Balestra, DMR Lead Men's Track & Field on Day One of NE10 Championships

Balestra earned All-NE10 honors with his school-record distance in the weight throw today. (PHOTO BY SportsPix)

Balestra breaks school record for second place in weight throw

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (February 17, 2018) – The Stonehill College men's track and field program picked up four All-Conference performances and a school record to open the 2018 Northeast-10 Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships in third place overall at the Smith College Indoor Track today.

Senior Stefan Balestra (Lincoln, Rhode Island/Lincoln) earned All-NE10 honors for the second time in his career, marking his first indoor award, by placing second in the weight throw with a school-record distance of 56-feet, 2.00-inches. He broke the previous school mark of 55-02.00 by Dan Kincade '12 at the 2012 BU Valentine Invitational. Balestra reached the record-breaking distance on his second throw of the day, later matching it in the finals with his third attempt.

Stonehill's 4000-meter distance medley relay team earned All-NE10 honors for the first time since 2013 with a second place finish in 9:57.51 – less than a second behind first place American International College (9:56.69). Earning All-NE10 honors for the Skyhawks were juniors Alexander Demeule (Merrimac, Massachusetts/Pentucket Regional), Stephen Vercollone (Pembroke, Massachusetts/Pembroke) and Lucas Taxter (Readville, Massachusetts/Xaverian Brothers), along with freshman Hampton Boyd (Holliston, Massachusetts/Holliston). Demeule ran the 1200-meter opening leg in 3:04.59, followed by Boyd completing the 400-meter leg in 49.94-seconds, before Vercollone completed the 800-meter leg in 1:52.65 and then Taxter ran the mile anchor in 4:10.34.

Boyd helped propel the Skyhawks to a second place finish in the DMR with his 400-meter leg. (PHOTO BY Mark Connolly)

Stonehill sits in third place in the team standings after the first six events on day one of the Championship with 32.50 points. Southern Connecticut State University leads the team event with 64 points, followed by American International with 45.50.

Senior Kenny Vinacco (Scituate, Rhode Island/Scituate) earned All-NE10 honors after finishing third out of 28 entries in the 5000-meter run, leading a group of six Stonehill runners in the event, with a personal-best time of 15:01.36. Senior Sam Bradford (Bedford, Massachusetts/Bedford) placed fifth in a personal-best 15:08.62, while classmate Alex Southiere (Cumberland, Rhode Island/Cumberland) rounded out the top ten in a personal-best 15:30.12.

Senior Anthony Innamorati (Clinton, Massachusetts/Clinton) earned All-Conference honors in the pole vault, matching the second place height with a season-best 14-feet, 6-inches, but missed twice before clearing an earlier progression to place third. Classmate Dillon Neumann (Harwinton, Connecticut/Lewis Mills) earned a point for the Skyhawks with his eighth place finish at a season-best 13-feet, 0.25-inches, while junior Daniel Bomba (Putnam Valley, New York/Iona Prep) placed ninth with the same height, needing more attempts.

Connolly qualified for two finals on Saturday in the 60 and 200-meter dashes. (PHOTO BY Mark Connolly)

Junior Joe Connolly (Wilmington, Massachusetts/Austin Prep) qualified for tomorrow's finals in both the 60 and 200-meter dashes. He opened the day winning his 60-meter dash preliminary heat in 7.02-seconds, posting the third-fastest time out of 27 entries overall. Later in the afternoon, he posted the fifth-quickest 200-meter time of 22.54-seconds out of 23 entries. Sophomore Justin Ireland (Norton, Massachusetts/Norton) narrowly missed the 60-meter final, placing ninth overall in the prelims in 7.10-seconds.

Freshman Ethan Famiano (Warwick, Rhode Island/Bishop Hendricken) and sophomore Colin Kuchachik (Orange, Connecticut/Amity Regional) both qualified for tomorrow's 60-meter high hurdles final. Famiano finished second in his preliminary heat in 8.66-seconds, while Kuchachik clocked in at 8.64-seconds to earn one of the two "at large" spots based on time with the seventh-fastest time of the afternoon.

Senior Joshua Hubbell (Gloucester, Massachusetts/St. John's Prep) placed tenth in the long jump with a distance of 21-feet, 3.50-inches.

Stonehill rounds out the Northeast-10 Indoor Championships tomorrow, when day two opens with field events at 10 a.m., followed by the track events beginning at 10:30 a.m.

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