Skyhawks move up to No. 4 on national list after school-record effort
The DMR including McNamee, Vercollone, Connolly, and Taxter broke the school record and was 0.04 shy of the NCAA Division II automatic qualifying standard (PHOTO BY: Mark Connolly)
BOSTON, Mass. (February 24, 2019) – The Stonehill College men's 4000-meter distance medley relay vaulted up the NCAA Division II performance chart after turning in a school-record performance and three individuals recorded personal-bests at the Boston University Last Chance Meet, at the BU Track & Tennis Center, this afternoon.
Stonehill's newly configured distance medley relay team of senior All-Americans Lucas Taxter and Stephen Vercollone, along with classmate Joe Connolly and freshman Nickolas McNamee finished first among the three teams entered in the event at the last chance qualifier and posted a school-record time of 9:47.24 to move up from 19th on the NCAA Division II performance list all the way to No. 4 – just 0.04 shy of the automatic qualifying standard. The relay team broke the previous school record of 9:49.12 set by Taxter, Vercollone, Joshua Hubbell, '18 and senior Alex Demeule during their fifth-place finish at the 2018 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships to earn All-America honors.
Taxter and Connolly both turned in unofficial school-record splits to key the performance this afternoon. McNamee ran the opening 1200-meter leg in 3:03.369, before handing off to Connolly who completed the 400-meter leg in 48.351-seconds, while Vercollone completed the 800-meter leg in 1:54.100 and then Taxter brought the record home with an incredible 4:01.412 mile anchor. Stonehill won the relay by 14-seconds over Academy of Art (10:02.55), while Saint Thomas Aquinas College finished third (10:51.35).
Ireland clocked in a personal best time of 22.04-seconds in the 200-meter dash (PHOTO BY: SportsPix)
Taxter's anchor leg would have broken former All-American and Stonehill Athletic Hall of Famer Keith Gill's '09 school-record of 4:03.43 in 2008 by over two seconds under official timing conditions and would have automatically qualified him for next month's NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships, moving up from fourth to third on the NCAA performance charts. Connolly, who has only ran the 400-meters eight times in his collegiate career, and always as part of 4x400-meter relays at Stonehill, posted an unofficial time that would have edged out the previous school record of 48.95-seconds by Pak Lul, '10 in 2010 by over a half second and would provisionally qualify for nationals.
Junior Justin Ireland placed 27th out of 75 entries in the 200-meter dash in a personal-best 22.04-seconds. Sophomore Christopher Lanahan and Demeule finished 22nd and 25th, respectively, out of 71 entries, in the 800-meter run. Lanahan clocked in at a personal-best 1:54.64, while Demeule finished in a personal-best 1:55.19.
Stonehill will learn which events it has qualified for the NCAA Division II Indoor Championships, hosted by Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas, when the NCAA announces accepted entries on Tuesday at 6 p.m.
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