Preview: Men’s Track & Field to Compete in NE10 Indoor Championships

Men voted to take third in NE10 Pre-Championship Coaches' Poll

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Vercollone is currently ranked 28th on the NCAA provisional list and third in the NE10 (PHOTO BY: SportsPix)

EASTON, Mass. (February 14, 2018) – The Stonehill College men's track and field team will compete in the Northeast-10 Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships on Saturday, February 16 to Sunday, February 17, hosted by American International College at Smith College Indoor Track Facility in Northampton, Massachusetts.

The men are currently ranked No. 4 in this week's U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) NCAA Division II East Regional Computer Rankings and 71st in the Indoor Track & Field National Rating Index.

The men were selected by the NE10's 11 coaches to finish third in the Conference, as Southern Connecticut State University looks to capture its third-straight title and 13th Championship in program history. The Owls received 99 points with nine first-place tallies, while American International College will fight to get to the top, as the coaches picked the Yellow Jackets to finish second with 86 points and one first place-vote. The Skyhawks claimed 84 points for third place, as Merrimack College totaled 73 points and one first-place vote and Assumption College rounded out the top five with 61 points.

Last year, the Skyhawks finished third at the NE10 Indoor Championships and earned eight All-Conference nods and one individual champion. This year, Stonehill has seen three NCAA Division II provisional qualifying events, including senior Stephen Vercollone in the 800-meter run, Lucas Taxter in the mile, and the 4000-meter distance medley relay.

Vercollone is currently ranked 28th in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:52.81, which he clocked in at the David Hemery Valentine Invitational last weekend. The seniors' time last season, earned him the 800-meter individual title and an All-Conference honor. On the NE10 performance list, Vercollone is ranked third in the Conference. Three other Skyhawks are in the top 10 of the Conference including, Christopher Lanahan , Nickolas McNamee, and Matthew Shaw.

Taxter has provisionally qualified for the mile run with his time of 4:09.49, which he clocked in at the John Thomas Terrier Classic in late January. He is ranked 19th in Division II, and he is second in the NE10 as he looks to best his second-place finish and All-Conference nod from last Championship. McNamee and senior Alex Demeule are also listed in the top 10 in the mile for the Skyhawks.

The 4000-meter distance medley relay, including Demeule, Vercollone, Taxter, and Hampton Boyd sits 11th in Division II with their time of 9:53.89. This time also sits second in the NE10, where three other teams have provisionally qualified this season, including American International which is not far out of the Skyhawks' reach.

Connolly finished fourth in last years' NE10 Championship and sits third in the Conference currently (PHOTO BY: Mark Connolly)

In the 60-meter dash, junior Justin Ireland and senior Joe Connolly sit second and third, respectively, in the NE10 with their times of 6.99-seconds and 7.02-seconds, respectively. Connolly just missed out on a 60-meter All-Conference honor last season with a fourth place finish, and this season he is tabbed sixth in the Conference with his time of 22.02-seconds in the 200-meter sprint where he finished fifth in the Conference Championships.

Boyd will also look to earn points for the Skyhawks as he is ranked 10th with his time in the 400-meter run, as he looks to best his eighth-place performance last Championship.

Sophomore Jeff Pichie an freshman Shane Braz will look to get points for the Skyhawks as they compete in their first indoor NE10 Championship ranking sixth and 10th, respectively, in the 5000-meter run.

Both Collin Kuchachik and Ethan Famiano aim to qualify for the 60-meter hurdles finals, just as they did last year. This season Famiano is ranked sixth in the Conference, while Kuchachik is placed seventh.

Stonehill's 4x800-meter relay team is at the top of the leaderboard for the NE10 and the 4x400-meter relay team is currently eighth in the Conference.

Senior pole vaulter Daniel Bomba sits in the top five of the Conference with his career best height of 13 feet, 7.25 inches. Classmate Xavier Young, who earned his first-career All-Conference honor last season, looks to best last year and this years' mark as he is second in the Conference. The senior posted a career best and new school record after throwing a mark of 50 feet, 1.75 inches last weekend.

Following the NE10 Championships, Stonehill will compete at the BU Last Chance Meet at the BU Track & Tennis Center, hosted by Boston University on Sunday, February 24, before sending those that qualified to the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships in Pittsburg, Kansas, hosted by Pittsburg State University.

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