Sweet sixteen for men’s track in NJAC

Alorro focuses on the pole vault, as he places second. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

Following their team mindset of “the crown being returned to the king’s head,” the men’s indoor track and field team took the NJAC title with 191 points, continuing their 16-year streak at the New York Armory on Friday, Feb. 22.

“Being the NJAC champions 16 years in a row, we have former teammates that we don’t want to let down,” junior Michael Spekhardt said.

Spekhardt was part of the men’s 4×400-meter relay that placed first with a top time of 3:19.74, meeting ECAC qualifying standards, alongside freshman Laron Day, senior Alex Brown and sophomore Erik Moutenot.

“I felt that I left everything I had out there on the track,” said Spekhardt, who also placed third in the 200-meter with a personal best of 22.52 and anchored the second place 4×200-meter relay with freshman Peter Okoh, sophomore T.J. Kelly and senior Kyle Magliaro.

The women’s team, however, wasn’t quite as successful as the men, finishing third at the NJACs with a total of 126 points.

“We had a lot of great individual performances,” senior Kimberly Shelus said. “But overall we didn’t end up where we wanted to be.”

However, despite being disappointed in taking third, the women had several top ECAC qualifying performances, including one by senior Mary Chismar, who defended her title as the NJAC Champion in the shot put by winning the event with a throw of 11.80 meters.

The men’s distance medley relay was another first place finish with a time of 10:45.58, ran by sophomore Patrick Waite, freshman Michael Larkin, freshman Roberto Guiducci and sophomore Jeremy Garrell.

“It felt good to help out the team in the small way that I could,” Garrell said. “Winning the NJAC championship is always a team goal.”

The women’s distance medley relay, consisting of sophomores Alyssa Silver, Joy Spriggs, Meghan Kocher and freshman Kayla Glynn, took second place in the 4×800-meter relay with a time of 9:32.87

The men and women also both had first place successes in the 4×800-meter relay. The men’s team, consisting of senior Michael Berti, junior Dominic Tasco, senior Andy Gallagher and junior James Seyffart, ran an ECAC qualifying time of 7:53.1, while the women won with a time of 9:32.87. The women’s race was run by junior Anginelle Alabanza, sophomore Liz Johnson, sophomore Megan Stack and junior Sarah Polansky.

On the jumping side, senior Steve D’Aiutolo won the triple jump for the second year in a row with a distance of 14.33 meters and took third in the long jump with 6.66 meters, qualifying for ECACs in both events.

Junior Erica Roberts took third in the triple jump with a mark of 11.00 meters, while junior Brigit Roemer took third in the high jump with a height of 1.58 meters. Both athletes achieved ECAC qualifying marks.

“Everyone gave their best at the meet and we placed third,” Shelus said. “This only leaves room for our team to continue to improve and come back with a vengeance and win the NJAC title in the spring.”

Following the pattern of ECAC qualifiers for the men, junior Julio Alorro took second in the pole vault with a height of 4.70 meters. Sophomore Abayomi Arowolo also took second place in the weight throw tossing a distance of 14.82 meters.

The men gained second place points with Tasco in the 800-meter, sophomore Andrew DeMaria in the 3,000-meter and freshman Jonathon Stouber in the 5,000-meter races.

In addition, the Lions delivered a strong team effort in the mile with three runners placing in the top five. Gallagher led the Lion pack in third place with a time of 4:21.23, followed by Berti’s fourth place and Seyffart’s fifth place finishes.

“The characteristics from the team and coaching staff that contributed to the win would be pride and aggression,” Spekhardt said. “We felt that competitors go out and compete but champions go out and rise above everyone else.”

The athletes for both the men’s and women’s team who received ECAC qualifying marks will return to the Armory for the championships on Friday, March 1 before heading to Illinois for the NCAA Division III Indoor Championships.