By Catey McCann, Staff Writer
This weekend will be the last meet of what the UNH track and field team considers to be the “championship season.”
Coming off of good team performances at both the America East Championships and New England Championships, multiple athletes on the men’s and women’s side have qualified to compete at this weekend’s ECAC/IC4A Championship at Boston University.
“We’re just sticking with the process,” said women’s head coach Robert Hoppler. “We’re looking to continue the success that we’ve been having this season. I think the team is really dialed into that — so we are excited to see how this meet goes.”
On the women’s side, Chelsey Serrano, Amber Short and Samantha Blais will all be competing in the 5k. All three athletes had top-individual performances at the America East championship and Hoppler is hoping to see the three improve on those times against a high level of competition.
Cassie Kruse will be the lone UNH athlete competing in the 1000-meter race. She earned an impressive second-place finish in the event at both the America East and New England championships. Hoppler said she will be shooting to make the finals and score for the team.
Junior Lauren Perrodin will be competing in the 60-meter dash. She was a semi-finalist in the event last year and earned silver at last weekend’s New England championship. Jessica Salley will be competing in the high jump. She has had a very successful season and is the reigning New England champion in the event.
A strong distance medley relay will round out the day for the Wildcats. Freshman Angelyn Masters will run the 1600-meter leg, sophomore Amanda Szymanski will run the 1000-meter leg, senior Brittany Hunt will run the 800-meter leg and freshman Danielle Gajewski will complete the 400-meter leg. Masters and Hunt are both coming off of a strong performance in the 4 by 800-meter relay race at the New England championship while Szymanski took fourth in the 1000-meter and Gajewski took fifth in the 500-meter.
“All the athlete’s going into this meet are performing at a very high level right now,” Hoppler said. “This is a great way for them to wrap up their indoor season at a very competitive meet.”
On the men’s side, head coach Jim Boulanger is looking for strong individual performances and a new school record.
After missing it at the conference championship, the distance medley relay team of Kevin Greene, Tanner Kent, Drew Piazza and John Prizzi will be taking another shot at the school record – which is currently held at 9:48.14. The team ran 9:48.78 for a first place finish at the America East championship.
Sophomore Mike Shanahan is also centimeters away from breaking the school record in the weight throw. He will be throwing this weekend after taking first in the conference championship and third at the New England championship.
Conference champion D’mahl McFadden will be running the 60-meter hurdles and the 200-meter dash. He has had a successful season thus far and is coming off of a fifth place finish in the hurdles at last weekend’s New England championship.
Also competing this weekend are seniors Jeffrey Moretti and Steve Souza. Moretti will run the mile and Souza will compete in the 500-meter. Souza claimed a sixth place finish last weekend with a time of 1:05.33. Moretti also took sixth place in the mile at the America East championship with a time of 4:20.
“This is the best meet other than the NCAA meet,” said Boulanger. “They all will have to run their best to advance or score in the meet.”