Lions speed ahead to first place

Junior Cristina D’Amato. (Photo courtesty of the Sports Information Desk)

Wintry conditions didn’t stop the College’s Track and Field team from competing at the New York University Fastrack Invitational on Feb. 26. After winning the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) for the 13th straight year on Feb. 22, a few members of the team returned to The Armory in one last attempt to qualify for the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships this weekend and the NCAAs later this month.

“We’ve never lost an indoor NJAC, so the Fastrack Invite is an opportunity to represent our school and show the conference why we’ve never lost,” junior Dennis Waite said. “The fact that we do win, individually and as a team is motivation to do better and keep racing.”

Freshman Brielle Doremus was the only Lion to break a College record during the meet. Her triple jump distance of 10.85 meters earned her an 8th place finish.

The throwers made high marks, with multiple Lions placing in the top 10 of their events. Senior Ashley Krauss finished fifth in the weight throw with 14.04 meters, the best result by any Division III competitor at the invitational. Junior Cristina D’Amato and freshman Mary Chismar placed eighth and 11th in the same event respectively.

The men’s team also had a strong performance. Senior Steve Liccketto took fourth in the weight throw with a distance of 15.72 meters, also the best distance for all Division III athletes. Fellow senior Zach Goldstein was right behind him in sixth with 14.93 meters. Junior Alexander Necovski placed 10th in the shot put with a throw of 13.65 meters.

Following her first place finish in both the 55-meter dash and 55-meter hurdles at the NJACs last week, senior Priscilla Senyah continued to turn heads by finishing eighth in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.86 seconds. Also performing strong was NJAC first place finisher and senior Jianna Spadaccini, who placed 11th in the 400-meter with a time of 57.71. She also competed in the 4×400 relay with senior Meghan Miller, as well as juniors Kayla Ghanavati and Meryl Wimberly. The team placed seventh with a time of 3:56.58.

The men’s 4×400 relay team of senior DeShard Stevens, junior Kyle Gilroy, sophomore Justin Worthing, and freshman Robert Searby also came in seventh with a time of 3:19.38. Gilroy placed well as an individual too, placing 10th in the 60 meter hurdle event with an 8.40. While junior Rob Nihen already qualified for the ECACs in a previous meet, he improved upon his time in the mile, achieving a personal best of a 4:18.01. Junior Dennis Waite who took first in the mile for the third consecutive year at NJACs, finished 9th in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:54.14, an NCAA provisional mark.

“You have to think of every meet as an individual experience, with nothing beyond it,” Waite comments. “At NJACs, you don’t hold anything back because you’re worried about Fastrack, or any other meet. There is always a focus to run hard at the meet you’re at today, and not worry about later.”

The Lions continue their season with the ECAC Championships this weekend at Smith College.