Stonehill Finishes Second at NE-10 Championships

Sophomore Xavier Harris-Dixon won his first NE-10 individual championship with his first place finish in the 110-meter high hurdles. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Harris-Dixon wins first individual NE-10 championship, Penney and Polito earn All-Conference honors as Skyhawks finish weekend with three individual title and seven All-Conference performances

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (May 6, 2012) – The Stonehill College men's track and field team, ranked third in this week's U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division II East Regional ratings index, turned in a second place finish at the 2012 Northeast-10 Conference Men's Outdoor Track and Field Championships, hosted by Southern Connecticut State University, at Jess Dow Field.

Stonehill, who held the team lead after day one of the Championships, finished with 150 points to finish behind host Southern Connecticut State who won its tenth-straight NE-10 outdoor championship with 219 points. The University of Massachusetts Lowell placed third with 115 points, while American International College was fourth with 111. The Skyhawks won three individual championships over the two days and saw seven post All-Northeast-10 Conference performances.

Sophomore Xavier Harris-Dixon (New Bedford, Mass./New Bedford) won his first individual NE-10 championship with a first place finish in the 110-meter high hurdles in 14.75-seconds. He won the final by over a quarter of a second after qualifying first on Friday with a time of 15.08.

Junior Ethan Penney (Haverhill, Mass./Haverhill) earned All-Conference honors in the 3000-meter steeplechase for the second straight year with his second place finish in an NCAA Division II Championships provisional qualifying time of 9:14.56 – under the previous NE-10 Championship meet record of 9:19.17. Penney also shattered the program record of 9:21.94 set by David Metzger at the 2008 New England Championships. Sophomore Nathaniel Webber (Atkinson, N.H./Central Catholic) placed sixth in 9:53.40 to also earn points for the Skyhawks in the event.

Junior Ethan Penney earned All-Conference honors in the 3000-meter steeplechase for the second-straight year. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Senior Stephen Polito (Worcester, Mass./Doherty Memorial) led four Stonehill runners in the top ten of the 5000-meter run with his second place finish in 15:01.46 to earn All-Conference honors. It marks Polito's third All-NE-10 performance at the outdoor championship over his career after winning the 10,000-meter run as a freshman and sophomore. Sophomore Paul Cina (Pembroke, Mass./Pembroke) followed right behind Polito in third with a time of 15:07.51, while classmate Trent Fontanella (Pelham, N.H./Bishop Guertin) was sixth in 15:19.60 and freshman Michael Gendron (Lowell, Mass./Lowell) was ninth in 15:44.02.

Sophomores Herby Saintil (Roslindale, Mass./BC High) and George Georgaklis (Westwood, Mass./Westwood) placed third and fourth, respectively, in the triple jump. Saintil broke his own school record with a leap of 46-feet, 1.50-inches, while Georgaklis cleared 42-10.75. Saintil surpassed his previous record of 46-0.50 set two weeks ago at the Holy Cross Invitational and marks the third time this season he has broken the school record. Classmate Alex Willgoos (Newington, Conn./Newington) finished ninth at 40-9.00.

Stonehill finished third in the 4x800-meter relay with a time of 7:48.15. Running for the Skyhawks were junior All-American Sean Hanlon (Georgetown, Mass./St. John's Prep), sophomore All-American Justin Blaszczyk (Saint James, N.Y./Smithtown), junior Timothy Johnson (Thomaston, Conn./Thomaston) and freshman All-American Patrick Cooney (Douglaston, N.Y./Archbishop Molloy).

Cooney also placed fourth in the 800-meter run with his time of 1:53.19, while Hanlon was sixth in 1:53.61. Johnson and Blaszczyk placed eighth and ninth, respectively, in the 1500-meter run. Johnson posted a time of 3:53.59 to earn a point for the Skyhawks, while Blaszczyk finished in 4:00.96.

Stonehill also placed third in the 4x100-meter relay with a time of 42.59-seconds. Running legs for the Skyhawks were sophomore Michael Harris (Danvers, Mass./Danvers), junior Colin Prior (Georgetown, Mass./St. John's Prep), senior John Driscoll (Revere, Mass./Revere) and freshman Teague Grubel (Phoenix, Ariz./Shadow Mountain).

Senior Stephen Polito earned All-Conference honors for the third time with his first career performance in the 5000-meters.

Grubel posted a fifth place finish in the 100-meter dash final on Saturday with his time of 11.01-seconds. He had qualified fourth overall with a time of 11.22-second to win his heat during Friday's preliminary round. Grubel was also 12th in the 200-meter dash in 22.62-seconds, while Harris was 16th in 23.63.

Driscoll also placed fifth in the 400-meter hurdles with his time of 55.90-seconds. 

Other Stonehill Performances on Saturday include:

Junior Kevin McCann (Monroe, Conn./Masuk) finished third in the pole vault after clearing a height of 13-feet, 11.25-inches.

Freshmen Daniel Cormier (Methuen, Mass./Methuen) and Ian Parsons (Nashua, N.H./Nashua South) finished fourth and fifth, respectively in the shot put. Cormier posted a distance of 47-feet, 9-inches, while Parsons had a toss of 46-11.00.

Junior Samuel Spencer (Seekonk, Mass./Seekonk) finished 11th in the 1500-meter run with a time of 1:55.96, while sophomore Christopher Dooley (Weymouth, Mass./Weymouth) was 12th in 1:57.13.

Sophomore Thomas Banks (Peabody, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) placed 12th in the 400-meter dash with a time of 52.28-seconds.

Senior Daniel Kincade (Brookfield, Conn./Brookfield), who earned All-Conference honors in the hammer throw on Friday, placed 16th in the discus throw with a distance of 102-feet, 7-inches.

On Friday, junior All-American Corey Thomas (Brookline, Mass./BC High) and classmate John Gelcius (Greenwich, Conn./Greenwich) both claimed individual NE-10 championships on day one to lead a list of four All-NE-10 performances. Gelcius won the javelin title for the first time with his third-straight All-Conference effort in the event with his distance of 192-feet, 1-inch. Thomas won his second-straight outdoor high jump championship with a season-best leap of 6-feet, 11.75-inches to lead a Stonehill sweep of the top two spots in the event and earn All-Northeast-10 honors for the third-straight year in the event. He edged freshman teammate Nicholas Staley (Medway, Mass./BC High), who also cleared 6-11.75, but used more attempts over the progressions, to earn All-Conference honors.

Kincade earned All-Northeast-10 honors for the first time with a second place finish in the hammer throw has he reached a distance of 167-feet, 6-inches.

Stonehill is back in action next weekend for the New England Outdoor Track & Field Championships, hosted by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, at Henry G. Steinbrenner Stadium in Cambridge, Thursday through Saturday, May 10-12.