Both the men’s and women’s Track and Field teams were crowned Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) champions this past weekend at the New York Armory. Women’s Track and Field has now won the conference for the sixth year in a row and the men’s team captured their fifth MAAC championship in six years.
The women’s team finished the meet with a total of 187.5 points, with Rider University (133 points), Manhattan College (117.5 points) and Quinnipiac University (105.5) following behind them in second, third and fourth place.
Senior Patrice Baston won the title of Field Event Athlete of the Meet after she came in first in the long jump event and second in the triple jump.
Baston won the long jump with a mark of 5.81 meters, and came right behind junior Mariah Hubbard (12.13m) in the triple jump with a mark of 11.78 meters.
“My performance this weekend was for my team… overall it is extremely humbling,” said Baston. “It just goes to show how much hard work really pays off in the end and when it matters.”
Amonu came in second in weight throw with a mark of 17.10 meters, with Rider senior Ashley Berry claiming first with a mark of 17.76 meters.
Senior Allie Wilson won the mile with a time of 4:41.38, about five seconds faster than Iona College junior Kaitlyn Ohrthman who came behind her in second place with a time of 4:46.45. Wilson’s teammates, sophomore Kyra Velock and senior Amber Stratz finished with times of 4:53.86 and 4:57.16 coming in fourth and eighth place, respectively.
Monmouth athletes claimed first, second, and third place in the 800-meter run. Senior Briana Stratz came in first with a time of 2:14.81, freshman Sarah Crissman came in second directly after Stratz with a time of 2:14.86, and Velock finished in 2:15.20 earning her third place.
The 4×800 relay team made up of Stratz, Stratz, Crissman, and senior Chandi Piiru combined their efforts and won the event in 9:03.06.
Junior Nioami Miranda earned points for the team in three events: the 400-meter dash, 200-meter dash, and as the anchor in the 4×400 relay.
“I got on the track to run my own individual event, but I didn’t just do it for myself,” said Miranda. “I knew my team was counting on me.”
Wilson also helped score points by crossing the finish line in 10:04, finishing sixth in the 3000-meter run.
As for the men, they crushed the competition with 271.5 total points. Rider (116.5 points), Iona (122 points) and Manhattan (73 points) finished 2-3-4 behind the Hawks.
Senior Darius Howe was named the Most Outstanding Field Performer of the meet in response to his first place triple jump of 15.22 meters and his long jump of 7.10 meters which earned him fourth place in the event.
“I’m just proud that me and my team could go out there and execute,” said Howe. “We had a lot to prove…so it felt really good to go out there, put as much energy together as possible, and get the wins for those who couldn’t perform and our coaches.”
Freshman Louis DiLaurenzio was dubbed Track Rookie of the Meet after winning the 800-meter run (1:53.59), anchored the winning 4×800 relay team, and led the second place distance medley relay (DMR) team.
The 4×800 relay, anchored by DiLaurenzio, was also composed of senior Nick McFarland, junior Ryan Rafferty, and freshman James Hoffman. The team placed first with a time of 7:43.88. For the DMR, DiLaurenzio was accompanied by senior Bryan Cabral, Hoffman and Rafferty to cross the finish line at 10:13.75, coming behind Marist (10:11.09).
The men’s team also broke some records at the event, including the MAAC Championship and Monmouth school record for the 200-meter dash and the MAAC Championship record for shot put.
Junior Khalid Slocum finished the 200-meter dash in 21.45 seconds. This time broke the MAAC record of 21.46 seconds, which was set back in 2006.
Senior Corey Murphy broke the MAAC Championship shot put record with a mark of 19.66 meters, coming in first for the event. The previous record was set back in 2007 and was a mark of 19.40 meters. This mark puts Murphy into the top ten for the shot put in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and he was only .75 feet from breaking the school record set by three-time All American Jon Kalnas.
Slocum won the 60-meter dash as well with a time of 6.82 seconds. Teammate and sophomore Joe Miguerson came in second behind Slocum with a time of 6.91 seconds.
Freshman Nadale Buntin claimed first in the 400-meter dash by crossing the finish line in 48.41 seconds.
For the pole vault, freshman Randy Showmaker and senior Matthew Isaacson placed first and second as they both cleared 4.50 meters. Teammates, sophomore Chad Smiley (4.05m) and freshman Ryan Ledda (3.90) came behind them in fifth and sixth place.
“We had some individual stars who really preformed at a high level and we’re proud of them,” said Head Coach Joe Compagni. “Winning a championship like this, though, is really about a huge team effort. We had a great group on both teams who stepped up in a big way.”
Compagni and his coaching staff were named MAAC Men’s and Women’s Coach of the Year, making it their 54th and 55th Conference or Regional Coach of the Year honors.
The Hawks will be returning to the New York Armory for a final qualifying meet. Monmouth will have at least three athletes going to the Ocean Breeze facility in Staten Island, NY to compete at the USA Track & Field (USATF) National Championships this upcoming weekend.
PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth Athletics