By John Albinson
Chief Sports Editor
Last Saturday, the Holy Cross Men’s and Women’s Track and Field teams competed at the Holy Cross Invitational, held right here on campus at the track. Plagued by bad weather last year, this season’s meet was a much different story, with sunshine and clear skies holding up throughout the entire day. The Home Meet serves as the pinnacle of the regular season, where (mostly) every athlete is entered into their primary event. Holy Cross showed up on Saturday, with Women’s team winning the meet with 206 points, and the Men taking second in theirs with 121 points.
The meet started off with a bang, with senior Zoe Matherne taking the win in ECAC-qualifying time of 4:25.78. She also won the race by an astounding 18 seconds—that’s a lot for a 1500. Speaking about her performance, she said, “The home meet brings a special energy and it has been a pleasure to represent Holy Cross at Holy Cross.” On the men’s side of things, junior Joe Prunty led the Crusaders with a sixth place finish and a season-best time of 4:02.79. In the 800, we saw another Holy Cross victory, with senior Claire Turner winning in 2:15.03, with fellow senior teammate Meg Dietter not far behind in 2:17.78. For the men, senior Tommy Kalantzakos ran 1:58.64, good for 12th place.
In terms of the sprints, Holy Cross yet again did not disappoint. Junior Alix Curtin won the 100-meter dash in an ECAC-qualifying time of 12.03, while junior Sarah Friess and sophomore Allison Smiley took third and fourth, respectively. For the men, senior Darius Lacy ran 11.34 for an eighth place finish. We also saw a victory in the Women’s 4×100 relay, where the team of Curtin, Friess, Smiley, and Stef McArdle ran an ECAC-qualifying time of 47.18. In the Men’s 4×400, the Holy Cross team of Kalantzakos, Brendan Cogdell, Jake Newton, and Gabe Piepergerdes won in a thrilling wire-to-wire finish in a time of 3:22.35.
Quite possibly the most exciting races of the day were the Men’s and Women’s 5Ks, where both ended in Holy Cross victories. On the women’s side, senior Hannah Jeter ran 17:23.29, winning by 24 seconds. “It was wonderful to see all the support from the school and from family and friends,” said Jeter. “Being able to run with most of our distance squad was the best way to race in my last home meet.” The men’s 5K was arguably the best race of the day, with sophomore Bobby Tuzzio winning with a thrilling last-minute kick. Tuzzio ran 15:10.55, the second-fastest 5K of his career. “It felt really good to win in front of the home crowd. I think this is a huge confidence booster, especially with championship season coming up.” Tuzzio is the first Crusader since Dennis Muldoon in 2015 to win the 5K at this meet.
Rounding out the home meet with arguably the most impressive all-around performance was freshman Michael Pichay, who won both the triple and long jumps. After setting the school record in the triple jump a couple weeks ago, Pichay has had an incredible outdoor season thus far.
The track and field team returns to action this Saturday, where they will compete at the Skyhawk Invitational held at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts. Look for them finishing out the regular season with some more top notch marks as they shock the nation one last time.