Runners use Challenge to improve for ECACs

The men’s and women’s track and field teams ran well in the Armory College Challenge on Friday, Feb. 25. Also known as the “Last Chance Meet,” it gave some of the competitors the opportunity to qualify for the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships this weekend and even the National Championships later this month.

While there were no first place finishes for the men’s team, they did have a number of athletes who made qualifying marks. Senior Kyle Gilroy was the closest to first, earning a second place finish in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.16 seconds. That time also was good enough to potentially qualify for nationals.

Senior Dennie Waite came in third in the 1000-meters with a time of 2.27.43. Fellow senior Tom Conroy and sophomore Julio Alorro also came in third for their respective events. Conroy threw 15.52 meters in the shot put, and Alorro pole vaulted a height of 4.55 meters.

The 4×400 combination of Gilroy, junior Justin Worthing, sophomore Steven D’Aiutolo and freshman Mike Spekhardt, took fourth in their event, finishing in 3:20.77, giving them a berth to ECACs this weekend. Individually, D’Aiutolo placed fifth in the triple jump with a distance of 13.78 meters. Worthing also took fifth in the 500-meters after finishing the race in 1:04.94.

Last year, the men’s team finished second in ECACs by just four points, but they are hoping to take the top spot this year.

“We are looking to bring home the title, and we’re pulling out all the stops to do it,” Waite said. “We have more than half a dozen guys in the running for individual wins and everyone is focused.”

The women’s team didn’t capture top marks either, but still collected top 10 finishes. Senior Sarah Wehrhan continued an impressive season, finishing second in the weight throw with a distance of 15.58 meters and sixth in the shot put with 11.94 meters.

In her debut season, freshman Brigit Roemer had an NCAA provisional mark in the high jump, clearing 1.66 meters to take fourth. She qualified for the ECACs with a triple jump distance of 10.93 meters.

Select runners also earned top marks. In the 1000-meters, juniors Alyssa Bannon and Cassandra Valdes finished seventh and 10th respectively. Bannon’s time was 2:58.4, while Valdes’ was 3:05.37. Also with a notable performance was freshman Erica Roberts’ 11th place finish in the triple jump with a distance of 11.03 meters.

The women missed out on the ECAC title by half a point last year and, similar to the men’s team, their goal is to win the title this year.

“This year ECACs is at the Armory which is pretty much our home indoor track,” Waite said. “Everyone is real excited for the meet and since we came in second last year, we are all going after the ECAC title this year.”