by Thomas Zinzarella ’21
Although the weather cooled down this past weekend, things were heating up at the Big East Indoor Track & Field Championship in Staten Island, New York. While neither the Providence College Men’s or Women’s Track and Field Teams came away with a trophy, there were many positives to be taken away from both teams.
With a relatively young men’s team, many freshmen got to experience their first Big East Championship. Michael Bittner ’21 felt “a little nervous warming up…it was a different feel from high school where you were the best and now there are guys who are better than you.” Bittner went on to have his best performance of the season with a fifth place finish in the men’s High Jump. Fellow Friar Trevor Crawley ’18 GS finished seventh in a highly contested Men’s 3,000-meter race and Michael O’Leary ’19 finished sixth in the one-mile event with a time of 4:11.97.
The high point of the day for the Friars was the 4×800 meter relay team featuring O’Leary, Nick Carleo ’19, Jack Carleo ’21 and Ryan Jendzejec ’21. The PC, Villanova University, and Georgetown University teams were all neck and neck until the final lap, when all three teams began to separate, leaving the Friars in third. The team featured the Carleo brothers, who have not been on the same team since they were both in high school. When asked how it felt to be reunited, Jack said, “It’s a good feeling being on the same team with Nick again because not many people get to run with a family member for this long, being on the same relay team with him again is awesome.”
The Friars look to continue their freshman surge into the springtime for the outdoor season, as Angus White ’21, Ryan Gallagher, Marcelo Rocha ’21, Henry Spangler ’21, and David Rosas ’21 rejoin for the spring season.
With talent carrying over from the indoor season, the sky is the limit for the next four years. Bittner and Carleo are hoping that the team can capture a Big East Championship and add to the storied history of the Track & Field Program at PC.
On the women’s side, the Friars were led from the top down by Millie Paladino ’18, who won the 3,000-meter with a time of 9:18.45. Paladino won the one-mile event last year and became the sixth woman to win both the 3,000-meter and the one mile event in Big East history.
The Friars would continue to shine in the 5,000-meter event as the Friars went 1-2 with Catarina Rocha ’18 GS leading the way with a time of 16:05.85, while Abbey Wheeler ’20 finished just behind her with a time of 16:07.39. Rocha netted her first Big East indoor title, and her third title overall.
The Friars also added a top three finish in the distance medley race with Paladino leading the charge once again. She teamed up with Mariah O’Gara ’20, Alexandra DeCicco ’20, and Maria Coffin ’21. The group was able to churn in a third-place finish in a heated battle with a time of 11:40.86.
Both squads look to try and build on the winter season and are preparing for their next event, the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships on March 2-3.