Stonehill Runners-Up at NE-10 Championships

Stonehill captains (l-r) Robert Smith, Trent Fontanella, Xavier Dixon and Christopher Dooley accept the Skyhawks runner-up trophy. The Skyhawks have finished no worse than second in four straight indoor championships. (PHOTO BY Anthony Nesmith/SportsPix)

Skyhawks post fourth straight top two finish behind four event wins 

BOSTON, Mass. (February 22, 2014) – The Stonehill College men's track and field program, ranked second in this week's U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division II East Regional computer rankings, posted its fourth straight top two finish at the Northeast-10 Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships by taking second place at the Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Center tonight.

Stonehill, fueled by four event wins and eight All-Northeast-10 Conference (top two) performances overall, finished with 147 points on the night for its second place team finish. Southern Connecticut State University, which had a string of ten straight indoor championships halted by Stonehill last winter, captured the title with 193 points. American International College (117 points) took third, with Adelphi University taking fourth (71) and Franklin Pierce University (52) rounding out the top five.

Senior Xavier Dixon (New Bedford, Mass./New Bedford) won his first 60-meter hurdles title with personal-best time of 8.00-seconds, improving his provisional qualifying time for the NCAA Division II Championships in Winston-Salem, N.C., in three weeks. He currently ranks 8th nationally for the event and it marks the fourth-straight year Dixon has earned All-NE-10 honors for the event. Dixon qualified for the final with the top time of 8.10-seconds in the preliminary rounds.

Junior All-American Nick Staley (Medway, Mass./BC High) won his first indoor high jump championship by clearing 6-feet, 10.25-inches, marking his second straight All-Conference performance in the event.

Senior Xavier Dixon won the 60-meter hurdles final for the first time with his fourth All-Conference performance. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Junior All-American Patrick Cooney (Douglaston, N.Y./Archbishop Molloy) picked up his first individual championship with his 800-meter run victory in 1:53.56, improving his NCAA provisional qualifying time to 16th fastest nationally. Freshman Duncan Burleigh (Hingham, Mass./Hingham) also earned a point for the Skyhawks with his eighth place finish in 1:58.23.

Freshman Matt Baldasare (Mansfield, Mass./Mansfield) earned All-Conference honors in the 400-meter dash with his second place finish in 49.79-seconds to hit the NCAA provisional qualifying mark. Junior Robert Smith (Woburn, Mass./Woburn) also earned points for the Skyhawks with a fifth place finish in 50.62-seconds.

Baldasare and Smith also ran with Stonehill's 4x400-meter relay team which won an NE-10 championship with their first place finish in 3:24.15. Smith ran the opening leg, followed by senior Tyler Moules (Billerica, Mass./Billerica) and junior Teague Grubel (Phoenix, Ariz./Shadow Mountain) with Baladasare on the anchor leg.

Moules also produced an All-Conference performance in the 500-meter dash for the second straight year with a second place finish in 1:05.83.

Senior Trent Fontanella (Pelham, N.H./Bishop Guertin) earned All-Conference honors for the first time at the indoor championships for his career with his performance in the 3000-meter run. He placed second in 8:37.76 to lead four Skyhawks in the top 11 and was followed by freshman Tyler Henseler (Coventry, R.I./Bishop Hendricken) in fourth place with a time of 8:51.55, while junior Michael Gendron (Lowell, Mass./Lowell) placed eighth in 9:05.94 and senior Paul Cina (Pembroke, Mass./Pembroke) took 11th in 9:13.29.

Sophomore Nick Kirkpatrick (Carmel, Ind./Brebeuf Jesuit Prep) posted his first individual All-Conference honor and led three Skyhawks in the top nine of the 1000-meter run with his time of 2:30.09 to place second overall. Senior All-American Justin Blaszczyk (Saint James, N.Y./Smithtown) finished sixth in 2:32.85, while classmate Chris Dooley (Weymouth, Mass./Weymouth) placed ninth in 2:34.88.

Junior All-American Nick Staley won his first high jump title and his second All-Conference award. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Stonehill's 4000-meter distance medley relay finished fourth with a time of 10:27.25. Running for the Skyhawks were junior All-American Daniel Zawalich (Paxton, Mass./St. John's of Shrewsbury) on the 1200-meter opening leg, followed by Ryan Perkins (Shrewsbury, Mass./St. John's of Shrewsbury) on the  400-meter leg, with Dooley running the 800-meter leg and then Blaszczyk on the one mile anchor leg.

Zawalich also finished third in the men's one mile run in 4:17.88, while sophomore Robert Massey (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford) took seventh in 4:21.38 to score for the Skyhawks. Perkins added a fourth place finish in the men's pole vault with a height of 12-feet, 7.50-inches.

Stonehill finished fifth in the 4x800-meter relay with a time of 8:07.05. Running for the Skyhawks were Cooney, junior Bryan Wilcox (Plantsville, Pa./Southington), Burleigh and sophomore Robert Massey (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford) on the anchor.

Junior Daniel Cormier (Methuen, Mass./Methuen) posted a pair of scoring finishes in throwing events, placing third in the weight throw with a distance of 54-feet, 8-inches. Sophomore Morgan Johnson (West Newbury, Mass./St. John's Prep) scored points for the Skyhawks with a fifth place finish at 48-4.00. Cormier also placed fifth in shot put with a distance of 46-feet, 8.00-inches, while sophomore Mason Griffin (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley) finished eighth to earn a point for Skyhawks at 44-08.00.

Stonehill placed sixth runners in the top ten in the men's 5000-meter run, led by seniors Stephen Leonard (Chatham, N.J./Chatham) in 15:05.61 and Cina with a time of 15:17.41 as well as Wilcox in third, fourth and fifth place respectively in 15:18.54.

Grubel also led three Stonehill runners in the top nine of the 200-meter dash with a third place finish in 22.62-seconds, while Smith also earned a point for the Skyhawks with his eighth place finish in 22.88-seconds and Baldasare was ninth in 23.14.

Stonehill is back in action next weekend for the New England Track & Field Championships, hosted by Boston University at the BU Track & Tennis Center, on Friday and Saturday. Friday's action starts at 4 p.m., with Saturday's schedule starting at 10 a.m.

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