College athletes impress at indoor NCAA’s

Both the men’s and women’s track and field distance medley relay teams earned All-American honors at the 2009 NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships, held March 13 and 14 at the Rose-Human Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind.

Sophomore Dennis Waite, senior Rob McGowan, senior Pasquale DiGioacchino and sophomore TJ Bocchino represented the men’s team, which placed eighth with a time of 10:06.35.

On the women’s side, senior Stephanie Herrick, sophomore Meryl Wimberley, junior Jianna Spadaccini and freshman Claire Johnson placed fourth overall, clocking in at11:49.71.

“To have eight people go and eight people be All-American was awesome,” Waite said. “It hasn’t exactly sunk in yet.”

Earlier in the week, the men’s team competed at the IC4A Championships at Boston University on March 7 and 8, where the distance medley relay team shined by winning their heat with a time of 9:59.76, an NCAA provisional mark.

“The DMR at IC4As went as well as we could have hoped. Everyone was really pumped, and we ran the whole thing by ourselves. We won our heat by 6 or 7 seconds,” Waite said. “We spent the next 12 hours hoping our time would get us in to NCAA’s. We ended up being seeded ninth of 10.”

Waite led the race off with an impressive 3:02 split for the 1200 leg, followed by McGowan who dipped under 50 seconds on the 400 leg; DiGioacchino kept the Lions on pace with a 1:55.2 800 split before distance ace Bocchino flew through his 1600 anchor leg, touring the track in 4:12.9, a seven second personal best.

Freshman Ian Boyle placed eighth in the 1,000 meter run, with a time of 2:34.46, while fellow freshman Chris Medina took 11th in the long jump with a leap of 6.46 meters. Sophomore Thomas Conroy placed 13th in the weight throw with a toss of 14.76 meters.

On March 6 and 7 the women’s team focused on the East Coast Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championships at Tufts University, placing third overall with 52 points.

The 4×400 meter relay team struck gold, as Wimberley, sophomore Alexandra Tomaselli, senior Stephanie Herrick and Spadaccini combined for a NCAA provisional mark of 3:58.31.

The women’s distance medley team took second with 11:49.73, a time that automatically qualified them for the NCAA Division III Indoor Championships and set a new school record. The women’s DMR split was the second fastest run in the country this season.

The 4×800 relay team also had a strong performance, finishing second with a time of 9:41.59.

Outstanding individual performances included senior Kirsten Gerbehy earning fourth in the pentathlon with 2,844 points and senior Martine McGrath finishing fourth in the 5,000 meter run with a time of 17:50.82

Noteworthy performances in the men’s competition at the ECAC Championships included freshman Tim White’s eighth place finish in the pentathlon with 3,164 points and the rookie Boyle taking eighth in the 1,000 meters with 2:34.46. In the field events freshman Chris Medina placed 11th in the long jump with 6.46 meters and sophomore Thomas Conroy took 13th in the weight throw with 14.76 meters.