Checking “All-American” off of their bucket lists, senior Julio Alorro and junior Dominic Tasco left the NCAA Championships in Naperville, Ill. with the completion of a successful season.
“I told myself it was just like any other meet,” Alorro said. “I kept to myself and acted like it was practice.”
Becoming the first All-American in the pole vault in the College’s history, Alorro cleared the bar with a height of 4.79 meters (15’ 8.5”), also setting the school record.
“Sometimes I still think it’s not real,” Alorro said. “It’s like a really good dream.”
Clocking in with a time of 1:52.16 in the finals of the 800-meter race, Tasco finished in fifth place to also become an All-American for the Lions.
“It is an amazing feeling,” Tasco said. “It didn’t fully hit me until I stepped on the podium. I’m happy that all the hard work has paid off.”
Tasco first competed in the 800-meter trials and raced for the top two in his heat in order to be guaranteed a spot in the finals. It’s a tough task, but Tasco was ready.
“Being at nationals before made a huge impact on my race strategy,” Tasco said. “I was able to relax in the beginning and pick people off each lap. I was sitting in second with a lap to go and my thought was to do just enough to take second and save my energy for the finals.”
As the finals came around, the top eight athletes raced for time as they had already achieved All-American honors.
“The goal was still to place as high as I can,” Tasco said. “I ran faster than I did in the trials, so I’m happy with the result.”
Preparing for their events under the pressure of coming close to their goals can be challenging for most athletes. However, Tasco simply relaxed at the meet by joking around with his teammates and coaches while Alorro listened to classical music leading up to the meet and then switched to “The Intro” by XX when he arrived and warmed up.
“This time around I ended my season with the results we were looking for,” Tasco said. “It’s a great experience and I’m grateful for the opportunity to compete at Nationals.”
Also competing at the meet in the triple jump was senior Steve D’Aiutolo who finished 12th among all Division III athletes in the country.
“Competing at Nationals was a great experience,” D’Aiutolo said. “Very few meets have that sort of atmosphere about them and it was rush competing against the best athletes in Division III.”
As the Indoor season comes to a close for the Lions, both the men and women’s track and field teams will begin their spring season, opening at the Ramapo College Northeast Challenge in Mahwah, N.J.
It will be hard to top the winter season, which was a memorable one, but these athletes are up for the challenge as they get ready for the spring.
“Now that I’ve been there once, this time just qualifying for Nationals will not be good enough,” D’Aiutolo said. “I not only want to make the trip to Wisconsin, I want to become an All-American.”