by Eileen Flynn ’20
In Staten Island, New York, the Friars laced up their sneakers in the midst of other Big East rivals: Marquette, St. John’s, Villanova, Georgetown, Butler, and DePaul. The Providence College Men’s and Women’s Track Teams participated in the two-day Big East Championship on Feb. 24-25.
The Friars have shown promise in their distance races throughout the season and looked to continue their success in this tournament.
The team aspect in track involves more than just the handoff of the baton in the relay; each individual performance is rewarded with points, which are then combined with all of the teammates’ performances to make the team’s score. The Friars work their hardest in each race in efforts to help their team’s score rise.
On day one of the 2017 Big East Tournament at the Ocean Breeze Track and Field Complex, Katie Lembo ’18 finished in fifth place in the 5,000 meter race. In the men’s division for the 5,000 meter race, Hugh Armstrong ’17 raced to third place as Aaron Hanlon ’18 followed him and two other runners across the finish line to come in sixth.
The final race on the first day was the distance medley relay. The women’s team was carefully crafted with four of Providence’s top runners, Abbey Wheeler ’20, Molly Keating ’17G, Alexandra DeCicco ’20, and Brianna Ilarda ’18. In one of their strongest races, the Friars were neck in neck with Georgetown and Marquette runners. With the importance of the gain of team points in her head, Ilarda finished the relay in second place.
The men participating in the distance medley relay were Nick Carleo ’19, Jared Grossi ’20, James Campbell ’17, and Trevor Crawley ’17. In a tough race, Crawley finished strong to grasp fourth place for his team.
Millie Paladino ’18 and Michael O’Leary ’19 both qualified in the mile race to insure their lane in the final mile race that would take place on day two.
Day two began at 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 25. The Friar women acquired a total of 12 points on the first day, putting them in sixth place. The men started their day in fifth place with 14 points.
Paladino helped boost her team’s placement and spirits by being the fourth Providence female athlete to win the mile race. Paladino was grouped with three runners until the last 400 meters, where she moved herself into second position. In the final 50 meters, Paladino squeezed by her final competitor, making her the first to cross the finish line. In the 3,000 meter race, Ilarda slightly trailed the victor, coming in second place. Crawley raced his personal best and finished eighth for the men’s 3,000 meter race. In the 4×800 meter relay, both the men’s and women’s team of four placed fifth. In the 4×400, the men finished in sixth and the women came in eighth.
The second and final day of the Big East Tournament concluded with the tallying of points for both teams. The women ended the day with 38 points and the men left with 22 points. Both teams finished the 2016 Big East Tournament in seventh place. The Friars illustrated a team effort that will surely be present in their upcoming ECAC/IC4A Championship Race at Boston University on March 4-5.