Stonehill Positioned Ninth Overall In USTFCCCA Division II Program of the Year Standings

Skyhawks looking to finish in the top ten for the third-straight year

Corey Thomas earned his third-straight
All-America honor in the high jump at
the NCAA Indoor Track and Field
Championships this season.

EASTON, Mass. (March 15, 2012) – The Stonehill College men's cross country and track & field program currently stands in ninth place overall in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association (USTFCCCA) NCAA Division II Program of the Year standings after a successful showing at the most recent NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.

The Program of the Year Awards are awarded annually to the most outstanding cross country/track & field programs.  The award honors the institution that has achieved the most success in each academic year (spanning the cross country, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field seasons) based on the institution's finish at the NCAA Championships.

In order to be eligible for the award, teams must qualify for each of the NCAA Championships.  Scoring is based on the team's finish at each NCAA Division I Championship in cross country, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field (i.e. 1st = 1 point, 2nd = 2 points, 31st = 31 points) with the lowest total score for all three championships combined determining the award recipient. Ties among schools split points for positions taken.

Stonehill, ranked ninth overall, has compiled 46 points total over the course of the cross country and indoor seasons so far. The Skyhawks finished 21st overall at the NCAA Cross Country Championships and 25th overall at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. In the 2010-11 season, Stonehill finished tenth overall in the standings and 12th overall during the 2009-10 season. Adams State currently ranks first overall (four points) after back-to-back second place finishes at the respective championship meets. The Grizzlies are looking to capture their four-straight Program of the Year award dating back to the 2008-09 season. Western State is second overall (18 points) and Colorado Mines is third overall (19.5 points). UMass Lowell also represents the Northeast-10 Conference (NE-10) along with Stonehill standing in at sixth overall (29 points).

Senior Stephen Polito (Worcester, Mass./Doherty Memorial) led Stonehill at the cross country championships with a time of 33:42.5 on the 10-kilometer course for a 96th place finish overall out of 187 runners. Junior Corey Donahoe (Billerica, Mass./Billerica Memorial) crossed the finish line in 33 minutes and 50 seconds to claim the 106th spot while freshman Daniel Gordon (Plymouth, Mass./Plymouth North) finished 124th overall in 34:18.4 to highlight the Skyhawks efforts.

Stephen Polito led the cross country
team all season long including a second
place finish at the NE-10 Championships.

At the indoor track and field championships, junior Corey Thomas (Brookline, Mass./BC High) and its 4000-meter distance medley relay team both posted All-America performances. Thomas collected All-America honors for the third-straight year in the high jump, despite falling short in his defense of his 2011 NCAA national championship for this event. He took home third place on Friday by clearing 7-feet, 0.25-inches before missing on his three attempts at 7-01.25. It marks the third-straight year he has earned All-America honors for the indoor high jump, bringing his career All-America totals up to six with his two outdoor high jump honors as well as one for the 60-meter high hurdles in 2011. Thomas was leading after the 7-0.25 height, having cleared each progression to that point before his three-straight misses at his final height.

Stonehill also collected All-America honors for the second-straight year and fifth time over the last six seasons in the 4000-meter distance medley relay. The Skyhawks placed sixth in the event and third out of the four NE-10 members in the race with their time of 10:04.69. Junior Sean Hanlon (Georgetown, Mass./St. John's Prep), the lone returning member of the 2011 DMR team ran the 800-meter third leg to collect All-America honors for the second-straight year, while sophomore Justin Blaszczyk (Saint James, N.Y./Smithtown) ran the opening 1200-meter leg, freshman Patrick Cooney (Douglaston, N.Y./Archbishop Molloy) the 400-meter second leg and then freshman Daniel Zawalich (Paxton, Mass./St. John's) on the anchor mile leg to all earn their first All-America honors.

Stonehill is back in action on March 30-31, when it opens the outdoor season at the Raleigh Relays, hosted by NC State University, from March 30-31, with some competing at the University of Connecticut's All-Connecticut Championships on March 31.