By George Tatoris
The men’s and women’s winter track teams gave stellar performances just down the road at Princeton’s Tiger Open on Saturday, Jan. 24.
Several Lions on both teams earned ECAC-qualifying marks at the Open. Athletes only needed to meet the marks once before the ECAC Indoor Championships this March.
On the men’s team, sophomore Brandon Mazzarella bested 32 other runners in the 800 meters for an ECAC-worthy time of 1:55.75.
“The meet was definitely great all around for TCNJ, with tons of great performances,” Mazzarella said.
Senior sprinter Erik Moutenot, who took fifth in the 500 meters with a time of 1:07.78, also qualified for the ECAC.
Moutenot joined sophomore Zach Hubner, junior Laron Day and freshman Tristan Gibson to finish seventh in the 4×400 relay with an ECAC-qualifying time of 3:26.2.
Senior Juan Giglio also qualified for ECAC, clearing 4.5 meters in the pole vault, the highest of any Division III performer in that event.
Junior sprinter Jake Lindacher was another ECAC qualifier with a time of 8.58 seconds, which placed him in 13th place in the 60-meter high hurdles. That was not Lindacher’s only ECAC qualifying time this season — he ran ECAC-worthy times in the same event every meet so far this season.
“The ECAC qualifying marks are great,” said Lindacher. “We want everyone to hit the marks so we can take a big group to ECACs.”
On the women’s team, senior Katelyn Ary capsized her competition in the 800 meters, with an ECAC-qualifying time of 2:16.41. In the mile, fellow senior Megan Stack came in fifth with a time of 5:08.33, netting her a bid for ECAC, as well.
Ary, along with seniors Joy Spriggs and Michelle Cascio and freshman Emily Mead, also qualified in the 4×400 relay with a time of 4:02.68. Spriggs was also 10th in the 400 meters with an ECAC-qualifying mark of 9.41, the fastest performance of any Division III runner in that event.
In the 1,000 meters, freshman Allison Fournier finished eighth with a time of 3:05.04, another ECAC mark. In the 500 meters, junior Kristen Randolph came in ninth, qualifying with a time of 1:21.00.
Senior Tara Nealon also qualified in the 3,000 meters with a time of 10:38.11, placing 14th. Fellow senior Joan Hales qualified in the weight throw with a toss of 14.05 meters, placing 15th.
Many of these athletes already met the ECAC standards of their respective event. Spriggs, Cascio and Ary all qualified for the 4×400 already this season.
According to Lindacher, once a Lion meets an event’s ECAC mark, the goal becomes to consistently push past the mark. To some, just reaching the mark is an important goal. However, many Lions have already reached this goal and are working to move as far past the figure as they can.
Qualifying for ECACs gives members of the track team the opportunity to qualify for Nationals — the ECAC Championship is the last meet before the big one.
“As long as people are improving and continue to improve, the meets will continue to go well as they have been so far this season,” Lindacher said.