Roberts teams win East Coast Conference championships
Three athletic teams from Roberts Wesleyan College are East Coast Conference champions.
The women’s lacrosse team won its first ECC championship after defeating Mercy College 10-9 in the title game. The men’s and women’s track and field teams also were named champions after successful performances in the conference.
These wins bring Roberts to five ECC championships during the 2020-21 academic year. The women’s basketball and bowling teams were named champions earlier this year.
“I’m so proud of the success that our student-athletes have had at the ECC championships this year,” athletics director Bob Segave said. “The hard work and determination of these teams alongside their coaching staff has paid off in strides and has added another historic chapter to the Redhawks history books.”
The women’s lacrosse team also was named the top seed in the East Regional for the NCAA Division II Lacrosse Tournament. The NCAA bid is the first in the program’s history for Roberts.
Roberts never trailed in the game, but saw the top-seeded and 15th-ranked host Mavericks rally from a six-goal halftime deficit to tie the game twice in the final 13 minutes before the second-seeded and 16th-ranked Redhawks netted the winner on a goal by senior Taylor Nathan with 2:33 to play.
The Redhawks won the ensuing draw control before Mercy forced a turnover and regained possession. The Roberts defense, led by goalie Natalie Arieno, came up huge on two occasions in the final 41 seconds to secure the title. A fast start fueled Roberts early, as the Redhawks jumped to a quick 2-0 lead in the first 7:39. Mercy got on the board with 21:56 remaining in the first half, but Roberts rattled off a 5-0 run to take a 7-1 lead into halftime.
Mercy regrouped at the break and scored five goals while holding Roberts scoreless over the first 17:19 of the second half. Mercy rallied again, scoring twice in 53 seconds to make the score 9-9 with seven minutes to play. Giancursio and Nathan worked their magic about four and a half minutes later. The victory gave Roberts a 2-1 edge over Mercy this season, with all three games played on the Mavericks' home field.
Women’s Track and Field
The Redhawks won 13 of the 18 individual events and all three relays while rolling to the ECC Championship. Roberts finished with 332 points, Daemen College was second with 119, St. Thomas Aquinas College took third with 86 and Molloy placed fourth with 43.
Much of the momentum came from freshman Hailee Lowe. Lowe, an Alexander High School graduate, captured the 400-meter hurdles (1:09.31); long jump (4.72 meters, 15 feet, 6 inches); 100 hurdles (15.77); and ran the opening leg on the victorious 4-by-100 meter relay. Lowe teamed up with Lydia Ware, Brianna McAfee and Shayla Tillman to take the women's 400 relay in 0:52.72.
Junior Taylor Heineman won the pole vault (2.45, 8 feet) and triple jump (10.30, 33-9 1/2) to finish as a double winner for the Redhawks. Senior Katie Bellomo placed first in the 10,000 run in 40:33.38, junior Claire Stokes won the high jump (1.47, 4-9 3/4) and sophomore Maya Pelayo took the discus (36.45, 119-7).
Tillman, a sophomore, led a 1-2-3 sweep in the javelin (33.53 meters, 110-0) for the Redhawks. Freshman Kylee O'Dell (4:55.66) showed the way as the Redhawks took the top four places in the 1,500. The Redhawks also dominated the 800 as Abigail Gostomski (2:21.66), Bailey Gostomski, Erin Ottolini and Jayla Skeete captured the top four spots.
The Roberts quartet of Jennifer Zambuto, Julianne Lewis, Emma Rath and Kylee O’Dell won the 4-by-800 relay in 10:20.88 and the 4-by-400 relay of Skeete, Ottolini, Bailey Gostomski and Abigail Gostomski was victorious in 4:06.91.
Men’s Track and Field
The Roberts men's outdoor track and field team finished with 251 points to outdistance Daemen College (142), St. Thomas Aquinas (141) and Molloy (94).
The 4-by-400 relay team of Matthew Wottawa, Teddy Pintabona, Ryan Karker and Josiah Ottolini set an ECC record of 3:22.43.
The Redhawks were strong in the distance events. Junior Shane Pease, who placed first in 32:58.43, led a 1-through-4 sweep in the 10,000-meter run. Christopher Sims, Timothy Kennel and Evan Rogotzke followed Sims across the finish line. The Redhawks also took the top four spots in the 1,500, with Ottolini leading the way in 4:08.82.
Freshman Demar Osbourne won the discus (38.88, 127-7), and finished second in the shot put and hammer throw. Sophomore Jake Wilsen took second in the long jump and pole vault, third in triple jump and fourth in the high jump. Junior Connor Avery placed second in the 400 hurdles, freshman Brandon Roman finished third in the shot put and sophomore Quinn Keller took third in discus.