The Erie Community College men’s and women’s track and field teams came away with five wins at the NJCAA Division III Track and Field Championships hosted by Howard Community College in Maryland. The men finished fifth with 58 points and the women were 13th with 21 points. The College of DuPage won the men’s competition and Herkimer County Community College was the women’s national champion.
Sophomore Amanda Solly was the lone double-winner for Erie, and both wins came on the final day of competition. She took first in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 12:06.30, which topped her previous best time of the year by more than 17 seconds. An hour later, she won her second national title by crossing the line first in the 1,500-meter run in 5:10.21.
On the men’s side, sophomore Steve Paternostro became the first competitor in school history to capture the national championship in the decathlon. He set a 17-year old school record with 5,468 points.
Every time freshman William Phillipy competes in the javelin he tends to strengthen his hold on the school record. His performance at the national championship was no different. Phillipy won the javelin event with a throw of 60.57 meters.
For the second straight year, the championship was concluded with the Kats’ 4x400-meter relay team standing at the top of the podium. This year, the relay team of Jared Mutka, Paternostro, Israel Reyes and Kevin Wartinger won the event in a time of 3:25.58.
Also for Erie, sophomore Corey Pepero was second in the 1,500-meter run (4:08.40), freshman Brandon Ganschow was third in the shot put (14.08 meters), sophomore Alvin Codner was fifth in the 200-meter dash (23.46) and sophomore Kevin Wartinger was sixth in the 400-meter hurdles (58.53). The 4x800 relay team of Mutka, Reyes, Alex Chirico and Pepero took third in a time of 8:11.87.