SHU's Outdoor Track Title Completes First NEC Triple Crown Since 1997

SHU's Outdoor Track Title Completes First NEC Triple Crown Since 1997

EMMITSBURG, Md. – Sacred Heart won the 2015 Northeast Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championship on Sunday, becoming the first team since 1997, and just fourth team overall, to win the NEC Triple Crown, consisting of a cross country, indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field NEC championship in the same season. One year after missing out on the title by 2.5 points to LIU Brooklyn, SHU swapped places with the Blackbirds, running away with the title by 55.5 points with a total of 195.5.

Emma Bolduc became the third Pioneer to claim an individual gold in the 5,000 Meters, joining Elizabeth Hutchins and Kolbi Smith from Saturday, to bring her point total to a SHU-high 23. Nicole Bartosch was right behind her, bringing in 22 as the only Sacred Heart athlete with three individual medals. Smith increased her point total to 20 with her second medal of the weekend. After five medal winning performances on Saturday, there were twelve more on Sunday.

Just missing out on the podium placing fourth in 2014, Bolduc ran away with the 5,000 Meter title, finishing with her fastest time of the season. Crossing the line in 17:13.3, she also was under the ECAC standard. Finishing next was Hutchins, who one day after winning the 10,000 Meters, was ten seconds clear of third place with a time of 17:30.35. Shannon Hickey and Jennifer Hahne also brought in three points combined with their seventh and eighth place finishes, bringing SHU's event total to 21. The two crossed back to back in 18:20.15 and 18:21.24.

Hahne also turned in a breakthrough performance in the 1,500 Meters, finishing the event in a season best 4:40.28 en route to earning a silver medal. Just 1.02 seconds behind the gold medalist, she was part of a pack of four that all crossed 1.52 second within each other. That group included Bolduc, who placed fourth with a time of 4:40.78, just .11 seconds away from her third medal of the weekend.

Two of Bartosch's medals were silver, in the High Jump and 200 meters, while the third was a bronze in the 100 Meter Hurdles. The 200 Meter Dash was her fastest time of the year, as she crossed in ECAC qualifying time 24.72, just .13 seconds behind gold. Ashia Wright also ran, placing sixth in 25.35, also a season best. Bartosch cleared 5'4½" on her second attempt in the High Jump, winning the tiebreaker and therefore silver medal, as the other second place finisher took three tries. Victoria Pileggi and Hannah Cook also earned points with respective fifth and eighth place finishes. Pileggi cleared 5'1¼", while Cook jumped over a new best of 4'11½".  Bartosch's third medal came after yet another season best and ECAC qualifier in the 100 Meter Heardles. The sophomore crossed the line in 14.46.

Rounding out the individual medal winners was Smith in the Hammer Throw and Mareena DiMilia in the Javelin, as SHU earned 13 points in each. If it was not for Smith's 170'11¾" toss in the Hammer, DiMilia would have brought home two medals, as she placed fourth, 3¾" behind Smith. Both were over the ECAC standard. A day after bronze in the Shot Put, Lindsay Aponte added two points with a seventh place throw of 151'7½". DiMilia's bronze medal effort in the Javelin traveled 128'½.  Autumn Kramer and Julia Cassidy finished one inch apart in fifth and sixth place respectively. Their best throws went 119'9" and 119'8".

The 4 x 100 Meter Relay team also won bronze. Wright, Angela Harrison, Elizabeth Klein, and Dylan Baker qualified for the ECAC's in the process, combining to finish in a season-best 47.97 seconds. The 4 x 400 team was just over two seconds away from also earning its way on to the podium. Taylor Ann D'Agostino, Kayla Lawrence, Shay Cronin, and Bridget Carey collectively crossed in yet another season best, 3:55.8. 

Lorraine Santiago and Tara Connelly both were one spot away from podium performances. Santiago missed bronze in the Triple Jump by two inches, recording a seasonal best mark of 36'10¼". Cook came in eighth for the second event of the day, jumping 36'5".  Connelly led three top eight finishes in the 3000 Meter Steeplechase, finishing in a new season best of 11:29.82. Kelly Quinn crossed after her in 11:59.84, while Stephanie Messier was eighth after running her best time of the season, 12:13.87.

After both were a part in SHU's bronze medal winning 4 x 100 Meter team, Wright and Harrison ran to fourth and sixth place finishes in the 100 Meters. Wright crossed in an ECAC qualifying and season best time of 12.07, while Harrison finished in 12.25, also a season best.

Capping off SHU's point earning performances were Camille McKenzie running to a fifth place finish in the 400 Meter Hurdles and Cynthia Gray crossing 8th in the 800 Meters. McKenzie finished in 1:06.49, while Gray ran a season best 2:19.48.

Individuals who qualified will next compete in the New England Championships next weekend. The three-day competition is hosted by MIT in Cambridge, Mass., and will begin on Thursday at 1 pm.