championships, Stonehill captured the NE-10 championship in the DMR this winter.
Stonehill posted a program-best 16th place team finish at last year's indoor championship by collecting points in all three events in which it competed, leading the East Region teams.