Westfield State men’s indoor track captures MASCAC championship

Feb. 21, 2014
GORHAM, Maine – It was a total team effort for the Westfield State University men's indoor track and field squad as it reclaimed the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) championship on Feb. 15 at the University of Southern Maine.

In what may have been the closest and most competitive meet in MASCAC history, Westfield State placed first with 170 points, followed by Bridgewater State (157), Worcester State (150), and Fitchburg State (102).

“It was a big team effort by all the guys and they were excited,” Sean O’Brien, Westfield State head coach, said. “This was one of the biggest [MASCAC] victories since I’ve been here.”

The Owls claimed the championship despite placing first in only two events. But Westfield’s displayed its depth, especially in the six distance events where they accumulated 78 of their 170 points. In addition, O’Brien made some strategic personnel changes in the 4 x 800 and 4 x 400 relays where the Owls finished first and second, respectively. Westfield also picked up a combined 38 points in three field events – high jump, triple jump, and shot put.

“On paper I had us finishing fourth,” O’Brien said of his pre-meet prediction. “But these guys just know how to win. I even had a Bridgewater athlete come up to me and tell me that he expected Westfield to be there because we know how to win.”

Southwick’s Zack Madera finished fifth in the 55-meter dash; and fourth in the 200-meter dash.

Springfield native Dayvon Williams was third in the triple jump; and fifth in the 55-meter hurdles.

Zack Delisle of Chicopee was third in the pole vault, while fellow Chicopee Comprehensive High School alum Brian Garcia took fourth in the shot put; and fifth in weight throw.

The Owls women’s team placed first in seven events on its way to a second-place finish, including Springfield sprinter Targie Gervais, who was a double winner.

Gervais, who had been sidelined with an injury the past few weeks, defended her title in the 55-meter dash with a winning time of 7.25 seconds, which ranks her fifth nationally. She won the 200-meter dash in a photo finish clocking of 26.71.

Distance runner Ashley Monahan of Springfield was also an individual champion. The freshman from Agawam High School won the 1000-meter run in 3:12.19, placed third in the 400-meter run and was a member of the winning 4 x 800 relay squad.

West, Sanchez pivotal in WSU win

NORTH ADAMS – Chicopee’s Aaron West finished with a season best 15 points and Jesus Sanchez of Springfield had 11 points off the bench to help the Westfield State University men’s basketball team past Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts 80-63 on Feb. 18.

Starke fares well at NEISDAs

SOUTH KINGSTON, R.I. – Senior Aaron Starke of Chicopee, Mass., clocked a time of 49.96 and finished eighth overall in the 100-yard freestyle as the Elms College men’s swim team finished the 2013-14 New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving Association Championship in fifth place out of 11 teams in the three-day event, which concluded on Feb. 16.

Starke was also part of a 200-yard medley relay team that placed third in the event with a new school record time of 1:39.07.

Strohman’s decision not enough to lift Pride

SPRINGFIELD – Jacob Strohman of East Longmeadow took the 141-pound weight class by a 6-3 decision, but the Springfield College wrestling team fell to visiting Williams College 22-19 on Feb. 15.

Liebel victorious in Yellow Jackets loss

SPRINGFIELD – Freshman Conor Liebel of Feeding Hills started the match with an 8-3 decision in the 125-pound weight class, but the American International College (AIC) wrestling team fell 26-15 to Williams College on Feb. 15.

Pride splits pair of volleyball matches

SPRINGFIELD – Ryan Malone of Chicopee recorded 11 kills at a .450 clip in a Springfield College men’s volleyball 3-0 (25-14, 25-18, 25-17) sweep of Johnson & Wales on Feb. 15.

The No. 2 Pride also fell to No. 1 Rivier College in a five-set grinder 3-2 (25-23, 25-20, 19-25, 22-25, 19-17).

Locals impress at Tufts Cupid Challenge

MEDFORD – Chicopee’s Alex Niemiec took home first in the 60-meter dash as he crossed the finish line in 7.02 seconds for Springfield College at the Tufts Cupid Challenge on Feb. 14.

AIC women’s track and field runner Jeptui Jerotich of Springfield doubled up, notching a sixth place finish in the 1,000-meter run in 3:09.16 after posting an eighth place finish in the mile in 5:17.44.

Kimeisha Winkle of Springfield placed 11th overall in the 400 with a time of 1:04.32 for Springfield College.

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