LEFT TO RIGHT: Taxter, Boyd, Demeule and Vercollone captured Stonehill's first New England Championship in program history for the distance medley relay.
Skyhawks relay earns All-New England status for eighth-straight year, provisionally qualifies for NCAA Championships
DORCHESTER, Mass. (February 1, 2019) – Stonehill College's men's 4000-meter distance medley relay captured the New England Championship and hit the NCAA Division II provisional qualifying mark to highlight day one at the 2019 New England Intercollegiate Indoor Track & Field Championships at the Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Center today.
Stonehill's 4000-meter distance medley relay won its first New England Championship for the event in program history with an NCAA Division II provisional qualifying time of 9:53.89, marking the eighth-straight year the relay has earned All-New England honors. The Skyhawks improved on three second-place finishes program history in 2018, 2012 and 2009. Running the event for the Skyhawks were senior All-Americans Alex Demeule, Lucas Taxter and Stephen Vercollone, along with sophomore Hampton Boyd.
Demeule ran the opening 1200-meter leg in 3:04.9, with Boyd completing the 400-meter leg in 49.9-seconds and then Vercollone took the baton for the 800-meter leg in 1:52.9, before Taxter completed the mile anchor in 4:06.0, kicking into the lead for good with 50-meters to go after dipping to second heading into the bell lap. His unofficial mile time would be a new personal best and good for third nationally. Stonehill's DMR time currently ranks sixth on the NCAA Division II performance list and ranks second in the Northeast-10 Conference, behind American International College's previous time of 9:53.38 at Boston University last month. Tonight, the Skyhawks edged the University of Connecticut (9:54.42), while Southern Connecticut State University (10:00.12) rounded out the top three.
Ireland qualified for tomorrow's 60-meter dash semifinals (PHOTO BY Lewis Glass/SportsPix)
Stonehill's ten points earned with the first place finish for the DMR puts the Skyhawks in seventh place in the team standings after the opening day with five total events scored. Connecticut is first with 44 points, while Southern Connecticut State is second with 27 points to lead the Division II programs at the event.
Junior Justin Ireland qualified for tomorrow's 60-meter dash semifinals, matching the seventh fastest time out of 30 entries in 7.06-seconds to finish third in his qualifying heat. Senior Joe Connolly placed 18th overall in the prelims in 7.13-seconds – 0.01 shy of qualifying for the semis. The top two finishers and next four fastest runners in tomorrow morning's two semifinal sections will reach the final later in the afternoon.
Ireland and Connolly both missed tomorrow's 200-meter dash finals, finishing 11th and 19th out of 33 entries in today's prelims. Ireland clocked in at a personal-best matching 22.31-seconds, while Connolly posted a time of 22.57-seconds. The top eight fastest times today advanced to tomorrow's final.
The New England Championships continue on Saturday at the Reggie Lewis Center with events starting at 11 a.m.
For the latest on Stonehill Athletics, follow the Skyhawks via social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Fans can also download the Stonehill Skyhawks "Front Row" mobile app, powered by PrestoSports, on iTunes and the Android Market.