Cold weather not an obstacle, Lions take eight qualifying times

The Lions stayed hot in the cold weather this past weekend at the Sam Howell Invitational, picking up two NCAA provisional times and six Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC)-qualifying times.

“The competition at the meet was very good. Our team still had good performances that they were satisfied with,” freshman Stephanie Herrick said. “The weather at the meet was terrible; it was freezing and raining. The weather made it more difficult to run fast times, but it affected all the teams that were at the meet.” Herrick led the women’s team, as she placed fifth in the 800-meter run with an NCAA provisional time of 2:15.44.

“I was pumped up to run in the seeded heat and I just told myself that everyone has to run in the same conditions and if I don’t let it affect myself, then I’ll have an advantage over everyone who lets it affect them,” Herrick said. “I didn’t expect to run that fast this early, and the race got me excited about the rest of the season.”

Junior Angela Tecco placed sixth in the same race to mark the Lions’ first ECAC-qualifying time of 2:16.16.

Senior Jenna Fasulo took ninth in the 5,000-meter run with an ECAC time of 18:20.93, while freshman Megan O’Leary placed 12th in 18:37.66. Freshman Martine McGrath also picked up an ECAC time of 11:26.54 for her performance in the steeplechase.

The Lions’ fifth-place 4 x 100 relay team of seniors Erika Huggler and Brittny Boyd and sophomores Jessica Bonelli and Carolyn Gray posted the women’s final ECAC time.

The men’s team also did well, collecting another NCAA time and two more ECAC times.

Senior Brian Donovan placed ninth in the 5,000-meter run for an NCAA time of 14:31.98, while senior teammate Matt Randal posted an ECAC-qualifying time of 15:09.96 in the race.

Sophomore Brian Kopnicki continued the strong effort, as he placed eighth in the steeplechase to receive the final ECAC time with a 9:24.43 run.

In the 400-meter run, freshman Rob McGowan registered a fourth-place time of 50.13, while the men’s 4 x 100 relay team also took fourth place with a time of 43.41 behind the efforts of McGowan, seniors Stephen Andrews and Kevin Jones and freshman Kevin Grandstaff.

Senior Jeff Zodda rounded out the competition with a sixth-place finish in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:55.61.

The Lions will have their first home meet of the season on April 15 at the New Jersey Invitational to be held at the College at 9 a.m.