March 6, 2011

Pioneers Set Records at ECAC and IC4A Championships

Video of Bertony Jean-Louis Men's 60 Meter Hurdle Win

(Boston, MA) - The Sacred Heart Men's and Women's Track and Field teams traveled north this weekend for the ECAC and IC4A Championships.  The ECAC meet for women is held at Northeastern University's Reggie Lewis Center in Boston, while the men's IC4A meet is held across town at the Boston University Track and Tennis Center.  The ECAC and IC4A meets bring together the best Division 1 athletes throughout northeastern United States.  In Indoor Track and Field, they are the biggest intercollegiate meets next to the NCAA Division 1 Championships.

Highlighting the weekend for the Pioneers, Men's captain Bertony Jean-Louis sprinted to victory in the 60 meter hurdles to become the fourth individual ECAC/IC4A champion in program history.  The weekend also yielded one facility record, and five new school records, while three athletes earned "All-East" honors by virtue of the their top eight individual finishes.
Jean-Louis opened his day on Sunday by winning his 60 meter hurdle trial race in 7.96 seconds.  Sophomore teammate Jeremy Rosado also won his trial heat in 8.12 to easily advance to the final.  Jean-Louis was the fastest qualifier, setting up a rematch in the final with Tyler Cotto of the University of Massachusetts.  One week earlier, Cotto nipped Jean-Louis 7.87 to 7.89 to take the individual New England crown, while Jean-Louis settled for a frustrating second place. 
 
In the final Jean-Louis led from the gun, surging across the finish line victorious in a new personal best of 7.79 seconds.  Cotto placed third, while Sacred Heart's Rosado joined Jean-Louis on the "All-East" team by placing seventh in 8.19.  Jean-Louis broke his own school record for the fourth time this season.  Most recently, he set the record in the New England's when he lost to Cotto.  More importantly, he took the Boston University facility record away from Cotto who set it when he won the New England meet.  In addition, Jean-Louis finished just shy of the IC4A meet record (7.72), and the automatic qualifying standard (7.70) for the NCAA Championships. 
 

Jean-Louis joins Arman Dixon (Indoor 200 Meters in 2007), Marsha Locke (Indoor Shot Put in 2008), and Kimberly DeLoreto (Cross Country in 2010) as the only athletes in program history to win individual ECAC or IC4A crowns.

Junior Jeffrey Lusignan also had a huge weekend competing in the Mile in the IC4A meet.  Running in Saturday's trial heats, Lusignan ran an even-paced race to cross the finish line in 4:08.52, beating his own school record by an astonishing 5.30 seconds.  Lusignan clocked the old record of 4:13.82 a week earlier when he placed second in the New England Championships.  Coming into the meet, Lusignan was seeded 30th out of 41 entries in the event, but his breakthrough time advanced him to Sunday's final as the ninth fastest of ten qualifiers.  In the final, Lusignan ran another even-paced race to place seventh in 4:11.01, earning himself "All-East" honors to go with the "All-East" recognition he notched for cross country in the fall.
 

Two more school records fell in the 4 x 800 meter relay trials on Saturday.  Junior John Ahern joined senior captains Andrew Houghtalen and Daniel Koehler, along with freshman Patrick Peterson to clock 7:40.89, finishing 13th overall in the trial heats.  While the quartet didn't advance to Sunday's final, they did break the school standard of 7:42.10 that Lusignan, Houghtalen, Koehler, and Peterson set a week earlier in the New England Championships.  The fastest 800 meter splits were turned in by Houghtalen running the second leg in 1:53.9, and Peterson who anchored in 1:52.2.  Peterson's split set a fourth school record for the Pioneers on the weekend, as it was the fastest 800 meter baton carry in program history. 

Rounding out the competition for the men, junior Chase Petrucci competed in the shot put, placing 14th with a throw of 50' 8".  Overall, the men placed 19th out of 52 scoring teams, and out of more than 70 competing teams, with a score of 14 points. 
 
On the women's side, junior Brittany Llobell led the way with a new school record in the 1000 meter event.  With ECAC qualifying teammates Angelica Johnson (60 meter dash), and Kimberly DeLoreto (3000 meters and 5000 meters) on the sidelines with minor injuries, Llobell was the lone entry for the Sacred Heart women in a track event, and she did not disappoint.  Llobell clocked 2:57.87 to place 14th overall in Saturday's trials.  While she didn't advance to Sunday's final, she did break the school record of 2:58.03 that she set while earning "All-New England" honors a week earlier. 
 
Captain Bonnie Kilis placed tenth out of 16 accepted entries in the pentathlon with 3342 points, missing "All-East" honors by two places and just 48 points.  The graduate student opened the competition with a personal best of 9.33 seconds in the 60 meter hurdles, before struggling a bit through the high jump (5' 1 ¼"), shot put (34' 7 ½"), and long jump (15' 9").  Kilis finished strong with a 2:26.40 clocking in the 800 meters, but still fell a bit short of her personal best score of 3493 points.
The women also had five qualifiers in the throwing events in the ECAC meet, more than any other school.  On Saturday, freshman Lindsay Aponte placed 16th in the shot put (42' 7"), and junior teammate Carol Cress placed 17th (42' 6 ¾").  On Sunday junior twin sisters Athalia Smith (51' 4 ¼") and Chantaul Smith (49' 8 ¼") placed 18th and 23rd, respectively, in the weight throw, while freshman Kolbi Smith placed 30th