Men's Track & Field Adds Three All-New England Honors at New England Championships

Taxter earned All-New England honor the third time in his career and provisionally qualified for nationals in the one mile run. (PHOTO BY Bob Blanchard)

Taxter takes fourth in the mile with NCAA provisional qualifying effort

DORCHESTER, Mass. (February 3, 2018) – The Stonehill College men's track and field program added three more All-New England efforts, including a pair of relays, to post an 11th place team finish at the 2018 New England Indoor Track & Field Championships, hosted by the Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Center on Saturday.

Junior Lucas Taxter (Readville, Massachusetts/Xaverian Brothers) earned his second All-New England award of the weekend with his fifth place finish in the one mile run in 4:09.16 to provisionally qualify for the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships in Pittsburg, Kansas, next month. He led five Division II entries in the event, including three Stonehill teammates, in the field of field of 21 runners. His personal-best time ranks 24th nationally in Division II and second on the Northeast-10 Conference performance chart for the season, marking his second provisional qualifying effort of the weekend. He has now collected three All-New England honors over his career after his pair this weekend.

Juniors Riley Dowd (Peabody, Massachusetts/Peabody Veterans Memorial) and Alexander Demeule (Merrimac, Massachusetts/Pentucket Regional) finished tenth and 11th, respectively in the mile. Dowd posted a personal-best time of 4:14.23, while Demeule clocked in at a personal-best 4:16.51.

Dowd also ran a leg of Stonehill's 4x800-meter relay team which turned in an All-New England performance for the eighth-straight year with a fourth place finish in a 7:44.25. Junior Stephen Vercollone (Pembroke, Massachusetts/Pembroke) joined Dowd and earned his second All-New England relay performance of the weekend, while juniors David Lockhart (Stoughton, Massachusetts/Stoughton) and Matthew Shaw (Goffstown, New Hampshire/Goffstown) also collected All-New England honors for their efforts. Vercollone ran the lead leg in 1:53.8, followed by Shaw with a 1:56.6 split on the second leg, before Dowd completed the third leg in 1:56.5 and then Lockhart finished the anchor leg in 1:56.7 and the team combined to record the fastest time in the NE10 this winter.

Stonehill's 4x400-meter relay team rounded out Stonehill's All-New England performers with an eighth-place finish in a season-best 3:21.02 – third fastest in the NE10 this season. Running the event for the Skyhawks were freshman Hampton Boyd (Holliston, Massachusetts/Holliston) on the lead leg, followed by senior Joshua Hubbell (Gloucester, Massachusetts/St. John's Prep) and then junior Daniel Madsen (West Haven, Connecticut/Notre Dame-West Haven) took the baton, before freshman Desmond Bernal (Warwick Rhode Island/Bishop Hendricken) completed the anchor leg.

Senior Jimmy Murphy (Mansfield, Massachusetts/Mansfield) and freshman Kevin Wheelock (Melrose, Massachusetts/Melrose) fell agonizingly shy of All-New England honors with ninth and tenth place finishes, respectively, in the 3000-meter run. Murphy posted a time of 8:37.06, with Wheelock on his heels at 8:37.72 – just 0.56 behind eighth place and two seconds out of sixth. The duo were the top Division II finishers in the field, which included 28 runners overall.

Vercollone led his second relay of  the weekend to All-New England honors today in the 4x800. (PHOTO BY SportsPix)

Stonehill's four All-New England efforts this weekend compiled 18 points for the Skyhawks for an 11th place team finish, good for second among NE10 programs at the Championship. Northeastern University took the team title with 164 points, while Southern Connecticut State University was the top NE10 program with 63 points to finish fourth.

Demeule, Vercollone, Taxter and Boyd all got Stonehill's weekend off to a strong start by combining to post a second-place finish in the 4000-meter distance medley relay on Friday night. The Skyhawks provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships with the seventh-fastest time in the country this season and fastest in the NE10 at 9:51.49. 

Other Stonehill Results on Saturday Include:

Senior Jordan Sullivan (Sound Beach, New York/Miller Place) finished 13th in the high jump with a season-best height of 6-feet, 4.25-inches, which ranks fourth in the NE10. 

Junior Xavier Young (Barnegat, New Jersey/Barnegat) placed 16th in the shot put with a distance of 46-feet, 10.25-inches. 

Sophomore Collin Kuchachik (Orange, Connecticut/Amity Regional) placed 19th in the 60-meter high hurdles prelims with a time of 8.60-seconds, with freshman Ethan Famiano (Warwick, Rhode Island/Bishop Hendricken) 22nd in 8.70-seconds. 

Sophomore Justin Ireland (Norton, Massachusetts/Norton) followed up a 20th-place finish in the 200-meter prelims on Friday, with a 20th place performance in the 60-meter dash prelims on Saturday with a time of 7.15-seconds.           

Stonehill steps out of Championship mode for a week as it returns to action next weekend with a pair of events before the Northeast-10 Conference Championships in two weeks. The Skyhawks will compete at the Coaches' Tribute Meet, hosted by the University of Rhode Island, on Friday, and then the David Hemery Valentine Invitational at Boston University on Saturday.

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