Smith Wins SHU's First Ever Gold at ECAC/IC4A Championships; Ferguson Lowers School Record

Photo Credit: Joseph Erdos
Photo Credit: Joseph Erdos

PRINCETON, N.J. – Kolbi Smith won her seventh consecutive Shot Put gold, becoming the first ever outdoor ECAC individual champion in Sacred Heart history, and Sean Ferguson broke his own school record, as select members of the Sacred Heart track and field team competed at the ECAC/IC4A Championships over the weekend. Also highlighting SHU's performance was Nicole Bartosch and Gregory Hazell earning "All-East" honors with respective top eight finishes in the Heptathlon and Decathlon. 

One season after earning the silver in the ECAC Shot Put, Smith captured the gold. Her winning throw traveled 51'3". Smith will continue her season at the NCAA East Regional, which take place May 28-30 in Jacksonville, Fla. Smith currently has the 18th furthest throw in the Region, with the top twelve at the meet securing a trip at the NCAA Championships. A Sacred Heart female athlete has never qualified for the Championships. Smith also competed in the Hammer Throw with teammate Mareena DiMilia. DiMilia placed 14th with a toss of 171'3", while Smith registered a final mark of 164'. The two just missed out on an opportunity to compete in the event at the NCAA Regional. Needing to rank in the top 48, DiMilia and Smith are ranked 55th and 56th respectively.

Joining Smith at the Regional could be Elizabeth Hutchins, whose Northeast Conference record of 34:51.29 in the 10,000 Meters earlier this season currently stands as the 50th fastest in the Region. Although the top 48 in each region get invited to the Regional, not all athletes declare. Hutchins ran this weekend along with senior teammate and fellow co-captain Emma Bolduc, who ran in the final meet of her storied career. Competing in the 5,000 Meters, Bolduc finished with the first sub 17-minute performance of her career, setting a new personal outdoor record by over 15 seconds, crossing in 16:55.52. She is just the ninth female in Northeast Conference history to break 17 minutes, standing third in school history and sixth in the conference all time. The tenth place finish in the field of 23 was also the second fastest in the Northeast Conference this season, only 2.15 seconds behind Hutchins. Hutchins finished with a time of 17:27.94.

Ferguson, one of just three Pioneer men to compete at the competition, also ran in the 5,000 Meters, lowering the school record for the third time since April 17, including just last week at the New England Championships. Now with the fastest time in the NEC by over 30 seconds, Ferguson crossed 13th with a time of 14:25.21. 

Coming in seeded 10th out of the 15 competitors in the decathlon, Hazell turned in an outdoor best in five of the ten events en route to a personal best 6,478 points and a sixth place finish. Hazell was third after day one, just nine points behind the leader with 3,646. Setting outdoor bets in the 100 Meter Dash, 400 Meters, Long Jump, Pole Vault, and Discus, Hazell won the Long Jump and placed in the top three in three other events. His new collegiate best in the Long Jump measured 23'1¼", well over his previous best of 22'9". He came in second in the High Jump, clearing 6'4", as well as the 110 Meter Hurdles, where he was just .02 seconds behind the winner with a career best time 15.08. His fourth top three finish came in the 400 Meters, where he crossed in the fastest time of his career, 50.75. His two other personal bests came in the Pole Vault, where he cleared 12'11½", and the Discuss, where his furthest throw measured 93'11". He also placed fifth in the 1500 Meter Run with a time of 4:49.14.

Nicole Bartosch won four of the seven events in the Heptathlon en route to a narrow podium miss, placing fourth in the field of 13 with a final total of 4,583 points despite not earning any in the Javelin due to fouls. She led by 62 points after the first day of competition, accumulating 3,033 through the first four events. Bartosch won the 800 Meter Run, 200 Meter Dash, High Jump and Long Jump, and was also third in the 100 Meter Hurdles. In winning the 800 Meter Run, she set a new outdoor best, crossing just under one second ahead of second place in 2:17.21. She had another close call in the 200 Meter Dash, winning by .1 second in 24.82. She cleared 5'6" in the High Jump and registered a distance of 17'11" in the Long Jump, which was more than eight inches further then her closes competitor. Her 100 Meter Hurdle time was 15.49, .44 seconds behind first place. Bartosch also competed in the Long Jump outside of the Heptathlon, with her best distance measuring 17'5½". 

Rounding out Sacred Heart's individual competitors was Warner Cooley III, who qualified for the 100 Meter semifinals with the 13th fastest preliminary time, clocking a 10.87. Then in the semifinals, he missed out on a spot in the final by .12 seconds, crossing in 10.88. Cooley then teamed with Brendan Twumasi-Ankrah, Joshua Beloff, and Sebastian Pierre in the 4 x 100 Meter Relay. The quartet combined to finish the even in 42.82.

Current list of NEC athletes who have broken 17 minutes in the Women's 5000 Meters:

1)      Kaitlyn Gwyther, QU, 4/27/06, Penn Relays, 16:12.63

2)      Brianna Castrogivanni, SHU, 5/15/14, ECAC's @ Princeton, 16:29.21

3)      Whitney Schnarr, SFPA, 3/31/06, Stanford Invite, 16:38.34

4)      Rebecca White, QU, 4/26/12, Penn Relays, 16:48.25

5)      Elizabeth Hutchins, SHU, 4/17/15, Larry Ellis Invite @ Princeton, 16:53.37

6)      Emma Bolduc, SHU, 5/15/15, ECAC's @ Princeton, 16:55.52 

7)      Alyssa Selmquist, SHU, 5/5/13, NEC Championship @ Monmouth, 16:56.33

8)      Brittney Lane, SHU, 4/20/12, Larry Ellis Invite @ Princeton, 16:57.01

9)      Eimear Black, Bryant, 4/13/13, Brown Invite, 16:59.55

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