Lions post 12 qualifying times, freshmen give both squads a lift

With three NCAA provisional times and nine Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) qualifying times, the men’s and women’s track and field teams held their own at the University of Maryland’s Terrapin Invitational on Saturday.

“It was definitely a very solid showing,” head coach Eric Mobley said. “We were running against some quality competition.”

With several runners making their first appearance for the spring season, the meet served as good preparation for the team to compete as a full unit.

“It was like our first meet outdoors where we had the full team because a lot of people from nationals didn’t run at the Monmouth season opener,” Mobley said. “At this time of year those performances were good.”

Senior Brittny Boyd paced the women’s team with provisional qualifying time for the 2006 NCAA Championships in the 100-meter (12.29) and an ECAC qualifying time in the 200-meter (25.48). She also anchored the women’s 4 x 100 relay team that took home a provisional NCAA time of 48.50.

Several freshmen performed at a high level. Freshman Martine McGrath picked up sixth in the 5000-meter in a time of 18:08 while fellow freshman Stephanie Herrick took a 14th place finish in the 1500-meter. Both qualified for the ECAC.

Sophomores Carolyn Gray, Erin Enderly and Jessica Bonelli also made qualifying runs. Bonelli was able to improve her personal record in the 200 by almost a full half-second and posted a time of 25.52. Junior Angela Tecco finished just ahead of Herrick in the 1500-meter to round out the women’s qualifying times.

The men’s team also benefited from underclassmen proving their worth. Freshman Rob McGowan placed eighth in the 400-meter with an impressive time of 49:35. Fellow freshmen Matt Warren and Greg Bull each won their respective heats for their races, with Warren competing in the 400 hurdles and Bull going the distance in the 5000-meter.

In the 1500-meter, senior Brian Donovan and sophomore Brian Kopnicki took home 7th and 14th places respectively, both ECAC qualifying times. Senior Karim Cockrell used his time of 11.06 in the 100-meter to earn a qualifying bid, while junior Colin Pierce jumped his way to the ECAC with a qualifying mark of 13.29 meters in the triple jump.

Track action will continue on Friday when the men’s and women’s teams will compete at the Sam Howell Invitational on Friday at Princeton University.