Taxter qualified for tomorrow night's final in the one mile run (PHOTO BY Mark Connolly)
Taxter qualifies for Saturday's one mile run final with fourth-fastest time today
PITTSBURG, Kansas (March 8, 2019) – Stonehill College senior All-American Lucas Taxter will run for a national championship on Saturday night after posting the fourth-fastest qualifying time in the one mile run preliminary heats on day one of the 2019 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships, hosted by Pittsburg State University, inside the Robert W. Plaster Center today.
Taxter, competing individually at the NCAA Track & Field Championships for the first time, running the double with the 4000-meter distance medley relay after earning his first career All-America award with the relay last winter. He started the day by posting the fourth-fastest time in the one mile run prelims as he clocked in at 4:09.80 to qualify for tomorrow night's final at 6:50 p.m. Taxter finished fourth in the second of two sections and was steady throughout. He was second after 109-meters, and falling as low as fifth after the first full lap (1:05.48), but was fourth after each of the remaining four laps, running mid-46-second splits for the next three laps, before kicking in with a 44.36-second split for the bell lap. He grabbed the first at large spot on the final after the top three from each of the two preliminary heats qualified automatically.
Vercollone ran the 800-meter run prelims tonight (PHOTO BY Mark Connolly)
Senior All-American Stephen Vercollone was also attempting a double, competing as an individual for the first time by qualifying for the 800-meter run, finishing 17th in today's prelims in 1:58.56. He was second after the first 200-meters (26.63-seconds) in the third and final section, and then was sixth after 500-meters (1:08.05) after a 41.43-second split.
Stonehill reshuffled its distance medley relay and finished 12th in 10:11.39. Senior All-American Alex Demeule subbed in for the opening 1200-meter run, while senior Joe Connolly ran the 400-meter leg, freshman Nickolas McNamee took over for Vercollone for the 800-meter leg and then Taxter ran the mile anchor.
Demeule ran the 1200-meter lead leg in 3:03, with Connolly completing the 400-meter leg in 48-seconds and then McNamee finished the 800-meter leg in 1:58, before Taxter finished the mile anchor in 4:21, with all split times unofficial.
Taxter will bring Stonehill's indoor season to a close tomorrow when he runs his first career mile final at 6:50 p.m. (EST). He will be looking to claim his second individual All-America honor of his career, and the first for track & field, after finishing a program-best 19th at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in December.
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.