The College’s track team did well at the New Jersey Athletic Conference championships on Saturday, March 1, with the men’s team coming in first place for the 17th year in a row on 196 points and the women’s team coming in second with 191 points, just four points shy of first-place Rowan University.
“Everyone came ready to compete at a high level and did just that,” sophomore Jake Lindacher said.
The night was highlighted by amazing performances from Lions on both the men’s and women’s teams.
“We knew it was going to be close in the end, but we all left everything on the track and in the field,” senior Megan Flynn said.
Twenty-nine of the women’s 191 points were earned in just one race: the mile run.
Junior Tara Nealon, senior Anginelle Alabanza, junior Megan Stack and senior Sarah Polansky took first, second, third and fourth, respectively — an impressive feat considering each school can only enter four athletes per event.
According to Flynn, Nealon led for the entire race, while Alabanza and Stack managed to pass Ramapo’s Lindsey McKee in the subsequent laps to get into second and third, respectively. In the last lap, Polansky snatched the fourth-place spot from McKee, earning the Lions a sweep.
“Going into the last lap, everyone was screaming for Sarah to pass this girl, and she went by her with 150 meters left in the race,” Flynn said.
Nealon and Alabanza also finished one after the other in the 3,000-meter. Nealon got first place and boasted a time of 10:28.27, while Alabanza came in second with a time of 10:33.69.
The triple jump event also saw multiple Lions take top spots. Sophomore Brigit Roemer and senior Erica Roberts took first and second place, respectively, with ECAC-qualifying distances of 11.04 and 10.97 meters.
Roemer and Roberts also did well in the long jump with ECAC times, as Roberts’s 5.51-meter distance earned her second place and Roemer’s 5.17 meter jump earned her third place.
Flynn met ECAC standards as well, getting second in the 5,000-meter with a time of 18:29.76 minutes.
The men’s team also had multiple athletes in the winner’s circle of a single event. Freshman Brandon Mazzarella, named NJAC Rookie of the Week five times this season, and senior Dominic Tasco took first and second place, respectively, in the 800-meter, earning the men’s team 18 points.
Senior Scott Lisa, another five-time NJAC athlete of the week, toppled his competition in the long jump with a distance of 6.99 meters and also in the high jump with a height of 1.98 meters.
The College dominated in two other field events as well. Junior Jamie LeRoy placed first with a heave of 14.90 meters and senior Juan Giglio placed first in the pole vault with a height of 4.55 meters.
Lindacher took first place in the 60-meter hurdles with an ECAC-qualifying time of 8.33 seconds, a personal goal, he said.
“Coming into the meet with a chance to do that, I knew I had to capitalize on that opportunity,” Lindacher said.
Lindacher also got second in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.11 seconds.
The men’s team has won first place at the NJAC Championships since the event’s inception in the 1997-1998 season.
“Everyone on the team knows about the streak,” Lindacher said. “But we try not to concern ourselves with it too much.”