NE-10 Outdoor Track & Field Championships Preview

Skyhawks to defend seven combined titles this weekend

EASTON, Mass. (May 3, 2012) – The Stonehill College men's and women's outdoor track and field teams will be competing in the 2012 Northeast-10 Conference (NE-10) Outdoor Track & Field Championships beginning on Friday, May 4. The two day event will be hosted by Southern Connecticut State University at Jess Dow Field in New Haven, Connecticut.

Southern Connecticut State University's men's squad enters the NE-10 Outdoor Championships as the nine-time defending champion. Stonehill is coming off of a second place finish at last year's NE-10 championships scoring 154 total points behind the Owls (221 points). On the women's side, Southern Connecticut has captured the last two conference titles. The Skyhawks finished fourth last season and posted back-to-back third place showings in 2009 and 2010.

Junior Caroline McBride will look
to defend her title in the 10,000
meter run.

Skyhawks To Watch – Women

Juniors Caroline McBride (North Reading, Mass./North Reading) and Kristen Veit (Easthampton, Mass./Holyoke Catholic) highlight the Stonehill women's squad as defending champions in the 10,000-meter run and 3,000-meter steeplechase events, respectively.

McBride captured the 10K individual title last season with a time of 39:35.72, almost seven seconds faster than the second place finisher. McBride has competed once in the 10,000-meter run this year posting a school record time of 37:40.01 at the Skyhawk Invitational on April 14. Her performance broke Kelly Chaisson's mark of 37:47.63 set on March 24, 2007 at Northeastern University.

McBride has been no stranger to success at the NE-10 Outdoor Track & Field Championships as she placed third overall in the 5,000-meter run in her freshman season at Stonehill in 18:55.22. McBride currently ranks first overall in the 10,000-meter run headed into this weekend's championships. 

Veit has finished third or better in the 3,000-meter steeplechase since her rookie campaign as a member of the track and field program. As a freshman she placed third overall with a time of 11:34.72 and captured a title last season in 11:37.45, more than five seconds faster than second place. Veit checks in at second overall on the NE-10 performance list after running a time of 11:38.70 earlier this year at the Skyhawk Invitational on the W.B. Mason Stadium Track. She is seeded second overall out of a field of seven competitors.

Freshman Maria Curit (Biddeford, Maine/Biddeford) ranks in the top-five on the NE-10 performance list in two events entering the NE-10 Championships. Curit is ranked third overall in the 400-meter run with a time of 57.46-seconds and fourth overall in the long jump with a leap of 17-feet and 11.75-inches. Curit, who is the school record holder in both events, is seeded second overall in the 400-meter run based on the heat sheets and third in the long jump. So far this season, Curit has earned one Track Athlete of the Week award (4/9), four Track Rookie of the Week selections (4/3, 4/9, 4/16, 4/23) and two Field Rookie of the Week honors (4/9, 4/16).

Classmate and newly minted NE-10 Track Rookie of the Week Emily Anderson (Manchester, Conn./Manchester) is coming off of her best time in the 1,500-meter run posting a 13th place finish overall at the Brown Springtime Open last Sunday out of 31 competitors. Anderson ranks fourth on the conference's performance list while senior Maura Ferrarini (Springfield, Mass./Cathedral) is currently situated in third place overall.

Stonehill's 4x800-meter relay team consisting of Curit, senior Jill Alves (Whitman, Mass./Whitman-Hanson), freshman Sarah Wilson (West Suffield, Conn./Suffield) and senior Christen Carrier (Manchester, N.H./Manchester Central) check in with the fastest time on the NE-10 performance list with their school record mark of 9:11.51 which was set on Saturday, April 28 at the 117th edition of the Penn Relays in front of a crowd of over 35,000 fans at historic Franklin Field. The Skyhawks are the defending champions in this event after taking last year's title with a time of 9:45.04.

In the 800-meter run, Wilson ranks fourth overall while Carrier checks in at eight on the NE-10 performance list but is seeded seventh based on the heats list. Alves will run in the 1,500-meter event and is seeded seventh overall.

Skyhawks To Watch – Men

Day one of the NE-10 Championships may feature the most anticipated event of the meet as Stonehill junior All-American Corey Thomas (Brookline, Mass./BC High), freshman Nicholas Staley (Medway, Mass./BC High) and New Haven's Matthew Jeune (West Haven, Conn./Notre Dame) will all compete for the high jump title which is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Friday.

Thomas is the defending NE-10 high jump outdoor champion after clearing 6-feet and 6.75-inches on his first attempt last season. Thomas and Staley are currently ranked 11th overall in Division II while Jeune is tied for 18th overall in the event.

Staley is coming off of a second place finish at the Brown Springtime Open last Sunday with a career-best jump, indoors or outdoors, of 6-feet and 11-inches. Staley has earned four-straight NE-10 Field Rookie of the Week awards and one Field Athlete of the Week award this season.

Junior All-American Corey Thomas will
try to defend his titles in the high jump
and the 110-meter hurdles.

Jeune captured the most recent NE-10 high jump indoor championship over both Staley and Thomas establishing a new conference championship record with a leap of 7-feet and 2.25-inches. Thomas took second with his height of 7-feet, 0.25-inches to earn All-Conference honors in that event for the third-straight year while Staley placed third by clearing 6-08.25.

Thomas will also look to capture his third-straight title in the 110-meter hurdles on Saturday while sophomore Xavier Harris-Dixon (New Bedford, Mass./New Bedford) looks to back up his second place finish from a year ago and earn his second-straight All-NE-10 honor in the event.

Freshman Teague Grubel (Phoenix, Ariz./Shadow Mountain) checks in at fifth overall on the NE-10 performance list in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.89-seconds and seventh in the 200-meter dash in 21.87-seconds.

Senior Stephen Polito (Worcester, Mass./Doherty Memorial) is ranked fourth overall in the 5,000-meter run on the NE-10 performance list headed into this weekend's conference championship meet. However, Polito is seeded first overall (14:41.67) by more than 20 seconds. Alves is also tenth in the 1,500-meter run. Last season, Polito finished third overall in the event.

Junior Ethan Penney (Haverhill, Mass./Haverhill) is seeded third overall in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Penney won the event at the Skyhawk Invitational running a time of 9:36.67.

The Skyhawks, who are always well represented in the distance events, are also ranked well in the field events this weekend. Along with Staley and Thomas in the high jump, Stonehill pole vaulters Luke Byrnes (Glen Head, N.Y./Chaminade) and Kevin McCann (Monroe, Conn./Masuk) are positioned second and fourth, respectively.

Byrnes broke the school record in the event at the Skyhawk Invitational clearing 15-feet and 3-inches while McCann's best vault this year is 14-feet and 3.25-inches. McCann's career-best is 14-feet and 5.52-inches which is the indoor school record.

Senior Dan Kincade (Brookfield, Conn./Brookfield) is ranked second overall in the hammer throw after finishing third overall at the Holy Cross Crusades with a school record throw of 169-feet and 9-inches.

Dedicated in 1988, Jess Dow Field is a multi-million dollar stadium facility which can accommodate football, soccer, field hockey and track and field. The artificially surfaced playing field is surrounded by an eight-lane, state-of-the-art 400-meter track. Directly adjacent to Moore Fieldhouse, Jess Dow Field is lighted and has a seating capacity of 6,000. Jess Dow Field has been the site of NCAA championship contests, Connecticut high school football championships and annually hosts the New Haven County Special Olympic Games.