Scrolling Headlines:

UPDATE: SGA announces second and third artist for ‘Mullins Live!’ -

February 23, 2017

Divest UMass and STPEC host panel on building ‘solidarity economies’ in the Trump era -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s basketball losing streak extends to 10 games after loss to URI -

February 23, 2017

Sixth annual Advocacy Day set to take place March 1 -

February 23, 2017

Panel discusses racial, sexual and psychological violence in response to art exhibit -

February 23, 2017

Judy Dixon enters final season with UMass tennis with simple message: One match at a time -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball enduring early-season limitation in playing in New England -

February 23, 2017

Minutewomen softball begins season with cross-country travel, string of tournaments -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball looks to bounce back from disappointing 2016 season -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior Hannah Murphy is Angela McMahon’s latest legend in the making -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior defenders accept leadership roles in quest for ninth consecutive Atlantic 10 Championship -

February 23, 2017

Kelsey McGovern rejoins UMass women’s lacrosse as an assistant coach after starring for Minutewomen -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse looks to continue improving throughout 2017 season -

February 23, 2017

Spring Sports Special Issue 2017 -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse defense relying on senior leadership with new faces in starting lineup -

February 23, 2017

UMass softball fills holes left by seniors with freshmen for 2017 -

February 23, 2017

The Hart of the Lineup -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse defenseman Tyler Weeks makes his way back from ACL injury -

February 23, 2017

UMass softball prepares for a long, busy season in 2017 -

February 23, 2017

Quiet beauty roars in ‘Lion’ -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s track and field finishes third at New England Championships

Collegian File Photo

Collegian File Photo

Three members of the Massachusetts women’s indoor track and field team came away with gold medals at the New England Championships at Boston University on Saturday afternoon, highlighting a widespread team effort that earned the Minutewomen third place overall.

Competing against 35 other teams from across the northeast, the Minutewomen’s bronze medal is the program’s best New England indoor performance since they won the overall silver in 1999.

Rebecca Stoyle continued her dominance in the triple jump, winning the event with another personal best, a new UMass program record leap of 42 feet, 0.25 inches. Stoyle has won the last three New England Championships in the triple jump and is ranked 27th nationally in the event.

Following the Atlantic 10 Championships, UMass coach Julie LaFreniere was impressed by her team’s ability to keep competing at its highest level, but was not surprised by the success of her star triple jumper.

“She’s one of the best athletes on campus,” she said of Stoyle. “We expect her to perform week in and week out. And as we approach the championship season…we design the training to have all the athletes peaking at the end of the season. She’s an outstanding athlete and it’s not a surprise to us.”

However, the meet was by no means a one-woman show. Heather MacLean also took home gold with a dominant performance in the 800-meter run. She finished in just two minutes, 12.77 seconds, a new UMass  record and just two seconds shy of the New England record.

MacLean is the first UMass freshman to win an Indoor New England Championship since 2005.

Jumping specialist Courtney Kromko won the long jump (18 feet, 9 inches) and then came back to win bronze in the triple jump with a leap of 40 feet, 2.25 inches. Kromko is the first Minutewoman to medal in two events at a New England Championship since Rose Bryan in 1999.

Rachel Hilliard also won the first medal of her collegiate career in the mile run with a time of four minutes, 53.08 seconds, good for third at the meet. She is the first Minutewoman to medal in the mile since 2001.

“It was a team effort for the group to secure a third place finish,” LaFreniere said.

Minutemen end season strong

The UMass men’s indoor track and field team finished the championships with a number of exemplary performances that propelled it to a 10th place finish out of 37 competing teams.

Co-captain Zach Hildenbrandt led the Minutemen with a silver medal in the 500-meter dash with a time of one minute, 4.25 seconds. The medal was the first of his collegiate career. The other captain, Stephen Bigelow, had a solid weekend as well, finishing fifth in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.07 seconds.

UMass coach Ken O’Brien was very pleased with the leadership abilities of Hildenbrandt and Bigelow this season.

“It was quite apparent that they would take over the leadership roles,” he said. “It was a very competitive 500-meter field and that particular event is right in Zach’s strong point. He finished second, a result he deserves.

“He was richly rewarded for all the work he’s put in into training. … They’ve provided leadership and showed the young kids how things are done. No one works harder; no one takes things more seriously than Zach and Steve have.”

O’Brien is also excited about the youth of this team and emphasized that this type of championship experience is invaluable and can only be gained from competing in high pressure meets.

“The younger guys have great enthusiasm”, he said. “(They) maybe stumbled out of the blocks a little bit, but they have absorbed the feelings that are necessary when the big meets show up. … They’re stepping up in terms of their intensity and their confidence.”

The team portion of the season is effectively over for the indoor track and field team, but qualifying individuals will go on to compete for their specific events at the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships in Boston this weekend.

            Arthur Hayden can be reached at awhayden@umass.edu

Leave A Comment