Track & Field Teams Compete At New England Outdoor Championships

May 13, 2006


CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Holy Cross men's and women's track and field teams took part in the New England Championships on Friday and Saturday on the campus of MIT. Leading the way for the Crusaders was a pair of seniors, Jessica Fallon (Nashua, N.H.) and John Nieskens (Peterborough, N.H.), who each took fourth overall in their respective events. Fallon earned five team points in the pole vault and Nieskens also picked up five points for his performance in the 10,000-meter run. Freshman Alexandra Swiatocha (Mahopac, N.Y.) also finished fourth in the women's heptathlon.

The Crusader women earned 17 team points to tie MIT and Springfield for 15th place overall. With 12 points, the Holy Cross men tied Worcester State in 20th place. The Connecticut women (229.5 points) and the Rhode Island men (124.5 points) each won the New England Track & Field Championship.

After breaking her own school record and taking fourth place last weekend at the Patriot League Championships, Fallon put together another solid performance in Cambridge with a clearance of 10'11.75" to finish fourth once again. The winner, Kristen Bakanowski of UMass cleared a height of 12'0".

Swiatocha finished the heptathlon with 4071 total points from the seven events, which was just 14 points short of a bronze medal and 132 points behind the winner, Karen Woolley from Dartmouth. The freshman's performance was worth five more points for the Holy Cross in the standings.

In the women's 4x800-meter relay, the Crusaders picked up four points with a fifth place overall finish. The team of sophomore Christine Carifio (Haverhill, Mass.), freshman Colleen Spilka (Hamden, Conn.), junior Megan Hyland (Rye, N.Y.) and freshman Katie Clay (Beverly, Mass.) recorded a time of 9:45.3. New Hampshire won the race in a time of 9:16.0.

The Holy Cross women's 4x100-meter relay team took seventh place with a time of 50.11 seconds. Members of the team are freshman Lesley Bautista (St. Johns, NL), freshman Danielle Meder (Chicopee, Mass.), junior Kaitlyn Mearn (Milton, Mass.), and senior Meghan Carrette (North Reading, Mass.). The Crusaders tallied two points for the performance and topped their time of 50.36 from last weekend's league championship. Connecticut won the 4x100-meter relay in 46.28 seconds.

Meder also picked up another team point with her eighth place finish in the women's 100-meter hurdles. The freshman finished in a time of 15.15 seconds. Tamara Highsmith of Connecticut took first in a time of 14.30 seconds.

For the Holy Cross men, Nieskens pick up five of the team's 12 points with his fourth place finish in the 10,000-meter run. The senior recorded time of 30:57.81 which was just over 12 seconds off the pace set by Mark Alizzi of Boston College. Nieskens shaved one minute and 16 seconds off the time he ran last weekend at the Patriot League Championships.

The men's 4x400-meter relay team took third place overall, which was the highest Crusader finish of the entire competition. Members of the team include sophomore Michael Ricotta (Cross River, N.Y.), freshman Andrew Maggio (Chelmsford, Mass.), senior Christopher Morris (Old Brookville, N.Y.) and senior Robert Leader (Leominster, Mass.). The team finished in a time of 3:20.6, which was less the one second off the winning time by Middlebury.

Also putting together a strong performance was junior Nicholas Carr (Concord, Mass.). Carr gained one team point and took eighth overall in the men's hammer throw with a toss of 168'0, his second best of the spring season. Mike Bernardo of Rhode Island took first overall in the hammer throw, recording a throw of 186'8".

Notes: Freshman Lauren Courtney (Ashland, Mass.) finished 11th in the women's 400-meter dash with a time of 59.50 ... Senior Kerilyn Anderson (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) finished ninth in the heptathlon with 3653 points ... Freshman Katherine Clifford (Norwood, Mass.) took ninth place in the women's discus throw with a distance of 115'10" ... Sophomore Nathaniel Couture (Taunton, Mass.) finished ninth in the men's javelin throw with a distance of 175'11" ... In the men's 200-meter dash, Maggio took 10th place in a time of 22.02 seconds ... Senior Stephen Laney (Cohasset, Mass.) took 11th overall in the men's hammer throw with a toss of 165'0" ... The men's 4x100-meter relay team finished 10th, recording a time of 43.21.