AMHERST, MA- Wheaton College men's and women's track & field athletes broke five school records and notched five qualifying times for the NCAA Championship over the weekend at the two-day All New England Championship, which came to an end on Saturday at the University of Massachusetts' Track & Field Complex. The Lyon men tied for 11th out of 41 scoring squads, turning in their best finish since an 11th-place showing in 2004.
In a meet featuring the region's top Division I, II and III teams, Wheaton's men scored 27 points to match Williams College, the winner of last weekend's NCAA Division III New England meet, and Division I Boston University. The University of Rhode Island won the competition with 103 points, while the Boston College women won their meet with 87 points. The Lyon women tied for 29th out of 36 squads with three points.
The Wheaton men's 4x100-meter relay squad automatically qualified for NCAAs while winning its race in 40.95, breaking an eight-year-old school record by 0.44 seconds. Senior Michael Wright (Baldwin, NY/Uniondale), juniors Mark Cimino (Danbury, CT/Danbury) and Merzudin Ibric (Revere, MA/Phillips Academy) and freshman Cailean Robinson (Newton, MA/Phillips Exeter Academy) each ran legs. During the 200M dash, Wright took third in 21.82, just 0.02 seconds shy of a provisional standard and 0.19 ticks off his own school record. During the preliminary round, Robinson fell 0.19 seconds short of the last finals qualifier.
Junior Howard Powell (Brooklyn, NY/Boys and Girls) had a hand in a pair of program marks, including breaking his own two-year-old school record in the 110M hurdles by clocking in at 14.56, coming within 0.05 seconds of the winner from Division I University of Connecticut. Powell was second in the race while provisionally qualifying for NCAAs.
During the 4x400M relay, Powell ran leadoff for a quartet that eclipsed a 12-year-old Wheaton standard with a time of 3:15.92, bettering the former mark by 1.2 seconds and reaching NCAA provisional status. Joining Powell during the sixth-place finish were Ibric, sophomore Mark Williamson (Vienna, VA/James Madison) and freshman Kyle Ricci (Warwick, RI/Bishop Hendricken).
The Lyons' 4x800M relay foursome felled another school mark, as sophomores Colin Fahey (Waltham, MA/Weston) and Nick Kacher (Waltham, MA/Waltham) and freshmen Jason Browne (Brooklyn, NY/Boys and Girls) and Dylan Treivush (Beverly Hills, CA/Harvard-Westlake School) put together a time of 7:57.49.
On the women's side, Wheaton's 4x800M relay team shattered a 12-year-old school record by nearly 10 seconds, as senior Lily Calderwood (Harvard, MA/Bromfield School), junior Katie Pratt (Litchfield, CT/Litchfield) and freshmen Savannah Geasey (Portsmouth, RI/Portsmouth) and Kimberly Nash (Tempe, AZ/McClintock) finished in 9:34.49.
Three freshmen ran for the 4x100M relay quartet, which provisionally qualified for NCAAs, as Lauren Cardarelli (Cranston, RI/La Salle Academy), Didine Jusme (Providence, RI/Classical) and Mickey Jusme (Providence, RI/Classical) joined sophomore Laurenmaria Smith (Providence, RI/Hope) to take ninth and come within 0.18 seconds of the final scoring team. Cardarelli and Smith played a role in the 4x400M relay squad placing seventh and also provisionally qualifying, combining with seniors Chizoba Ezeigwe (Brockton, MA/Thayer Academy) and Christine Moreau (Lincoln, RI/Lincoln) for a time of 3:54.63.
Mickey Jusme also scored for the Lyons in the long jump, taking eighth at 17' 9 1/2" to finish two inches shy of provisional qualification for the NCAAs.
For the third time in five weeks, Wheaton athletes head out to Springfield College next weekend, as they will take part in the two-day Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championship.