Lions capture conference title, Zodda, Boyd take home honors

Completely dominating the competition, the Lions indoor track and field team ran away with yet another victory at the 2006 New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) in Bronx, N.Y. on Sunday.

This is the team’s ninth consecutive championship since indoor track was introduced in 1998. Head coach Eric Mobley was confident in the team’s ability to take home the win.

“We have a deep team and someone strong to cover each event and even our underclassmen really stepped up and performed great,” Mobley said. “Even though there was an additional team this year, we still were able to win by the same point differential as we did in the past.”

Leading the Lions were seniors Brittny Boyd and Jeff Zodda, who, took first in over three events and picked up individual honors. Zodda broke the NJAC 800-meter run record in a NCAA qualifying time of 1:52.90 and was part of the first place winning 4×400-meter relay team. He was also awarded Co-Outstanding Male Track Athlete of the Year along with New Jersey City University sophomore Thomas Hunter.

Boyd won the long jump, the 55-meter dash and the 200-meter run and also took home the Most Outstanding Female award.

In addition to the two outstanding seniors, several other Lions performed well. Assisting Zodda in the 4×400-meter relay were sophomore Pat Flinn, senior Kevin Jones and freshman Rob McGowan.

McGowan’s effort as the anchor in the 4×400 was something worth talking about, according to senior Brian Hoffman. McGowan did his best to finish first and was able to stay ahead of the runner on his heels, while passing the first-place runner during the final 100 meters in the event.

“It was pretty exciting see him take over the first place position and win it for the team,” Hoffman said. Hoffman himself didn’t come home empty-handed; he won first place in the pole vault, jumping over 14 feet.

The men’s distance runners took home a double victory. In the 3,000-meter run, senior Brian Donovan took first with a time of 8:33.56, breaking the course record held by the College’s Nick Ricco, while freshman Chris Guerriero finished first in the 5,000-meter run in 15:33.54.

On the women’s side, senior Bobbi Jo Leightly won the shot put with a toss of 11.97 meters, and junior Elyse Mitchell won the pole vault with a jump of 3.05 meters.

Overall it was a great meet for the Lions; they maintained their winning streak and next year looks just as good. “We’re just going to stay positive and come out with a victory,” Mobley said.