Central Islip, N.Y. – Roberts Wesleyan and St. Thomas Aquinas have been selected as the frontrunners to capture East Coast Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships in a vote by the league’s coaches. Roberts Wesleyan and St. Thomas Aquinas tied for the top spot in the men's poll, while Roberts was a unanimous pick in the women's poll. Sophomore St. Jacob Diodonet (West Milford, N.J.) from St. Thomas Aquinas earns the ECC Men's Preseason Athlete of the Year honor, while junior Chelsea Hayward (Litchfield, Conn.) of Roberts Wesleyan takes home the ECC Women's Preseason Athlete of the Year award.
In the men's poll, Roberts Wesleyan, who has won the past two ECC Indoor Championships, took home five of the eight first place votes to finish with 58 points. St. Thomas Aquinas earned two first place votes but had six second place votes compared to none for Roberts Wesleyan to finish in a tie atop the poll. Georgian Court earned the final first place vote and comes in third with 50 points..
On the women’s side, Roberts Wesleyan was unanimous selection, receiving all nine first place votes to finish with 81 points. Like the men, the Roberts women's team has won the past two ECC Indoor Championships. St. Thomas Aquinas and Georgian Court also round out the top three of the women's poll with STAC earning 67 points and Georgian Court finishing with 55.
Diodonet, a sprinter, takes home the Men's Indoor Track & Field Preseason Athlete of the Year honor after a successful debut season for the Spartans a year ago. Diodonet was dominant during the 2015-16 indoor season, earning the ECC Athlete of the Year. He won the ECC Championship in the 200m (22.04) and 400m (48.71), while also finishing second in the 60m (6.96) and third as part of the 4x400 relay team (3:30.14) to also earn the ECC Championship Most Outstanding Athlete award. He also qualified for the NCAA Division II Championship in the 400m, where he came in 12th place with a time of 48.28.
Like Diodonet, Hayward is also the reigning ECC Athlete of the Year. She won the honor after winning all but one race she entered in the 200m and also was the ECC Champion in the 60m (7.73) and 200m (24.94). In addition, Hayward was the champion of the 60m and 200m at the National Christian College Athletic Association National Championship to earn the Athlete of the Meet honor. She also was the only female student-athlete from the ECC to qualify for the NCAA Division II Championship, earning a spot in the 200m event.
2017 ECC Men's Indoor Track & Field Preseason Poll
|T1. Roberts Wesleyan (5)||58|
|T1. St. Thomas Aquinas (2)||58|
|3. Georgian Court (1)||50|
|4. Holy Family||30|
|7. LIU Post||22|
2017 ECC Women's Indoor Track & Field Preseason Poll
|1. Roberts Wesleyan (9)||81|
|2. St. Thomas Aquinas||67|
|3. Georgian Court||55|
|4. Dist. Columbia||54|
|6. LIU Post||31|
|7. Holy Family||28|
( ) - first place votes