Vercollone 800m Title & Eight All-Conference Performances Put Men's Track & Field Third at NE10 Indoor Championships

Vercollone captured the 800-meter title for his second All-NE10 performance of the weekend. (PHOTO BY SportsPix)

Vercollone wins 800-meter individual title, while Taxter, Young and 4x800 turn in second place finishes

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (February 18, 2018) – The Stonehill College men's track and field collected an individual title and finished the weekend with eight All-Conference performances to take third place in the team standings at the conclusion of the 2018 Northeast-10 Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships at the Smith College Indoor Track today.

Junior Stephen Vercollone (Pembroke, Massachusetts/Pembroke) was the lone NE10 Champion among the Stonehill men this weekend, when he was left standing at the top of the pack for the 800-meter run with his time of 1:54.81. It marks his second All-NE10 performance of the weekend, after running the 800-meter leg of the 4000-meter distance medley relay on Saturday, and the fifth All-Conference performance of his career overall.

Fellow DMR teammate, junior Lucas Taxter (Readville, Massachusetts/Xaverian Brothers), who ran the mile anchor to earn All-NE10 honors on Saturday, finished second in the one mile run on Sunday in 4:14.88 for the fourth All-Conference award of his career. Classmates Riley Dowd (Peabody, Massachusetts/Peabody Veterans Memorial) and Alexander Demeule (Merrimac, Massachusetts/Pentucket Regional) also earned points for the Skyhawks with their fifth and eighth place finishes, respectively. Dowd finished in 4:18.63, while Demeule, who was also a member of the All-NE10 DMR on Saturday, posted a time of 4:22.29.

Dowd would later earn All-NE10 honors for the third time in his career, but first for indoor track, as a member of Stonehill's 4x800-meter relay team which finished second in 7:53.41, along with junior classmates David Lockhart (Stoughton, Massachusetts/Stoughton), Christopher Drace (Franklin, New Jersey/Pope John XXIII) and Matthew Shaw (Goffstown, New Hampshire/Goffstown). Lockhart opened with a 1:57.52 split on the lead leg, followed by Drace completing the second leg in 1:59.34 and then Dowd taking the baton for the third leg in 1:59.02, with Shaw running the anchor leg in 1:57.54. It marked the first All-NE10 performance by the Skyhawks 4x800 since an identical second place finish in 2015.

Taxter earned All-NE10 honors with his second place finish in the mile. (PHOTO BY Mark Connolly)

Junior Xavier Young (Barnegat, New Jersey/Barnegat) continued the impressive start to his collegiate throwing career after two years off while concentrating on his efforts with the Stonehill football program, by earning All-NE10 honors with a second place finish in the shot put. He broke his own school-record set last week at the University of Rhode Island (49-07) with a distance of 49-feet, 11.75-inches today, doing so on his very first throw of the day. Classmate Darren Shi (Yarmouth, Maine/Yarmouth) placed tenth with a throw of 44-feet, 4.75-inches.

Stonehill finished third in the team standings with 100 points, while Southern Connecticut State University won the team championship for the second-straight year and NE10 record 13th time overall with 189 points, edging American International College's 184.50 points.

Junior Joe Connolly (Wilmington, Massachusetts/Austin Prep) finished fourth in the 60-meter dash final in 7.05-seconds this afternoon after winning his prelim and posting the third-fastest time in the preliminaries with a personal-best 7.02-seconds. He also turned in a fifth place finish in the 200-meter dash today in 22.58-seconds after qualifying fifth on Saturday in 22.54-seconds.

Senior Jimmy Murphy (Mansfield, Massachusetts/Mansfield) and freshman Kevin Wheelock (Melrose, Massachusetts/Melrose) scored points for Stonehill in the 3000-meter run with sixth and eighth place finishes, respectively. Murphy was sixth in 8:41.81, while Wheelock finished eighth in 8:44.68. Senior Kenny Vinacco (Scituate, Rhode Island/Scituate), who earned All-NE10 honors in the 5000-meter run on Saturday, and classmate Sam Bradford (Bedford, Massachusetts/Bedford) doubled back on Sunday to place 11th and 12th, respectively, in the 5000m today. Vinacco posted a time of 8:50.63, while Bradford finished in 8:55.55.

Young broke his own school record and earned All-NE10 honors with a second place finish in the shot put. (PHOTO BY Mark Connolly)

Senior Jordan Sullivan (Sound Beach, New York/Miller Place) placed seventh in the high jump by clearing a height of 6-feet, 0.50-inches. Classmate Jon Naval (Stratford, Connecticut/Bunnell) finished eighth in the triple jump with a distance of 43-feet, 3-inches to also earn points for the Skyhawks from the field events.

Freshman Hampton Boyd (Holliston, Massachusetts/Holliston), who was the final member of Stonehill's All-NE10 DMR on Saturday, collected a point for the Skyhawks with his eighth place finish in the 400-meter dash today. He clocked in at 50.62-seconds.

Boyd also ran the lead leg of Stonehill's 4x400-meter relay that finished fourth in 3:25.68, along with classmate Desmond Bernal (Warwick, Rhode Island/Bishop Hendricken), junior Daniel Madsen (West Haven, Connecticut/Notre Dame-West Haven) and senior Joshua Hubbell (Gloucester, Massachusetts/St. John's Prep). Boyd ran the lead leg in 50.79-seconds, followed by Madsen's 51.44-second split on the second leg, while Bernal completed the third leg in 52.97 and then Hubbell finished the anchor leg in 50.80.

Sophomore Colin Kuchachik (Orange, Connecticut/Amity Regional) finished fourth in the 60-meter high hurdles final in a personal-best 8.53-seconds, while freshman Ethan Famiano (Warwick, Rhode Island/Bishop Hendricken) was sixth in 8.63. Kuchachik qualified with the seventh-fastest time in Saturday's prelims in 8.64-seconds, while Famiano finished second in his preliminary heat in 8.66.

Stonehill started the NE10 Championships with four All-Northeast-10 performances on Saturday. Senior Stefan Balestra (Lincoln, Rhode Island/Lincoln) broke the school-record in the weight throw with a distance of 56-feet, 2.00-inches to place second. Stonehill's 4000-meter distance medley relay took second in 9:57.51 for the relay's first All-Conference finish since 2013, while Vinacco finished third in the 5000-meter run in a personal-best 15:01.36 and senior Anthony Innamorati (Clinton, Massachusetts/Clinton) placed third in the pole vault with a season-best height of 14-feet, 6-inches for the sixth All-NE10 performance of his career for the two-time NE10 Outdoor pole vault champion.

Stonehill returns to action next Sunday, February 25, when it participates in Boston University's "Last Chance" Meet looking to improve on some NCAA Indoor Championship qualifiers for two weeks later in Pittsburg, Kansas, March 9-10.

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