The men and women’s indoor track and field teams continued to impress with great performances and improvements over the weekend at the New England Championships in Boston.
The men placed third overall with 45 points, fending off Southern Connecticut State by one point. In total, 36 teams competed at the meet. Some key members of the team continued to be consistent in their events despite having back-to-back two-day meets over the past two weekends.
“Everyone who went I was really proud of. You go two days in a row after you were away basically three nights for conference last weekend and then you’ve got to come back the next Friday and Saturday, and we were kind of lighting it up,” head coach Jim Boulanger said.
Having a reliable core group of athletes has been paying off for the ‘Cats this year as the team continues to make gains.
Among that reliable group are standout juniors Michael Shanahan and Drew Piazza. Breaking his school and personal record in the weight throw yet again this season, Shanahan took first place with a throw of 68 feet, 10.75 inches.
“Everything is about preparation and he prepares himself well. If he didn’t make nationals he wanted to hit at least 21-meters which he did on his last throw,” said Boulanger, praising Shanahan’s consistency.
Piazza also took home a gold medal of his own. His time of 1-minute, 49.52-seconds was good for first place in the 800-meter race. Piazza also led the way for freshman teammate William Ulrich, who placed fifth with 1:52.39, setting a new personal record for himself.
Another notable freshman performance was Brett Hoerner in the 1,000-meter race. Hoerner placed third with a new personal record of 2:25.71 and continues to look very promising for the future of the middle distance program. Boulanger said the time was “definitely the fastest freshman 1,000 time we’ve had.” Hoerner was also a part of the 2nd place 4×800-meter relay team, which he ran with Ulrich and Jacob and Nathan Kittredge. The group’s time currently ranks 28th in the country.
Isaiah Penn’s 48.33-second 400-meter time was good for fifth overall, while Bryan Morris placed 10th out of 24 in the pole vault and set a new personal best of 15 feet, 5 inches. Senior Brendan McCarthy took 7th in the 3,000 with a time of 8:23.25.
“It’s a great meet for those right below the NCAA level,” Boulanger said about next week’s meet. Next weekend, the ‘Cats will once again travel to Boston for the IC4A Championships. For the athletes who know they aren’t running in the NCAA Championships, it’s a great meet to have some fun with and focus on the relays, without sacrificing good competition.
At the same meet, the women placed 4th out of 32 with a score of 49.75 points. Many personal records were broken as the season draws closer to an end.
Senior Lauren Perrodin was her usual self as she performed very well once again in the 60-meter and 200-meter races. Perrodin placed 7th in the 200 with a time of 25.53, and took home the gold medal in the 60 with a time of 7.68 second. The win marks her first New England Championship title and the dual performance adds to her impressive sprinting career.
“As a senior she’s been in the sprinting wars for her whole time here at UNH and is arguably one of the best short sprinters UNH has ever had and it was great for her to win a championship,” women’s head coach Robert Hoppler said of the senior co-captain’s successful career.
Another impressive feat was accomplished when sophomore Danielle Gajewski ran the 500 in 1:14.17, which earned her 2nd place. This time is her new personal record and also the new school record. Gajewski’s time beats Megan Donohue’s old record time from 2011 by .17 seconds.
The distance medley relay team comprised of Shannon Murdock, Tessa Artruc, Cassie Kruse, and Amanda Szymanski completed the circuit in 11:37.59, which earned the team much needed points and a 2nd place finish. Coming in with another 2nd place finish, Chelsey Serrano set a new personal best in the 3,000-meter with a time of 9:46.98.
The women’s team will compete next weekend at the competitive ECAC Championships in Boston and is eyeing a top-10 finish. The two-day meet starts Saturday at noon and wraps up on Sunday.