Hawks bounce back after second-place finishes last season in CCC Championships

Britney Dixon, Managing Editor

After two devastating second-place finishes in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Championship in the 2017 season, the Roger Williams University men’s and women’s track and field teams soared to first-place victories over their long-term rivals.

The rivals — Nichols College and Salve Regina University, respectively — had tricks up their sleeves last year that cost the Hawks the wins.

Nichols College was suspected to have made changes to their roster halfway through the season and a coach from Salve Regina could have recited the entire rule book.

This year, things were different.

Nichols locked their roster and the SRU coach was nowhere to be found on Saturday. However, the women were unaware that Gordon College was going to be their issue this year. The Fighting Scots throwing coach, Edison Thayer, took a phone call in the javelin runway during the second flight of women’s javelin Saturday morning.

According to Section One Rule Four Article 20 of the N.C.A.A. 2017-18 Cross Country and Track and Field Rules, “coaches, athletes, competitors and officials shall not use video or audio devices, radio transmitters or receivers, mobile phones, computers, unmanned aerial systems (i.e., drones) or any similar devices in the competition area, except as authorized by the games committee.”

Realizing his mistake, Thayer could only think of one remedy. He quickly approached the official of the event and falsely informed him that RWU athletes were watching video recordings in between throws. After the Hawks’ warning, they had one more chance before getting disqualified. That would have deducted 24 points from Roger Williams’ women’s total that day.

The Hawks were able to shake the tricks they were prepared for and come out on top of their competitors Saturday. The women won with a score of 191 — 18 points ahead of Salve Regina — and the men scored 260 points — 39 above Nichols.

Some of RWU’s top competitors on the men’s side on Saturday started on the track. Freshman Connor Hayden placed third and right behind him was senior captain Kevin McManus earning four points.

The men’s 4×100-meter relay took second-place in its first completion of the season with a time of 44.67 seconds. The 1500-meter run followed where sophomore Kyle Wrynn took third. Freshman Noah Lautenschlager won the 100-meter and 200-meter dash.

Nichols triumphed in the 800-meter run, but the RWU distance crew went on to sweep the rest of the event. Another big event for the Hawks was the 400-meter hurdles which grabbed 24 points.

The men’s 4×400-meter relay wrapped up the track events with a first-place finish.

Out in the field, junior Jacob Mailloux broke the school record in the long jump with a mark of 6.58 meters, which also won the event for Mailloux. He also took third in discus. Freshman Nate Parker won the triple jump with a mark of 12.58 meters.

In the men’s javelin, freshman PJ Doyle came in second-place with a New England qualifying mark of 51.42 meters. Juniors Sam Lugo and Ben Joly kept the fire going with first and second-place finishes in the hammer throw, respectively. Joly went on to take first in shot put.

Sophomore captain Sarah Mawdsley started the day for the women with a victory in the 5000-meter run. She later went on to win the 3000-meter run, as well. Senior captain Makayla D’Urso followed Mawdsley with 1500 and 800-meter run victories.

In the 100-meter hurdles, freshman Madison Fancher took home first. Fancher qualified for New Englands in this event, high jump and the 400-meter hurdles where she took second in both events at the CCC Championship.

Freshman Ava Ricciardi led the sprinters with a third-place finish in the 100-meter dash. The 4×400-meter relay took second.

Junior Savannah Fox Tree-McGrath reigned in the field with two first-place finishes in javelin and high jump. Freshman Kristen Norray followed Fox Tree-McGrath with third-place in hammer and second in discus. Freshman Theresa Cerullo also placed third in discus.

For the women, the score came down to the wire leading the entire team to crowd the discus cage to watch Norray and Cerullo.

“I just wanted them to work on the mental side of things leading up to the meet,” said Head Coach Sean Livingston. “[Conference] is my absolute favorite day of the season and now the countdown to next year begins.”