Just one week away from the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III Track & Field Championships and two weeks from the NCAA Division III Championships, the College achieved several qualifying times for the annual event at the FasTrack Invitational in New York City.
Leading the way for the Lions, junior Brian Kopnicki met the ECAC standard time by finishing sixth in the men’s one-mile run at a time of 4:13.49. Kopnicki just missed out on the NCAA provisional cut. Sophomore Chris Guerriero also competed in the race, placing 11th with an ECAC qualifying time of 4:16.78.
“Strategically I don’t think I ran the smartest, which I think hurt my time,” Kopnicki said. “I got stuck in the back of the pack off the gun and never was really able to work my way back up to the front. The 4:13 does get me onto the NCAA provisional list, so I can’t be too upset.”
In the 5,000-meter event, sophomore Kyle Alpaugh finished with a mark of 15:22.53, while senior Marc Altenau completed the 1,000-meter run in 2:35.18. Both runners posted ECAC qualifying times.
“I was pleased with how I personally performed,” Altenau said. “Qualifying for ECACs was a pleasant surprise for me, as I am coming off an injury suffered during cross country.”
In other men’s events, sophomore Rob McGowan posted an ECAC mark in the 400 meters with a time of 49.91 seconds, while sophomore runner Josh Krowicki notched another ECAC time of 1:57.80 in the 800 meters. Junior Brian Donatelli placed sixth in the weight toss with an ECAC distance of 15.92 meters.
“I think the people who go to championships will definitely put up a good showing,” Donatelli said. “They always do.”
“As of right now we don’t have too many guys qualifying for Nationals, but hopefully next week we can get some more names on the list,” Kopnicki said. “At Nationals the biggest thing is getting bodies on the line, and once the gun goes off anything can happen.”
The College’s success did not end there, as the women’s 4×400 relay team recorded an NCAA provisional time of 3:55.41. The unit is comprised of senior Angela Tecco, junior Jessica Bonelli, freshman Jianna Spadacinni and freshman Kristen Tricocci.
Sophomore Stephanie Herrick posted an ECAC standard time of 5:03.89 in the one-mile run, placing third. In the 3,000 meter run, junior Erin Enderly clocked an ECAC-worthy time of 10:48.18.
The ECAC Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships are being held March 2-3 at Wesleyan University in Middleton, Conn.