WATERVILLE, Me. – Junior Nathan Bruno (Lenox,Mass.) made history on Saturday afternoon at Colby College, when he became Emmanuel College's first student-athlete to win a New England Division III Track Championship. His incredible time in the 400 meter hurdles set a new championship meet record and Bruno is now ranked No. 1 in the country in his event.
Bruno entered the New England Championship ranked 9th nationally in the 400mH with his Emmanuel program record time of 53.39, which he hit last Sunday at Regis College. The junior sensation tore up the track just six days later, incredibly cutting a second and a half off his record time. His 400mH win at the Division III New Englands came in 51.87, for a new meet record. The previous record was 52.01, set by Greg Devine of Tufts University. Bruno's time just missed the Colby College facility record (51.65), set back in 1992. Bruno bested 30 other competitors in the event and now ranks atop the nation heading into the ECAC and NCAA Championships in the coming weeks.
Sophomore Ryan Thomas (Wakefield, R.I.) also cut a second and a half off his personal best time in the 400mH. Thomas earned 3rd place with his time of 53.41 and now ranks 16th nationally in this event. Both Bruno and Thomas earned All-New England honors for their amazing performances.
Sophomore Adam Julien (New Orleans, La.) did not run at 100% on Saturday in his 400 meter event. However, Julien sprinted in for 8th place out of 27 competitors to earn All-New England honors with his time of 49.49. Julien's time was an improvement on his ECAC qualifier and he will go on to compete in this event in two weeks at Springfield College.
Four EC relay teams qualified for and competed in the New England Championships. After a terrific showing on Saturday, three of the four teams will now advance to the ECACs. Leading the way for the Saints was the All-New England trio of Bruno, Thomas and Julien, who teamed up with Ben Perdue (West Springfield, Mass.) for a 4th place finish in the 4x400 meter relay. Their time of 3:20.06 was an All-New England performance and another improvement on their ECAC qualification.
The women's 4x800 relay team of Molly Metivier (Keene, N.H.), Chloe Egan (Burlington, Vt.), Julie Young (Derry, N.H.) and Meaghan Mauer (South Hadley, Mass.) took 11th out of 15 teams, setting a new Emmanuel program-record. Their time of 9:55.69 qualified the team for the ECAC Championship. The men's 4x800m relay team of Chris Baker (Holden, Mass.), Tom Tallo (Lincoln, R.I.), Patrick Callan (Pawling, N.Y.) and David Allen (Hull, Mass.) also snagged an ECAC qualification. The Saints raced 12th out of 20 teams with their time of 8:04.58.
The Emmanuel women's 4x400m relay team of Nathalie Victoria (Brockton, Mass.), Martina Benassi (North Haven, Conn.), Zoe Pierce-Dickens (Franklin, Vt.) and Alicia Mizell (Brockton, Mass.) finished in a solid time of 4:20.46. Victoria was Emmanuel's only athlete to qualify for the New Englands in a field event. She competed at Colby on Friday afternoon, launching the javelin 94'9".
As a team, the Emmanuel men scored 22 total points to finish 12th overall out of 30 competing programs. The 12th place finish was the best-ever for the Saints at the New Englands.
Bruno, Thomas and Julien will advance to the ECACs in their individual events, along with both the men's and women's 4x800m relay teams and the men's 4x400m squad. The Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championships will be held on Thursday and Friday, May 16-17, and hosted by Springfield College in Springfield, Mass.