Junior Maria Curit will compete in two events on Friday when she runs the 400-meter dash and then as part of the distance medley relay. (PHOTO BY SportsPix
Program best 12 student-athletes ready to compete in six events
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (March 13, 2014) – A program-record 12 student-athletes are representing Stonehill College at the 2014 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships, hosted by Visit Winston-Salem and Winston-Salem State University, being held at JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Friday and Saturday.
Stonehill's record 12 student-athletes, five women and seven men, will compete in six events over the next two days. The Skyhawks enter the NCAA Championships ranked second in both the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division II East Regional computer rankings after recording program-best team finishes at the New England Indoor Championships two weeks ago. The Stonehill women also claimed the first Northeast-10 Conference Championship in program history three weeks ago, while the men posted their fourth straight top two finish with a runner-up performance.
Live video coverage of this weekend's NCAA Championships will be available via www.ncaa.com, with links also available via the Stonehill athletics website and the links at the top of this page.
Five members of the Stonehill women's track and field program will take center stage on Friday when the program returns to the NCAA Championships for the first time since Jen Gardynski, '09, competed in the 3000-meter steeple chase at the 2009 Outdoor Championships in San Angelo, Texas. Dana DeIngenis, '07, earned bids to consecutive Outdoor Championships in 2006 and 2007, in the 1500-meter run, while also competing at the 2007 Indoor Championship in the one mile run, marking the women's last entry to the Indoor Championships.
Junior Maria Curit (Biddeford, Maine/Biddeford), who will also compete at the Championships with the Stonehill 4000-meter distance medley relay team, will get the event started for Stonehill on Friday afternoon when she competes in the 400-meter dash preliminary heats scheduled to start at 3:50 p.m. She is seeded tenth out of the 17 entries for the event with her career-best and school record time of 55.35-seconds in earning All-New England honors with her fifth place finish at the New England Championship two weeks ago. Curit is scheduled to run in heat four of five on Friday with the top eight times advancing to Saturday's 400m final scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
Senior Xavier Dixon makes his NCAA Championships debut on Friday in the 60-meter hurdles. (PHOTO BY SportsPix)
Curit will also run the 800-meter leg for Stonehill's distance medley relay which will compete in the final Friday night at 7:30 p.m. Junior Emily Anderson (Manchester, Conn./Manchester) will run the opening 1200-meter leg, followed by sophomore Jordan Gray (Warwick, R.I./Toll Gate) on the 400-meter leg and then Curit, before senior Elizabeth LaRegina (New Fairfield, Conn./New Fairfield) runs the one mile anchor leg. The relay team is seeded fourth out of the 13 entries in the final with their school-record time of 11:41.79 that won the New England Championship two weeks ago.
Rounding out the Friday events for the women is junior Sarah Wilson (West Suffield, Conn./Suffield) who will compete in the 800-meter run prelims starting at 4:50 p.m. She is seeded 14th in the field with her school-record time of 2:12.23 set with her third place finish to earn All-New England honors at the New England Championships two weeks ago. Wilson will run in the first of three heats on Friday with the top eight times advancing to Saturday's 800m final at 5:10 p.m.
While all five Stonehill women will be making their NCAA Championships debuts this weekend, the men's team has four student-athletes returning to the Championships this weekend. Three of those four will be part of the Skyhawks 4000-meter distance medley relay team which will compete in the event final on Friday night at 7 p.m. The DMR returns to the championships after a one year absence and seeks its sixth All-America finish (top eight) over the last eight years. The team is seeded 12th with its time of 9:53.64 in a second place finish at the David Hemery Valentine Invitational at Boston University on February 7.
Junior All-American Nick Staley looks for his second straight top eight performance when he competes in Saturday's high jump final.
Sophomore Nick Kirkpatrick (Carmel, Ind./Brebeuf Jesuit Prep) will run the opening 1200-meter leg, followed by sophomore Matt Baldasare (Mansfield, Mass./Mansfield) for the 400-meter left, with junior All-American Patrick Cooney (Douglaston, N.Y./Archbishop Molloy) running the 800-meter leg before junior All-American Daniel Zawalich (Paxton, Mass./St. John's of Shrewsbury) completes the one mile anchor leg. Cooney and Zawalich were both members of the 2012 DMR that earned All-America honors with a sixth place finish at the NCAA Championships in 10:04.69, along with senior All-American Justin Blaszczyk (Saint James, N.Y./Smithtown) who will serve as an alternate on Friday after running the opening 1200m leg in 2012.
Capping the Stonehill events on Friday will be the NCAA Championships debut for senior Xavier Dixon (New Bedford, Mass./New Bedford) when he competes in the 60-meter high hurdles prelims at 5:05 p.m. Dixon is seeded 13th out of the 18 entries with his career-best time of 8.00-seconds to win the NE-10 Championship three weeks ago and will run in the second of three heats on Friday evening. The three heat winners and next five fastest times will all qualify for Saturday's 60m hurdles final scheduled for 5:25 p.m. Stonehill has had an entry for this event in four of the last five NCAA Indoor Championships, with All-American Corey Thomas, '13, competing three times and earning a pair of All-America honors in the event, including an eighth place finish in 8.09-seconds.
Junior All-American Nick Staley (Medway, Mass./BC High) will conclude Stonehill's entries this weekend when he seeks his second straight All-America performance when the high jump final commences on Saturday at 4:55 p.m. He is seeded tenth out of 17 entries with his season-best height of 6-feet, 11.50-inches to win his second straight New England Championship two weeks ago. Staley, who has also competed at two NCAA Outdoor Championships in the high jump, earned All-America honors for the first time in his career at the 2013 Indoor Championships as he finished fifth with a height of 6-10.75.
Thomas earned All-America honors in the high jump four straight years at the NCAA Indoor Championships, including the 2011 national championship performance with a leap of 7-feet, 0.50-inches.