Springfield, Mass. -- December 5, 2009 -- Defending NCAA Champion Steve Headley (Wilbraham, Mass.) captured the 55 meter dash in NCAA Division III automatic qualifying time of 6.33 seconds to lead his Springfield College men's indoor track & field team to a first place finish in the Springfield Invitational this afternoon in the SC Field House. The Pride finished with 170.50 points, followed by WPI (130.50), Westfield State (126), Eastern Connecticut State (73), and Rhode Island College (53).
Headley's winning time was 6.33 seconds, just 9/100ths of a second off his winning time at the NCAA's last March.
In another highlight for the Pride, Kevin Coyle qualified provisionally for the NCAA Division III Championships in two jumping events -- in the long jump (6.97m) and in the triple jump (14.19m), finishing first in each.
The Pride also had several more first-place finishes. Included was a first from Chris Quetant (50.91) in the 400, from Zach Pietras (a personal best 4:31.60) in the mile, from David Birdsall (15:47.41) in the 5000, and from Emil Occhiboi (1.86m) in the high jump.
Springfield also won both relays. In the 4x200 meter relay, the winning time was 1:31.16, almost four seconds better than the nearest competitor. The order included Tom Brognano, Matt Amendola, Quetant, and Nickel Hay. In the 4x400 meter relay, the winning time was 3:28.30. The order included Brognano, Quetant, Kevin Belhmer, and Hay.
"It was an outstanding team effort, especially considering it was the opening meet of the year" said Head Coach Ken Klatka, now in his 34th season at the helm.