indoor track field nec championship 2012

Indoor Track NEC Championship Goes to the Hawks

First Title for Men Since 2007 and First Title for Women Since 2009

indoor track field nec championship 2012The men’s and women’s track teams both claimed the overall first place team titles this past weekend in the NEC Championships. The men set a new school record for points scored with 170, which is also the second most in NEC Championship history.

“It feels amazing,” said junior Shane Carle. “We have missed out the last few years indoors and we just came together as a team. Everyone stepped up and did their part and I’m glad we were able to get an indoor title, especially for the seniors.”

Head Coach Joe Compagni said “It feels great. I’m proud of our team and our coaching staff. We are very fortunate to get so much support from everyone on campus, as the past few years we’ve come up just short in the NECs, but it was nice to see both teams win it this season.”

The men’s team dominated Sacred Heart University came in second overall with 116 points. For the women, it went down to the wire for them. The Hawks scored a team total of 143 points and Long Island University came in second overall with 142.

Heading into the final race of the day for the women, the Hawks were up by three points on LIU. The final race would be the 4 by 400 relay. Monmouth just needed either a first or second place finish, and they would claim the title. That’s exactly what happened, as the relay team of Rachael Watkins, Colleen Rutecki, Kate Frye, and Laura Williams took second place in the race.

Out of the 17 events, both the men and women’s team placed in 16 out of those. The women captured their fifth indoor conference title and have also scored in the top two for the past ten years. The men’s team took their fourth title.

The men’s team won a total of four events. Vince Elardo took first place in both the shot put and the weight throw. He was named Field Athlete of the Meet. For the pole vaulters, Peter Matano claimed first place. In the 400 meter relay, Ben Boyd took first as well.

In the mile run, Ford Palmer came in second place with a time of 4:14.06, which was good enough to qualify for the IC4A Championships. He also qualified for the IC4A’s in the 800 meter run too. In the high jump, Jake Bartlett took second place followed by Ed Kramer and Erick Andersen who took third and fifth place, respectively. Jon Marques came in third in the 500 meter dash while Bayaan Oluyadi took fifth place. The team of Ben Boyd, Marques, DiBianca, and Oluyadi took the fourth place crown in the 4 by 400 relay.

On the women’s side, Rachael Watkins took first place in the high jump with a record tying score of 5’ 9.25”. In the 800 meter run, Amanda Eller claimed first place as well.

In the 3,000 meter run, Jennifer Nelson came in second place with a time of 9:52.75, good enough to qualify for the ECAC Championships. In the pole vault, Lauren McDonald came in second place. In the 500 meter run, Rutecki and teammate Ali Hehn came in fourth and fifth place, respectively.

“The season has been tremendous. We work on getting better every week and both teams have done that very well this season,” said Compagni.

Both the men’s and women’s team will return home this Saturday to compete in the Blue-White Invitational. The action is set to start at 10:00 am.

“This weekend we’ll have a partial team competing, but it will be a good meet and it will be nice to be at home. I’m hoping we can do a little something on Saturday to celebrate our NEC win,” said Compagni.

PHOTO COURTESY of MU Photography