Distance Medley Relay Leads Stonehill with All-America finish at NCAA Championships

Junior Daniel Zawalich secured an All-America finish for the men's DMR, marking his second career All-America effort with the relay, along with classmate Patrick Cooney. (PHOTO BY Josue Roman/AltaSky LLC)

Skyhawks place seventh to lead pair of NE-10 entries 

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (March 14, 2014) – The Stonehill College 4000-meter distance medley relay team posted an All-America finish to lead the day one performances at the 2014 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships, hosted by Visit Winston-Salem and Winston-Salem State University, at JDL Fast Track today.

Stonehill finished seventh out of the 12 entries in the distance medley relay with a time of 9:58.33 to earn All-America honors for the sixth time in the last eight years. Sophomore Nick Kirkpatrick (Carmel, Ind./Brebeuf Jesuit Prep) led off with a 3:07.71 split in the opening 1200-meter leg, which put the Skyhawks in 11th place when he handed the baton to freshman Matt Baldasare (Mansfield, Mass./Mansfield), who completed the 400-meter leg in 49.69-seconds – the fifth-fastest split for that leg. Junior All-American Patrick Cooney (Douglaston, N.Y./Archbishop Molloy) ran the 800-meter leg in 1:53.45, third fastest in the field, and then junior All-American Daniel Zawalich (Paxton, Mass./Saint John's of Shrewsbury) finished the one mile anchor leg in 4:07.37 – fourth fastest on the night.

Cooney and Zawalich earn All-America honors for the second time in their career after they were part of Stonehill's 2012 DMR that finished sixth (10:04.69) in Mankato, Minn. Baldasare took the baton for the Skyhawks in 11th place, before handing off to Cooney in tenth and then Zawalich started in eighth and brought the All-America finish home. Stonehill was first among the two Northeast-10 Conference entries in the race as American International College finished 12th in 10:41.16. Ashland University won the event in 9:49.14, edging out Adams State University (9:50.23).

Senior Xavier Dixon competed in his first NCAA Championship today in the 60-meter hurdles. (PHOTO BY Josue Roman/AltaSky LLC)

Senior Xavier Dixon (New Bedford, Mass./New Bedford), competing at his first NCAA Championship missed qualifying for tomorrow's final in the 60-meter high hurdles as his time of 8.082 seconds finished 11th out of 18 entries. He finished fifth in his preliminary heat and missed the final by less than 0.09-seconds. Claflin University senior Dennis Bain won their heat in 7.88-seconds to qualify second overall, while Saint Augustine's University senior Ty'reak Murray is the top qualifier with his time of 7.77-seconds.

Stonehill's two points earned by the DMR has the Skyhawks in 20th place in the team standings through five of 17 events scored. The Skyhawks are tops among NE-10 teams, with just American International (2 points) also scoring points on day one.

Stonehill turns its attention to junior All-American Nick Staley (Medway, Mass./BC High) on the final day of the NCAA Championships, who will seek his second All-America award when he competes in the high jump final tomorrow at 4:55 p.m. Staley is competing in his second NCAA Indoor Championship and fourth overall, earning All-America status last year in Birmingham, Ala., with a fifth place showing at 6-feet, 10.75-inches.

Stonehill, ranked second in the most recent U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division II East Region computer rankings, produced a program-best matching fifth place team finish at the New England Championships third season after placing second at the Northeast-10 Conference Indoor Championships the week before, marking the Skyhawks fourth-straight finish in the top two. Stonehill has a program-record 12 individuals competing at the NCAA Indoor Championships this weekend in six events.

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