Cambridge, MA --- Three school records fell as members of the WPI track & field team looked to earn an invitation to the NCAA Division III Championships by way of the Oneonta Final Qualifier and MIT Last Chance Meet.
The men's 4x400-meter relay crushed the previous school record and unofficially moved from 36th to 11th on the NCAA performance list as junior Andrew Kelly (Medford, MA), freshman Alex Rus (Newton, MA), sophomore Ryan Wittenberg (Bedford, NH) and junior Warren Staver (Centreville, MD) posted a time of 3:14.60 Wednesday evening in New York. In the Commonwealth less than 24 hours later, Staver reset his own school record and improved from around 62nd to a tie for 29th on the performance list with a 48.32 in the 400-meter dash.
Freshman Sydney Packard (Georgetown, MA) reclaimed the school record from junior Lea Strangio (Watertown, MA) with a time of 2:10.82, which is currently the eighth-best DIII time this season, at MIT Thursday. Strangio's previous standard of 2:11.57 from the DIII regional meet was ninth to begin the week and is 15th on Friday.
Also improving their position on the master scroll were juniors Aaron Weeks (Pittsfield, MA) in the javelin and Sara Velleca (Woodbury, CT) 200-meter dash. Weeks went from 30th to 25th with a PR of 195 feet in the javelin while Velleca turned in a season-best 25.54, improving from 117 to 102. The 4x100-meter relay, which was looking for its fourth trip to the NCAAs, collaborated for a season-best 48.33. This year's configuration of junior Taylor Teed (Boxford, MA), Velleca, sophomore Michelle Gencorelli (Andover, MA) and freshman Krystal Grant (Hampden, ME) is currently 49th overall and 42nd with duplicate relays removed. Senior Kimberlee Kocienski (Schaghticoke, NY) logged a 1:03.57 in the 400-meter hurdles; however, her 1:02.65 last week is currently 27th in DIII.
Junior Abby McAdams (Montville, CT) was in New York for two days and totaled 4,038 points in the heptathlon. After finishing day one fourth, McAdams was second in the javelin with a season-best 100-11 – an improvement of 185 spots on the NCAA list – and won the 800-meter run in a time of 2:31.84 to finish second overall.
Back at MIT, graduate student Julie Tevenan (Weymouth, MA) concluded her standout career with an 11:56.63 in the steeplechase as did senior Brian D'Amore (Medfield, MA) in the 100-meter dash with times of 11:02 and 11.19 about an hour apart. Senior Austin Scott (Waddington, NY), who has an indoor season in the bank, clocked a 3:57.54 in the 1,500-meter run. Senior Hugh Whelan (Madison, CT), who still has an outdoor season available, teamed with freshman Alex Rus (Newton, MA), freshman Nick Fleury (Hopkinton, NH) and D'Amore to post a 42.39 in the 4x100-meter relay.
Sophomore Katie Nugent (Huntington, CT) handed in a 1:00.35 and junior Paul-Henry Schoenhagen (Cleveland Heights, OH), an alternate for the men's 4x400, recorded a 49.48 in their respective 400-meter dashes.
In the field events, junior Brandon Hoghaug (Douglas, MA) cleared 6-5.5 and classmate Brittney Lambert (Hudson, NH) matched her season-best of 5-3 in the high jump. Freshman Faye Gauthier (West Warwick, RI) sent the hammer 159-6 while sophomore Kendra O'Malley (Charlton, MA) was 10 feet behind.
The top 22 declared women and 20 declared men, as well as top 16 declared relays will earn an invitation to Mount Union in Ohio for the 2017 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships Thursday through Saturday.