Men's Track & Field Places Fifth in Track Return at Beantown Challenge

Connolly improved his New England qualification standards with personal-bests in two events today. (PHOTO BY SportsPix)

Four Skyhawks earn New England Championships qualifying standards

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (January 13, 2018) – The Stonehill College men's track & field program returned to competition for the first time following the holiday break with a fifth place team finish at the Beantown Challenge, hosted by Harvard University, at Gordon Indoor Track today.

Junior Lucas Taxter (Readville, Massachusetts/Xaverian Brothers) finished third in the one mile run with a New England Championships qualifying time of 4:16.73. He led five Stonehill runners in the top ten as classmates Alexander Demeule (Merrimac, Massachusetts/Pentucket Regional) placed sixth in 4:19.87, Christopher Drace (Franklin, New Jersey/Pope John XXIII) took seventh in 4:20.58 and Riley Dowd (Peabody, Massachusetts/Peabody Veterans Memorial) was eighth in 4:22.67. Junior Stephen Vercollone (Pembroke, Massachusetts/Pembroke) rounded out the five Skyhawks in tenth in 4:23.73.

Junior Joe Connolly (Wilmington, Massachusetts/Austin Prep) finished fourth in the 60-meter dash in 7.03-seconds. He qualified fifth for the finals in a New England Championships qualifying and personal-best time of 7.02-seconds in the prelims. Sophomore Justin Ireland (Norton, Massachusetts/Norton) finished seventh in the final in 7.10-seconds after qualifying sixth in a New England qualifying and personal-best time of 7.07. Both placed second in their qualifying heats.

Connolly also placed eighth in the 200-meter dash in 22.51-seconds, while freshman Hampton Boyd (Holliston, Massachusetts/Holliston) finished 12th in a personal-best time of 22.68-seconds. Ireland was 15th in a personal-best 22.75.

Wheelock placed second in the 3000-meter run.

Freshman Kevin Wheelock (Melrose, Massachusetts/Melrose) finished second in the 3000-meter run in 8:43.52, leading a pack of seven Skyhawks in the event, with five taking the top six spots in the field. Senior Kenny Vinacco (Scituate, Rhode Island/Scituate) placed third in a personal-best time of 8:49.09, while classmates Jimmy Murphy (Mansfield, Massachusetts/Mansfield) was fourth in 8:51.29 and Sam Bradford (Bedford, Massachusetts/Bedford) fifth in 8:56.26. Freshman Jeff Pichie (Burrillville, Rhode Island/Burrillville) rounded out the pack in sixth in 8:57.55.

Senior Stefan Balestra (Lincoln, Rhode Island/Lincoln) placed fourth in the weight throw with a New England Championships qualifying and personal-best distance of 54-feet, 4.75-inches.

Freshman Ethan Famiano (Warwick, Rhode Island/Bishop Hendricken) placed eighth in the 60-meter hurdles in 8.52-seconds, after qualifying eighth in 8.58. Classmate Collin Kuchachik (Orange, Connecticut/Amity Regional) just missed out on the final, placing ninth in the prelims in a personal-best 8.67-seconds.

Stonehill finished fifth in the team standings with 58 points, while the University of Rhode Island took the team title with 113 points. The Rams edged the University of Massachusetts (112) by just one point.

Stonehill is back in action next Saturday, when it competes at the Sorlein Invitational, hosted by the University of Rhode Island, starting at 11 a.m.

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