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Track and Field: 2 Top-4 finishes for UNH

The UNH men’s track and field team fought its way to an impressive third-place finish this weekend at The Armory in New York City.

Getting stuck on the bus with a flat tire following the event was about the only thing that went wrong for the team.

“This exceeded our expectations,” said men’s head coach Jim Boulanger. “It was the best performance in probably five years.”

Going into the weekend, Boulanger was hoping for a fifth-place finish. Highlighted by key individual performances, the team was able to slide ahead of the University of Vermont and claim the third-place title by a lead of 17.33 points.

Senior Kevin Greene had a very successful weekend, taking home the “Most Outstanding Track Performer” title after claiming the win in the mile with a time of 4:12.37 and third in the 1000-meter with a time of 2:27.47. He was a member of the victorious distance medley relay with teammates Jeffrey Moretti, Christopher Poggi and Drew Piazza with a time of 9:48.78. He also helped the same crew to a second place finish in the 4 by 800-meter relay with a time of 7:44.87.

Sprinter D’mahl McFadden and thrower Mike Shanahan also took home first place finishes. McFadden claimed the top spot in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.19 as well as a sixth place finish in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.39. Shanahan claimed first in the weight throw with a toss of 19.01 meters.

Senior John Prizzi scored key points for the team with second place finishes in both the 3k and 5k. Prizzi crossed the finish line with a time of 8:27.02 in the 3k and 14:29.82 in the 5k.

Sophomores Christopher Poggi and Drew Piazza contributed two third place finishes. Poggi crossed the finish line with a time of 1:04.23 in the 500-meter and Piazza finished with a time of 1:52.18 in the 800-meter.

Finally, it was freshman Alex Tamulonis who rounded out the competition with an impressive third place finish in the pole vault. He earned the title of  “Most Outstanding Rookie” after clearing a height of 4.65 meters.

The team will continue their championship season next week at the New England Championships held at Boston University.

The women’s team was hoping to place in the top four at the America East Championships this weekend, and they did just that.

Anchored by numerous top individual performances and ECAC-qualifying runs, the team claimed fourth place at The Armory in New York City, trailing Binghamton University by a mere 11 points.

Senior Anne Twombly had a record-breaking weekend. She earned two first place finishes in the 800-meter and mile. She took the top spot in the 800-meter with a school record-breaking and ECAC-qualifying time of 2:09.42. That breaks Leighann Carpenter’s record time of 2:11.03, which has been held since 2004. Twombly ran another ECAC-qualifying time in the mile, crossing the finish at 4:52.79.

Chelsey Serrano earned the only other first place finish for the team with a time of 17:07.52 in the 5k. That placed her a full 12 seconds ahead of the runner-up. She also claimed third place in the 3k with a time of 9:53.34. Both times earned her ECAC qualification in those events.

“I am very proud of their dedication to training and detail,” said women’s head coach Robert Hoppler. “Anne is a fifth-year senior and Chelsey is a senior. They both have run thousands of miles for this day.”

Also with a very successful weekend was Laura Rose Donegan, the distance runner from Australia. She claimed silver and ECAC-qualifications in both of her events. She crossed the finish line behind Twombly in the mile with a time of 4:54.83 and ran an impressive 9:49.88 in the 3k. At the end of the weekend Donegan was honored with the America East Conference Elite 18 Award, which is given to student-athletes with the highest GPA’s who achieve athletic excellence in each of the America East 18 sports.

Samantha Blais and Cassie Kruse also successfully doubled in events. Blais earned fourth place in the 5k with a time of 17:22.09 and fifth place in the 3k with a time of 9:59.52. Kruse earned second place with a time of 2:52.50 in the mile and helped the 4 by 800-meter relay team claim a fifth place finish with teammates Amanda Szymanski, Brittany Hunt and Rachael DePalma.

It was Hoppler’s plan to have many of his athletes double up in events in order to score maximum points. He was very happy that many of those athletes rose to the challenge.

Also rising to the challenge were sprinter’s Lauren Perrodin, Danielle Gajewski and Virginia Lavallee. Perrodin earned fourth place in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 7.66. Gajewski, a freshman, ran her seed time of 1:16.30 in the 500-meter and earned fifth place. Lavallee claimed fifth place in the pentathlon with 3343 points and seventh place in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 9.07.

In the field events it was senior Jessica Salley who scored points for the ‘Cats. She high-jumped 1.65 meters for a sixth place finish. Freshman Jeannette Mara followed, also jumping 1.65 meters for a seventh place finish.

It was a very successful weekend in New York City for the Wildcats. After getting back to Durham at 3 a.m., the team planned to get some sleep before returning back to the track to train for next week’s New England Championships at Boston University.

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