By Robert Dickey
As senior Tyler Hansen lined up to run the 200-meter dash in the Springfield College Field House for the final time in his track career, there was no sign of nerves in his demeanor. Looking determined and ready for anything, Hansen got set against some of the top sprinters in New England.
22.05 seconds later, Hansen crossed the finish line before his competitors.
The senior and Shelton, Conn. native was having the best season of his track career entering Saturday’s NCAA Division III New England Championships. In what was his last home meet, Hansen took home first place in the 200-meter dash (22.05) and second place in the 60-meter dash (6.93), a time that was just 0.03 behind the first place finisher.
Springfield finished the meet at seventh place overall.
On top of winning the event for Springfield, Hansen’s 200-meter dash time set a facility record for the Springfield College Field House, something that will stick with the senior.
“It was truly incredible to not only run a facility record, but also win a New England Championship the last time I ever competed at home,” Hansen said. “It was incredibly emotional and I wouldn’t change it for anything.”
“Tyler Hansen is a beast,” said sophomore sprinter and hurdler Xavier Washington. “His races are always exciting to watch because he never gives up and runs through the line. He has heart. Seeing him succeed pushes me to work harder in my own race.”
Washington turned in a time of 8.44 in the 60-meter hurdle – enough to earn him sixth place in the event.
“Overall I was happy about my performance and that I was able to score for my team,” he said.
Hansen and Washington were not the only ones to impress at the Championships on Saturday for Springfield. In the track events, junior Cormac Tolan placed fifth in the 800-meter dash with a time of 1:55.69.
Springfield’s 4×400-meter relay team comprised of junior Kris Rhim, senior Erik King, first-year Jonathon Barber and first-year Luke Chastain brought out their best performance for the Championships. The group posted a final time of 3:34.26, earning the second-best time in the event and catching the eye of Hansen.
“(Rhim and King) have been dealing with nagging injuries all year and were able to run phenomenal splits in their biggest race of the year,” Hansen said. “(Barber and Chastain) are both first-year students who didn’t crack under pressure and decided that it was up to them to accomplish what they wanted. They finished second, which is incredibly difficult to do in that event.”
First year Jamie Cocca shined under the bright lights of the New England Championships. The Sand Lake, N.Y. native put up a personal best distance in the weight throw event with a distance of 51.07.75 and threw a 47-02.50 in the shot put finals. Finishing right behind Cocca in the shot put finals was senior Tom Callis, who threw a 46-10.75.
Springfield had two competitors finish in the top 10 in the triple jump competition. Junior Josh Silvester jumped a distance of 46-03.50, followed by senior Evan Tryon, who jumped a 46-02.75.
Senior Kyle Kublbeck also gave a strong showing on the biggest stage. The Gardner, Mass. native jumped a 6-01.50 height in the high jump competition.
The Pride will compete at the ECAC D-III Championships March 6-7 at The Armory in New York.
Featured photo courtesy Springfield College Athletics