Stonehill Adds Five All-New England Performances to Close Out New England Championships

Senior Xavier Dixon earned his eighth career All-New England honor with a second-straight third place finish in the 110-meter hurdles. (PHOTO BY SportsPix)

Dixon, Staley and three relays lead Skyhawks to 23rd place team finish 

WESTFIELD, Mass. (May 10, 2014) – The Stonehill College men's track & field program, ranked second in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division II East Regional computer rankings, added five more All-New England performances to close out the 2014 New England Outdoor Track & Field Championships, hosted by Westfield State University, at Alumni Field today.

Stonehill finished 23rd in the final team standings, third among Northeast-10 Conference programs, with 13 points. NE-10 Champions Southern Connecticut State University won the team championship for the second straight year with 108 points, followed by the University of Rhode Island in second place with 71 points. The University of Connecticut (66 points), the University of Vermont (43) and Tufts University (38) round out the top five.    

Senior Xavier Dixon (New Bedford, Massachusetts/New Bedford) earned his seventh and eighth All-New England awards with his efforts in the 110-meter high hurdles as well as his role with the 4x100-meter relay. Dixon posted his second-straight third place finish in the 110-hurdles at the New England Championships in 14.32-seconds for his third All-New England award in this event. He qualified third in yesterday's preliminary heats in 14.43-seconds.

Junior All-American Patrick Cooney helped the 4x800-meter relay to an All-New England finish and also broke his own school record in the 800-meter run with an NCAA provisional qualifying effort. (PHOTO BY SportsPix)

Dixon also ran the third leg for Stonehill's 4x100 relay which finished sixth out of 19 teams in 42.16-seconds, just 0.07 shy of the school record. Junior Teague Grubel (Phoenix, Arizona/Shadow Mountain) ran the lead leg before handing the baton to freshman All-American Matt Baldasare (Mansfield, Massachusetts/Mansfield), with Dixon following before junior Robert Smith (Woburn, Massachusetts/Woburn Memorial) ran the anchor leg.

Grubel, Smith and Baldasare also earned All-New England honors with Stonehill's 4x400-meter relay which finished eighth in a school-record time of 3:15.22. Baldasare ran the lead leg in 48.8-seconds, followed by Grubel for a 49.4-second split on the second leg, before senior Tyler Moules (Billerica, Massachusetts/Billerica) completed the third leg in 47.9-seconds and then Smith ran the anchor leg in 49.1 to break the previous school mark of 3:17.65 set at the 2007 New England Championships.

Stonehill's 4x800-meter relay also earned All-New England honors with its eighth place finish out of 16 teams in 7:41.63. Junior All-American Daniel Zawalich (Paxton, Massachusetts/St. John's of Shrewsbury) ran the lead leg in 1:54.6, before freshman Duncan Burleigh (Hingham, Massachusetts/Hingham) completed the second leg in 1:55.3, with senior All-American Justin Blaszczyk (Saint James, New York/Smithtown) running the third leg in 1:55.7 and then junior All-American Patrick Cooney (Douglaston, New York/Archbishop Molloy) posted a 1:56.6 split on the anchor leg.

Zawalich narrowly missed a second All-New England honor for the 1500-meter run with his ninth place finish out of 28 runners with an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 3:52.45, ranking 48th nationally.

Junior All-American Nick Staley earned All-New England honors for the high jump for the sixth time in his career with his third outdoor performance.

Cooney finished 11th out of 33 entries in the 800-meter run with a school-record time of 1:51.78, improving his NCAA provisional qualifying standard. He broke his own previous school mark of 1:52.44 at last year's New England Championships and he ranks 30th nationally in Division II.

Junior All-American Nick Staley (Medway, Massachusetts/BC High) collected the sixth All-New England honor for his career and third for the outdoor high jump with his eighth place finish by clearing a height of 6-feet, 6.75-inches. Staley was the defending outdoor high jump champion at the New England Championships and had a streak of three-straight New England titles, including two indoor, snapped.

Senior Nate Webber (Atkinson, New Hampshire/Central Catholic) finished tenth in the 3000-meter steeplechase in 9:37.46, while junior Seamus McEvoy (Longmeadow, Massachusetts/Longmeadow) placed 21st in 10:00.24. Junior Dan Cormier (Methuen, Massachusetts/Methuen) placed 15th out of 23 entries in the shot put with a distance of 48-feet, 2.75-inches.

Stonehill capped the weekend with six All-New England awards overall as senior Stephen Leonard (Chatham, New Jersey/Chatham) picked up All-New England honors for the second-straight year in the 10,000-meter run on Friday with his eighth place finish in 32:03.55 for this third All-New England performance of his career overall.

Stonehill will await word of final entries for the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships, hosted by Grand Valley State University, in Allendale, Mich., May 22-24. Final qualifiers will be announced by the NCAA Championships committee this week.

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