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February 11, 2016

Minutemen take fourth at A-10 Championships, Minutewomen finish sixth

The Massachusetts’ track and field teams fared well this weekend at the Atlantic 10 championships held at the UMass Track and Field Complex. The men finished fourth overall while the women took sixth of 12 teams.

Brian Miller was the first of many success stories on Day 1 with a first-place high jump finish and claimed the UMass school record with a height of seven feet and one quarter inch. The mark was also the best in the A-10 Conference this season and Miller was later named the Most Outstanding Field Competitor of the meet. Sean Busch took first in the pole vault with a UMass second all-time mark of 15 feet, three inches. Other Day 1 notables were Jonathan Pierce finishing second in the 10K run and Daniel Wu with a third-place leap in the long jump.

The Minutemen began the second day of competition second in points, and ended the competition with 104. UMass was led by some impressive athletes who had excellent performances.

Senior Tyler Cotto finished fourth in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.45 seconds and is ranked third all-time in UMass school history. Daniel Barry took fourth overall in the 1500-meter run with a time of 3 minutes 51.06 seconds. The 4×100 relay team qualified for New England Championships with a time of 43.24, taking ninth place. The 4×400 relay team, consisting of Michael McDonough, Nick Otis, Paul Grafov and Evan Donadt also took ninth with a time of 3:22.98 and qualified for New England Championships.

A trio of decathletes fared well, led by Daniel Schwartz coming in second overall, as well as Christopher Dzidek coming in sixth and Mark Hewitt finishing seventh. Matt Gulino had a strong performance in the 200-meter run with a second-place time of 23.08. Also, Scott VanderMolen qualified for New England Championships in the 800-meter event. 

“I was very pleased with all of the athletes and their attitudes, and it looks to be a successful championship season for us,” UMass coach Ken O’Brien said.

The Minutewomen continued their success in the conference championships as well. Karen Roa set a new school record in the 3,000 meter steeple-chase as did Rachelle Bourque in the javelin. Shiyi Zan set the fourth fastest UMass all-time mark in the 10,000-meter run with a time of 37:20.21. Lisa Wilson continued her dominance in the throwing events with a second-place finish in the discus and fourth place in the shot put.

Nicole Pompei took third place in the pole vault with a mark of 11-07.75 and the 4×800 meter relay team grabbed fifth with a time of 9:08.28. Courtney Baldwin and Elizabeth Fisk finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in the 1,500-meter run while Gina Perno grabbed fifth place in the 800-meter run.

UMass returns to action next weekend in Dedham, Massachusetts for the New England Championships. Action kicks off at 10 a.m. for the two-day event.

Michael Counos can be reached at mcounos@student.umass.edu.

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