Tecco takes gold, Zodda settles for second after photo-finish

The College has at least one Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) gold medal winner after this weekend’s ECAC Championships at Ursinus University.

In a blaze of glory, junior Angela Tecco blew past the field en route to a 2:14.44 first-place finish in the women’s 800-meter run, earning herself ECAC gold. Tecco’s teammate, freshmen Stephanie Herrick, placed second in the event, merely seconds behind Tecco’s blurring visage.

“I was determined to get out first and never look back,” Tecco said. Acknowledging Herrick shadowing her the whole race, Tecco noted she was lucky to have teammates, such as Herrick, who pushed her hard to the finish line.

The men’s squad finished second overall with 67 points, behind only New Jersey City University, who ran away with first with a score of 96. The girls, however, did not fare as well as their male counterparts did, finishing in fourth with 73.50 points, despite Tecco’s blazing performance.

Tecco said she was “a little disappointed” with the women’s overall team finish, a claim the usually optimistic head coach Eric Mobley was hesitant to completely refute.

“I don’t know if I want to say disappointed, but I think there were some opportunities and – I addressed this to the team – opportunities that some people took advantage of and some people didn’t,” he said. “Overall, I still think it was a good meet.”

Senior Jeff Zodda, a staple to the men’s team, put forth another record-setting effort, but ironically enough, it wasn’t enough to win ECAC gold. In the men’s 500-meter dash, there was a true photo finish, as Zodda lost to New Jersey City’s Anthony Campbell by a split second – .05 of a second to be exact – and fell to second place.

“As long as athletes go out and give 100 percent of what they have on that day, I’m never disappointed,” Mobley said afterward. “He gave what he had on that day and he just got beat. He competed and ran fast, but you can’t win them all.”

In another blink-and-you’ll-miss-it finish, the men’s 4×800-meter relay team pulled out a second-place time of 8:01.83, finishing less than half a second behind first-place winner Ithaca College. Zodda and the relay team’s losses far from crippled the Lions, however, as they were still well out of reach of first place. Eventual champion New Jersey City finished 29 points ahead of the College.

All things considered, Mobley ultimately thought the weekend’s events acted as a great springboard for this weekend’s National Collegiate Athletic Association Divison III Championships at St. Olaf College.

Tecco agreed with Mobley’s sentiments, saying her first-place finish at the ECAC meet this weekend proved “hard work in practice eventually does pay off.” Tecco continued, “We need to remember the indoor season is not over yet; there’s always nationals.”