Dirty Dozen: Lions win 12th straight NJAC title

Their busy schedule didn’t slow the College’s indoor men’s and women’s track and field teams. Both captured a 12th consecutive New Jersey Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field Championship title at the 168th Street Armory on Feb. 23. The teams have won every indoor championship since the conference began conducting the meet in 1998.

The men’s team took first in three of 18 events – the mile run, weight throw and distance medley, scoring 171.5 points, 38 above opponent Ramapo.

Thomas Conroy, sophomore weight thrower, said, “We won the meet for the 12th consecutive year, making the College the only school to have ever won the Indoor Conference Championship Meet.”

Conroy placed first in the 35-pound weight throw with a ECAC-qualifying distance of 15.66 meters. Lions placed third and fourth in the event.

“My throw was a personal best by almost two meters and beat out Ramapo’s top performer by almost two feet,” Conroy said.

In total, the men’s throwing team scored 31 points.

Sophomore Dennie Waite set the NJAC meet record for the mile run with a winning time of 4:18:11 minutes. He also won the event the previous year. Waite placed third in the 3,000-meter run with a time of 9:00:81 minutes.

The women’s team scored 240 points, a 110-point margin over second place Ramapo. The lady Lions won nine out of 18 events, finishing first in the long jump, 55-meter hurdles, distance medley relay, mile run, 400-meter dash, 800-meter run, 3,000-meter run, 4×400 meter relay and 4×800 meter relay.

Sophomore Kristen Tricocci won long jump for her second straight year with a jump of 5.45 meters, a NCAA provisional mark. Tricocci also placed second in the high jump with a mark of 1.58 meters.

Senior Stephanie Herrick won the mile run with a time of 5:06:32 minutes and placed second in the 800-meter run tailing teammate Katie Nestor.

Junior Priscilla Senyah took first in the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 8.56 seconds and placed third in the 55-meter dash at 7.41 seconds.

Philip Jennings, head coach, was named the 2009 Women’s Indoor Track and Field Coach of the Year by his peers at the NJAC Championship on Monday.

The College’s men’s and women’s track and field teams also competed on Feb. 27 at the NYU Fast Track Invitational, also at the New York City Armory Track and Field Center.

A top Lion male performer was sophomore Dennie Waite, who placed first in the 1,000-meter run with an ECAC qualifying time of 2:28:0 minutes. Waite set the school record, winning by .46 of a second.

The men’s 4×400 meter relay team placed fourth with an ECAC-qualifying mark of 3:19:34 minutes. Seniors Rob McGowan, Pasquale DiGioacchino, Steve Marray and freshman Justin Worthing comprised the team.

Senior Stephanie Herrick, a top female performer, placed fourth in the 800-meter run with a NCAA-qualifying time of 2:12:01 minutes. Herrick was the top NCAA Division II finisher in the event. Junior Jianna Spadaccini placed seventh in the event at 2:31:31 minutes, also making the NCAA provisional cut.

Senior Martine McGrath placed second overall in the 3,000-meter run with a time of 17:28:73 minutes, and teammate Megan Donovan placed eighth.

Senior Kristen Tricocci took fifth in the high jump, clearing 1.55 meters, and ninth in the long jump at 5.38 meters, an ECAC- worthy distance.

“Both our men’s and women’s teams rose to the challenge of our conference competition Monday and performed admirably,” head coach Phillip Jennings said. “Our athletes and coaches take great pride in the winning tradition that the program has established over the last 11 years, and their performances indicate as such.”

The male and female track and field teams are now preparing for Friday, the ECAC Championships at Tufts University in Medford, Mass.

Waite commented on the team’s performance.

“It was a good week for the College. We put in a lot of work over winter break, and in our 6 a.m. workouts on Tuesdays and Thursdays all semester, and it was great to see people put together some stellar races,” he said. “ECACs and IC4As are both next week in Boston, and everyone who qualified is ready to run some fast times. If everything goes according to plan, some of us will be punching our tickets to NCAAs after this weekend.”