With the two biggest indoor track meets of the year coming up, the College seems to be in full swing.
On Friday, the indoor track team took part in the New York University’s Fast Track Meet at the 168th Street Armory in Manhattan. The meet was an important one for the College because it gave the individuals on the team one last chance to qualify for the East Coast Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championships and the NCAA Division III Championships.
The stars for the men were junior Jeff Zodda and senior Matt Molski. Zodda finished in third place in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:52.44, a new school record. The previous record was 1:53.37, which Zodda himself had set in 2003. This earned him a spot at the NCAA Division III championships.
Molski set a school record in the one-mile run. He turned in a time of 4:09.71, shattering the previous school record of 4:13.59, which he had held. He too will compete in the Division III championships.
On the women’s side, the top performers at the Fast Track Meet were the members of the 4×400-meter relay team. Freshman Carolyn Gray, junior Tiffany Clark, freshman Jessica Bonelli and sophomore Angela Tecco finished in second place with their NCAA qualifying time of 3:54.19. This was one of the best times that the girls have turned in all year. Gray was very pleased with the way her team ran and is now looking forward to the two big meets coming up.
“This is pretty awesome,” Gray said. “Coming into college it was one of my goals to make it to nationals some day, but I never thought it would happen so quickly. They did awesome last year, but we can only hope to do better.”
Gray explained that in order to be successful for the remainder of the season, she needs to keep doing what she’s been doing thus far.
“I need to be really aggressive and not hold anything back,” she said. “If I listen to what the coaches have been telling me, I should be fine.”
In addition to qualifying for nationals in the 4×400, Tecco also turned in a time of 58.59 in the 400-meter dash, which was good enough for 10th place overall and entrance into the NCAA qualifiers.
Coach Eric Mobley is content with the state of his team at this point of the season. “This meet was basically our last chance to get qualifiers for the ECACs and the NCAAs,” Mobley said. “We wanted to take advantage of this opportunity, and I think we got the job done. We expect to do very well at the ECACs next week, and we intend to do everything we can to get a championship.”
Freshman thrower Brian Donatelli, who will also be competing at nationals, said he has been waiting for this opportunity for a long time. “We look pretty good going in and we have a good chance of winning,” Donatelli said. “Personally, I just need to do what I’m able to do, and I’ll be fine.”
Donatelli said that juniors Jeff Schwerdtman and Karim Cockrell have performed well thus far for the College and they will be instrumental in the College’s success for the rest of the season.
The ECAC championships will take place on March 4-5 at St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y. and the NCAA Division III Championships will be on March 11-12 at Illinois Wesleyan University in Decatur, Ill.