The ECACs qualifying marks poured in on home territory as the men and women’s track and field teams took over 40 other programs at their final home meet of the season, the Lion’s Invitational, this past Saturday, April 27.
Trust was a huge factor in the success of junior Erica Roberts, sophomore Michelle Cascio, senior Kim Shelus and senior Jenna Lanzaro’s first place 4×100 meter relay that qualified for ECACs with a time of 50.01.
“I was extremely happy about the relay this weekend,” Cascio said. “We do blind handoffs so it’s all about trusting your teammate to get the baton into your hand. We have great chemistry because we are all such great friends and I think that has a lot to do with the trust we have in each other to get the baton around the track.”
Joining them at ECACs was the men’s 4×100 meter relay of senior Michael Spekhardt, freshman Jake Lindacher, junior Scott Lisa and senior Kyle Magliaro, who collectively ran a second place time of 42.71.
“Qualifying for ECACs was big for us,” Lindacher said. “Coach Lindsey made it clear at the beginning of the season that we wanted to go far with this relay, so this just puts us one step closer to making it to nationals.”
Another outstanding first place performance came on the men’s side during senior Andy Gallagher’s first college 5K, in which he clocked in at an ECAC qualifying time of 15:02.63.
“I felt pretty focused and comfortable yesterday in the 5K,” Gallagher said. “It was my first 5K on the track in college, so I was excited to give it a go. I knew that I could run near the front of that field, so I stayed around third to fifth place for most of the first two miles, making sure we were staying at about 4:50 pace per mile. Things separated a bit going into the final mile until I was in second behind one other runner. I made my move with three laps to go and took the lead, and really tried to bring it home in that last lap.”
Going forward, Gallagher is looking to win the steeplechase event this weekend at NJACs and also score points for the team in the 5K.
Junior Juan Giglio was another first place ECAC qualifier in the pole vault, clearing 4.65 meters to win the event.
Back on the women’s side, Shelus and Cascio were also part of the 4×400 meter relay that ran a 4:00.01 ECAC cut to win the event, alongside sophomores Joy Spriggs and Katelyn Ary.
Shelus continued to impress on the track running ECAC qualifiers in the both the 100 and 200 meter events.
On the field, the high jump highlighted winner, junior Brigit Roemer, who cleared a height of 1.66 meters. This jump not only gave her the win amongst the Division III athletes, but also amongst the Division I athletes.
The shot put also brought in points for the Lions as senior Mary Chismar came back from injury to throw an 11.77 meter, ECAC qualifying mark.
The ECACs will also be attended by freshman Brandon Rapp who completed the 400 meter race in 50.04, winning his heat to place ninth.
As the Lions impressed on their home track this past Saturday, they are looking to continue the success at the upcoming NJACs in which the men look to defend their 16-year title and the women look to gain it back.