Stonehill Fast on Day Two of Valentine Invitational

Junior All-American Patrick Cooney improved his provisional qualifying time in the 800-meter run. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Cooney improves NCAA qualification time, while 4x400 relay breaks school record 

BOSTON, Mass. (February 9, 2014) – Stonehill College, ranked third in this week's U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division II East Regional computer rankings, turned in several fast performances on day two of the David Hemery Valentine Invitational, hosted by Boston University, at the BU Track & Tennis Center on Saturday afternoon.

Junior All-American Patrick Cooney (Douglaston, N.Y./Archbishop Molloy) improved his provisional qualification time for the NCAA Division II Championships next month in Winston-Salem, N.C., in the 800-meter run as his personal-best time of 1:52.46 was good for 24th place and just 0.46-seconds shy of the school record. With the conversion, Cooney's time ranks 19th nationally in Division II.

Junior All-American Daniel Zawalich (Paxton, Mass./St. John's of Shrewsbury) finished 43rd in the field of 235 runners in the 800 with his time of 1:54.34, which will just miss the NCAA provisional qualifying standard after track conversion. Sophomore Nick Kirkpatrick (Carmel, Ind./Brebeuf Jesuit Prep) placed 118th in 1:58.55, while freshman Duncan Burleigh (Hingham, Mass./Hingham) was 123rd in 1:58.79.

Freshman Matt Baldasare (Mansfield, Mass./Mansfield) just missed provisionally qualifying for the NCAAs in the 400-meter dash with his time of 49.72-seconds to place 45th in the field of 196 entries. Junior Robert Smith (Woburn, Mass./Woburn Memorial) ran 57th in 50.08-seconds.

Stonehill's 4x400-meter relay team placed 13th out of 54 entries with a school-record time of 3:21.01, just shy of the NCAA provisional qualifying standard. Senior Tyler Moules (Billerica, Mass./Billerica) ran the lead leg in 50.5-seconds, followed by Baldasare with a 50.4-second split, with junior Teague Grubel (Phoenix, Ariz./Shadow Mountain) completing his leg in 50.1-seconds and then Smith ran the anchor leg in 49.9-seconds as the team broke the previous school record of 3:21.51 set at this same event at BU in 2011.

Freshman Matt Baldasare had a strong weekend for the Skyhawks in the 400-meter dash and with two relay performances.

Moules also finished 12th in the 500-meter dash with a time of 1:04.89 and Grubel placed 31st out of 234 entries in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.19-seconds – just shy of the NCAA provisional qualifying standard.

Junior All-American Nick Staley (Medford, Mass./BC High) placed fourth in the high jump with a height of 6-feet, 8.25-inches. Classmate Herby Saintil (Roslindale, Mass./BC High) finished fourth out of 37 entries in the triple jump with a distance of 46-feet, 10.25-inches. Senior Xavier Dixon (New Bedford, Mass./New Bedford) finished seventh in the 60-meter high hurdles with his time of 8.18-seconds, good for fourth among collegiate finalists. He qualified sixth in the field of 80 entries with a time of 8.12-seconds.

Senior Trent Fontanella (Pelham, N.H./Bishop Guertin) placed 59th out of 114 runners in the 3000-meter run with his time of 8:29.90, falling shy of qualifying for the NCAA Championships after the track conversion. Classmate Paul Cina (Pembroke, Mass./Pembroke) finished 87th in 8:42.17.

Junior All-American Nick Staley placed fourth in the high jump on Saturday. (PHOTO BY RIchard Orr)

On Friday, Stonehill's men's 4000-meter distance medley relay turned in the sixth fastest time in Division II qualifying with its time of 9:53.64 to finish second in the event and provisionally qualify for the NCAA Championships. Running the event for Stonehill was Kirkpatrick who ran the opening 1200-meter leg in 3:01.3, before handing off to Baldasare  for a 49.3-second split on the 400-meter leg, with Cooney completing the 800-meter leg in 1:52.2 and then Zawalich completing the one mile anchor leg in 4:10.9.

Other Highlights from Saturday's action include:

Junior Daniel Cormier (Methuen, Mass./Methuen) placed 12th out of 58 entries in the weight throw with a distance of 50-feet, 8.75-inches.

Senior All-American Justin Blaszczyk (Saint James, N.Y./Smithtown) finished 33rd in the 1000-meter run with his time of 2:31.38.

Sophomore Mason Griffin (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley) placed 37th out of 73 entries in the shot put with a distance of 43-feet, 7.75-inches.

Senior Stephen Leonard (Chatham, N.J./Chatham) placed 49th out of 85 competitors in the 5000-meter run with a time of 15:01.36.

Senior Christopher Dooley (Weymouth, Mass./Weymouth) finished 171st out of 307 entries in the one mile run with his time of 4:25.11. 

Stonehill is back in action next Saturday for its final meet before the indoor championship season gets underway when it competes at the Tufts University Cupid Challenge at Gantcher Athletic Center in Medford, Mass., at 10 a.m.

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