Massasoit Track & Field Set For NJCAA Nationals

Alex MacMillan
Alex MacMillan

BROCKTON, Mass. ---- A total of four Massasoit Community College student-athletes will compete at the NJCAA Track & Field National Championship, hosted by Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, N.Y., from May 7-9.

Sophomore Kerry O'Neil (Stoughton) will compete for the second consecutive year at the Nationals to represent the women's team and is joined by freshmen Alex MacMillan (Brockton), Rokas Piragis (Brockton) and Nick Vaughn (Kingston) on the men's side.

"I'm really excited to head to Nationals with these four," first-year head coach Matt Jordan said. "The last two weeks since we last raced, we've been getting into a lot more specifics and doing not only physical prep but a lot of mental prep for these events for Nationals.

"For those individuals going to Nationals, their hard work has clearly paid off because of their qualifying times and effort in practice and away from the track."

O'Neil will run a pair of distance races, competing in the 1,500m on Friday, followed by the 5,000m on Saturday. In Massasoit's final meet, the Regis Pride Classic, the Stoughton native scorched her season-best time in the 5,000m by more than one minute, to beat the National qualifying by time by over 10 seconds. She finished with a school record time of 21:34.13, which ranks 12th nationally.

"Certainly we have different athletes and different events but the one common theme is that everybody is not only in it for their own personal success but for the success for the team and the school as a whole," Jordan said. "I think the kids and I share the same feeling of being proud to represent Massasoit on a National level. As different as the workouts are and the personalities are it's been really great to have everyone come together. A lot of us complement one another and there is always something fun and exciting happening at meets."

Alex MacMillan, who ran at Cardinal Spellman High School, is eligible in three separate events for the Warriors. The freshman will take part in the javelin (45.86m), high jump (1.83m) and 200m (23.23) race qualifying in all three. MacMillan sits 10th in the nation in the javelin toss and 11th in the high jump.

Nick Vaughn will also take part in three events, qualifying in the 100m (11.15) and 200m (23.35) sprints. In addition, the burly freshman will throw the shot put. Vaughn's 100m top-time ranks eighth in the NJCAA.

Lastly, Rokas Piragis (Brockton) will line up in the 400m race for the Warriors. Piragis' last 400m race ranks the 19th fastest amongst NJCAA Division III student-athletes, clocking a time of 51.68.

"It's exciting to see how much these student-athletes have improved throughout the season," Jordan said. "Their success is due to hard work and dedication. Hopefully we have a strong showing at Nationals and help to continue to Massasoit track and field on the map."

Tournament Schedule

Kerry O'Neil
1,500m: Fri., 3 p.m. (Trial)/Sat., 12:50 p.m. (Final)
5,000m: Sat., 3:05 p.m. (Final)

Alex MacMillan
200m: Fri., 6:45 p.m. (Trial)/Sat., 11:15 a.m. (Semis)/Sat., 3 p.m. (Finals)
High Jump: Fri., 2 p.m. (Finals)
Javelin: Fri., 4 p.m. (Finals)

Nick Vaughn
100m: Fri., 4:45 p.m. (Trial)/Sat., 10:15 a.m. (Semis)/Sat., 1:30 p.m. (Finals)
200m: Fri., 6:45 p.m. (Trial)/Sat., 11:15 a.m. (Semis)/Sat., 3 p.m. (Finals)
Shot Put: Sat., 11 a.m. (Finals)

Rokas Piragis
400m: Fri., 4:15 p.m. (Trial)/Sat., 1:20 p.m. (Finals)