WESTON, Mass. - In their final meet of the 2011-12 outdoor track & field season, the five qualifying athletes for the Division III New England Track & Field Championships competed on Saturday at MIT. Under an overcast sky and cool temperatures, the Pride athletes didn't disappoint, capping off a stellar year with even more top-notch performances.
The men's 4x100 meter relay, consisting of Chandler Davies (Hartford, Conn.), Jeremy Israel (Medfield, Mass.), Ryan Manning (Hanover, Mass.), and Paul Gionfriddo (Burlington, Conn.), held their own as the team of freshmen competed together in their first combined post-season event. Their performance bodes well for future years and the young record-setting squad will look to return on an annual basis and move up in the ranks.
In the open events, Israel also competed in the 400-meter dash. Israel, already coming off of a DIII ECAC bronze medal placing in the indoor season (500-meter dash), came in seeded 21st into the competition. His final performance of 50.42 seconds not only moved him up in the rankings (finishing 13th in the meet), but also set a new school record in the event. His time broke his outdoor record of 50.97s and indoor/overall-school record of 50.62s. Coming in with a personal best of over 52seconds from high school, the rookie proved to have a break-out year in his first round of collegiate seasons.
Not to be outdone, sophomore Tori Rapsis (Nashua, N.H.) competed in her fourth-straight DIII New England Championships in the pole vault, of which became a turning point for her athletic career. Qualifying for the meet with a performance of 9'6 1/4" (the current school record), Rapsis proceeded to break her record twice, clearing heights of 9'8" and then 10'2". The final leap pushed her past the 10' barrier for the first time, and elevates her standing within the New England Region. Having entered college with a high school best of 9'9", Rapsis can now take home a new personal best in addition to the meet accolades.
To view all of the results from the DIII New England Track & Field Championships, please click here.