Stevens leads track teams, races to more accolades

Brendan Dowding

Inside, outside, Kristen Stevens can run anywhere. The talented freshman proved that once again this past weekend at the NEC indoor championships in Landover, Md., garnering Rookie of the Meet honors.

Stevens won the 3000 meters on Saturday and the 5000 meters on Sunday. In doing so, she became the first female in school history to win an individual award at both the indoor and outdoor conference championships.

Overall, the women finished fourth out of 11 teams at the meet. The team finished with a program-record 22 points. Long Island took home the women’s title with 129 total points.

Co-captain Erin O’Connell thought her teammates stepped up to a tough challenge this year.

“The competition this year was definitely a bit more fierce than the past years, and our girls responded to that perfectly,” O’Connell said. “We always talk as a group about effort, aggressiveness and heart, so to see all of them put everything they had into their events made for some impressive races.”

The men’s track team finished ninth out of 11 teams at the meet. They were paced by Jacob Gurzler, who finished third in the mile. Monmouth won the meet with 110 total points.

The women’s team stood in fifth place after earning 16 points in the first day of competition. The men finished day one at the championship in seventh place with seven points.

The individual highlight of the day for the women was Stevens’ victory, but senior Sarah DeFreitas, junior Susan Ashe and freshman Lindsey Pierret also raced strongly in the 3000 meters, finishing in sixth through eight with times of 10:26.37, 10:31.91 and 10:32.45 respectively.

Several Quinnipiac women qualified for Sunday’s finals in various events. Sophomore Chelsea Bollerman finished the 500 meters in a personal-best time of 1:21.64, becoming the first runner in team history to qualify for the final.

Also, co-captain senior Erin O’Connell, senior Lisa Zino and junior Caitlin Brady earned spots in the final of the mile run with times of 5:15.27, 5:20.25 and 5:22.93 respectively. Times of 2:19.69 and 2:22.36 earned O’Connell and graduate student Joanna Perez a place in the 800 meter finals.

St. Francis (Pa.) was in first-place with 38 points after one day of competition.

On day one for the men, Gurzler finished fourth in the 3000 meters with a time of 8:44.40. He also qualified for the final in the mile with a time of 4:21.98. Sophomore Dan Martin finished the 3000 meters in 8:54.80 good for seventh-place.

Monmouth led the men’s competition with 36 points after the first day of action.