By Catey McCann, Staff Writer
While the rest of the team was at home competing, nine of the UNH track athletes were doing some unprecedented things at the 2015 Boston University John Thomas Terrier Classic.
Early Saturday morning sophomore Drew Piazza broke the 800-meter school record — which has been held for 17 years by Richard Cooper at 1:49.70. Piazza came in at 1:48.53 — a personal record, school record, IC4A Championship qualifier and second place overall.
“That was a huge breakthrough and personal record,” men’s head coach Jim Boulanger said. “As of noon today, somebody looked and that ranked him seventh in the country for indoor track. The top sixteen runners qualify for the NCAA Championships so the key for him is to stay healthy.”
The women’s track and field team sent six runners to the Terrier Classic on Friday. They had hopes of competing with many of the top runners in New England.
Instead, all six runners ran the best times of their collegiate careers. All six qualified for the ECAC Championships happening in March in Princeton, NJ.
Cassie Kruse, Anne Twombly, Chelsey Serrano, Rosie Donegan, Amber Short and Samantha Blaise all ran personal bests in their respective events. It’s a feat every individual runner strives for, and it’s nearly unheard of for every competing athlete from a team to do all in the same day.
“It was a competitive meet so anything could have happened,” said senior Chelsey Serrano. “All of us were able to keep our cool and stay focused – not get intimidated.”
Kruse ran 2:54 in the 1000-meter, landing her the 13th spot out of 57 runners. Twombly raced 4:44 in the mile, earning her an impressive 5th place out of 132 runners. Serrano and Donegan came in at 9:48 and 9:50 in the 3000-meter, which got them 26th and 28th place out of 93. Short and Blaise rounded out the day with both running 17:22 in the 5k.
“We were able to build on each other,” said Serrano. “First Cassie had a great race, then Anne had a great race. It just built from there. As each of us were running so well it was even more motivation for the rest of us to go out there and run as fast as we could.”
Also running as fast as they could were Kevin Greene and John Prizzi. Greene ran the second fastest mile of his career at 4:04.73, earning him 9th place out of 196. Prizzi rounded out the day at 8:18.65 in the 3000-meter, which got him 27th place out of 104.
“Overall it was a good weekend for both the men and women who competed at BU,” said Boulanger. “They ran some fast times on a fast track.”