BURLINGTON, Vt. – Facing a pair of Division I opponents in the opening meet of their fourth season as a varsity program, both the Merrimack College men's and women's track & field teams each defeated Hartford University while placing second at the University of Vermont Invitational on Saturday afternoon in Burlington, Vt.
Top Performers: Noelia Figuereo (55m), Brianna Devereaux (800m), Women's 4x400m, Sherif Ali (1000m)
Team Finishes: Vermont 1st | Merrimack 2nd | Hartford 3rd
Location: Gardner-Collins Indoor Track | Burlington, Vt.
How It Happened
Led by five event victories, Merrimack showed no signs of being outmatched against a pair of Division I programs, as both the men and women emerged victorious against Hartford and placed second in the three-team field.
For the women, sophomore Noelia Figuereo (Haverhill, Mass.) showed no second-year slump after a tremendous first season with the Warriors in 2012-13; the nearby Haverhill, Mass., native won the 55m event and qualified for the New England Championships in the process.
Also for the women, senior Brianna Devereaux (Londonderry, N.H.) started the year hot, winning the 800m race, while sophomore distance runner Kristin Schmidt (Athens, N.Y.) won the 3000m. Finally, the 4x400m relay tandem of Figuereo, freshmen Carly Muscaro (Ashland, Mass.) and Olivia Downey (Melrose, Mass.) and junior Christine Manfra (Stoneham, Mass.) all emerged victorious in that event, as well.
On the men's side, junior Sherif Ali (Cliffside Park, N.J.) posted a win in the 1000m race as well.
Ten school records also fell on Saturday: freshman John Braga (North Reading, Mass.) in the high jump; Ali in the 1000m; John Spencer (North Hvaen, Conn.) in the 55m hurdles; freshman Bianca Giacalone (Gloucester, Mass.) in the 3000m; sophomore Zachary Lyons (Raynham, Mass.) in the 3000m; freshman Sarah Muolo (Stoneham, Mass.) in the 55h; freshman Sarah Barnett (Bridgewater, Mass.) in the shot put; freshman Emily Mauro (Northborough, Mass.) in the pole vault; sophomore Adam Ochab (Billerica, Mass.) in the weight throw, and Downey in the high jump
What They Said
Head Coach Matt Pimentel: "Obviously we had a tremendous afternoon against two Division I schools and I thought we more than held our own. We set 10 school records, saw a student-athlete qualify for the New Englands and posted five event wins. A great way to start the season and a great foundation to build on as we set our sights to January."
The Warriors will resume action after the semester break, returning to the track on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, when they compete at the Tufts Invitational.