Lions rise to occassion, compete well

Starting the season on a shaky note and suffering from the flu, junior Dominic Tasco has not only upped his game, but has also demonstrated the successful results that yield from hard work and perseverance.

“It’s a struggle when you aren’t running as fast as you would like to in the beginning of the season,” Tasco said. “It takes a lot of time and effort to be physically and mentally prepared to race, to be able to put together fast races during championship season is such a great feeling.”

Roberts flys through the air en route to a second-place finish. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

Taking eighth place, Tasco produced the top Division III time in the 800-meter with a time of 1:51.39 at the IC4A, an affiliate of the ECACs that contains competitors from Division I and Division II teams.

“IC4As was a great race,” Tasco said. “I stuck exactly to the race plan and we left Boston with one of the top times in the country. The rest of the field went out a little quick for the first 400 meters and I was able to make my move in the second half of the race to accomplish the goal we set out for.”

Tasco’s time achieved the second-best performance in the College’s program history, falling just short of Jeff Zodda’s record of 1:51.32 during the 2006 season.

“I’ve only heard great things about Jeff Zodda,” Tasco said. “Our Indoor school record time is from when he won the Indoor Nationals. To be that close to his record gives me a lot of confidence for future races.”

Tasco is now mentally preparing for the 800-metersat the NCAA championship next weekend and will compete for an individual title amongst the best of the Division III athletes.

Also roaring their way to success at the Division III ECACs in New York State, the women placed fifth at the meet with 39 points.

“I was really happy to finish second in long jump,” said junior Erica Roberts, who jumped a distance of 5.46 meters. “Going in, I just wanted to place in the top-eight, so when I not only placed, but got second after jumping a personal best, I was really happy and proud of myself.”

The high jump also provided the Lions with a fourth place performance by junior Brigit Roemer, who cleared the bar at 1.64 meters.

The women’s 4×800-meter relay also had a second-place performance, setting a school record with a time 9:32.37. The team was comprised of junior Anginelle Alabanza and sophomores Katelyn Ary, Liz Johnson and Megan Stack.

The men’s 4×800-meter relay also had an impressive race, placing third at the meet. The team made up of senior Michael Berti, senior Andy Gallagher, sophomore Erik Moutenot and junior James Seyffart boasted a time of 7:49.32.

“Getting medals at ECACs is always a privilege that not many athletes are luckily enough to have,” junior Michael Spekhardt said. “It feels good to see your teammates give 100 percent and share some success with you.”

Spekhardt was part of the 4×400-meter relay alongside senior captain Steve D’Aiutolo, senior Alex Brown and sophomore T.J. Kelly to finish sixth with a time of 3:20.49. Brown also took eighth in the 400-meters, running a time of 49.61.

“I love running at big venues,” Spekhardt said. “It’s special when your races are streamed live online so that friends and family can watch. My dad came to our meet and having him able to support me means the world to me.”

Despite all of their continuous success, the athletes still have high expectations for the rest of their season.

“I’m very happy with how the season has gone so far, but we still have a week to go,” Tasco said. “The goal this season is to compete for the National title for my event, so I will call it a successful season if I qualify for the final.”