4x400m Relay Takes Next Step in Hitting ECAC Qualifier

Tomas Sanchez
Tomas Sanchez

Oneonta, NY – United States Merchant Marine Academy track and field competed at the Oneonta May Meet this past weekend in hopes of gaining a handful of qualifying marks before ECAC Championships.

The high-caliber meet consisted of many of the region's best D-III collegiate athletes in search of ECAC and NCAA qualifying marks as well as post-collegiate competitors.  The field included: nationally ranked Williams, NYU, St. Lawrence, Vassar, SUNY Plattsburgh, SUNY Geneseo, Stevens Institute, SUNY Cobleskill, RPI, Ithaca, Rochester, Utica, Community College of Philadelphia, Canisius, Nazareth, Alfred, St. John's Fischer, Bard, and St. Rose.

Weather conditions were less than ideal as the evening was cool and stormy with bursts of rain.  Most affected by the conditions for Merchant Marine were the men's High Jump and women's 400 Hurdles.

For the Mariners, the highlight of the meet was the 4x400m relay team of freshman Jacob Weaver (Orlando, FL), freshman Ian Helis (Carlisle, PA), freshman Tomas Sanchez (Okinawa, Japan), and senior Daniel Baxter (Cosxackie, NY) who placed fifth overall against stiff competition with a time of 3:23.58; just being edged by fourth place Ithica College. 

Individually, Sanchez had a solid individual race in the 800m running a lifetime best of 1:53.46, which ranks 44th nationally.  His time was good to place fifth overall at the meet, third place among collegiate competitors.  Nick Guarino of the Syracuse Chargers finished in the top spot with a time of 1:51.34.

Weaver also set a new personal high mark with a 10th place finish in the 200m coming across the finish line in 23.35s.

Along with Sanchez in the 800m, Baxter, freshman Gus Newkirk (Plano, TX), and freshman Brendan Dooley (Hebron, KY) had strong runs with respective times of 1:58.39, 2:04.04 and 2:04.18; a new personal best for Dooley.

Freshman Andrew Walsh (Granville, OH) placed 19th in the 1500m with a time of 4:17.81 and freshman Kenneth Pressey (Yorktown, VA) finished eighth in the High Jump with a mark of 1.78m.

The only female competitor for Merchant Marine was Gloria Mahoney (Atlanta, GA) who, in the pouring rain, ran her second fastest time ever in the 400m Hurdles with a time of 1:02.51, placing 13th overall.

"It was really tough weather conditions for a meet when you are simply in search of qualifying marks," said Head Coach Greg Lott.  "Thankfully, most of our guys had already qualified for ECACs, so they'll get another shot with more favorable conditions."

ECAC Championships will be held Thursday May 16 and Friday 17 in Springfield, MA.  Qualifiers for Merchant Marine include the men's 4x100m relay, men's 4x400m realy, men's 4x800m relay, Sanchez and Baxter in the 800m, Pressey in the High Jump, senior Gretchen Holoubek (Severna Park, MD) in the 5000m, senior Jessica Tyack (Lake Isabella, CA) in the Triple Jump, and senior Tara Mulligan (Monroe, NY) in the Hammer Throw.