Lions dominate competition at Thompson Invitational

With numerous personal records at the Thompson Invitational, it seems that the College’s indoor track and field team is turning up the heat for their post-season push.

Saturday’s Thompson Invitational included various teams from the tri-state area from all three divisions. The Division II (DII) and III (DIII) teams, however, were scored separately from the Division I teams. Both the College’s men’s and women’s teams won the meet in a landslide, with the men beating the second-place finisher, Salisbury, by 139.5 and the women beating Haverford by 65.

On the women’s side, there were a host of personal records, especially by the distance runners. Junior Jenna Fassulo won the 3,000-meter run in the DII/DIII scoring and fourth overall with a personal best time of 10:33.40. Sophomore Lindsay Force also ran her personal best in the 1,000-meter race, turning in a time of 3:08.75.

In the long jump event, freshman Jenizah Melandez won with a score of 4.86 meters, a personal best, and also placed sixth overall in the shot put. Junior Erika Huggler beat out all the DII and DIII competition in the 60-meter hurdles race with a personal best of 9.33 seconds. That was good enough to place her fifth overall.

Huggler was impressed with the women’s performance but not surprised. She expected a big performance from her team.

“I knew the team would do pretty well against the competition because we’ve run well there in the past,” Huggler said. “Plus, with all of those personal records happening, it was a given that we were going to win.”

The men’s team also had many individuals with personal bests. Senior Matt Molski won the 1,000-meter run with a time of 2:31.82. In the 200-meter run, junior Kevin Jones won the DII-DIII race with a time of 22.9 seconds and came in second place overall in the long jump with a distance of 6.81 meters.

Junior Jeff Zodda came in first place in the 500-meter run among DII and DIII runners (second overall) with a time of 1:05.42. Freshman Brian Donatelli threw a personal best of 15.83 meters in the weight throw to win among DII and DIII competitors. His score was good enough for third overall. Donatelli says his team is kicking it into gear at a perfect point in the season.

“We used this meet as a tune-up for the next couple of weeks,” Donatelli said. “It’s always important to perform well, but we wanted to be ready for the upcoming NJAC (New Jersey Athletic Conference) Championships and ECAC (East Coast Athletic Conference) Championships.”

The NJAC Championships will be held at the 168th Street Armory in Manhattan on Sunday and the ECAC Championships will be on Mar. 4-5 at St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y. Coach Eric Mobley says his team will definitely be ready for these big meets.

“Hopefully, it keeps going the way it’s going,” Mobley said. “Everyone continues to improve, and we’re not working too hard in practice so we’re ready for the meets. We need to stay positive and have fun, but we need to realize that we’re here to get the job done.”