Women's Indoor Track Posts Three NCAA Qualifying Times at NJAC Championships


New York, NY (2/20/11) – Sophomore Heather Gearity (Rutherford, NJ / Rutherford) captured the 400 meters with an NCAA provisional qualifying mark in the 400 meters and then anchored the 4x400 relay team to a conference championship and another NCAA qualifying mark as the Montclair State women’s indoor track and field team placed fifth at the 2011 New Jersey Athletic Conference Indoor Championships held at The Armory on Sunday afternoon.

Freshman Krystal Ellis (Morristown, NJ / Morristown) also had a provisional qualifying time in the 400 and Ashley Powell (Orange, NJ / Marylawn of the Oranges) added two Top 5 individual showings and helped the 4x200 relay to a new school record as the Red Hawks totaled 77 points in the meet.  

Gearity earned the conference title in the 400 meters as she posted a winning time and personal best of 57.97 meters which is good enough to put her on the list for the NCAA Division III Championships which will be held in Bexley, Ohio on March 11-12. Gearity’s time currently ranks in the Top 15 in the nation at No. 14. Ellis would come in third as she hit the provisional mark right on the time at 58.64 while also setting a personal best in the event.

The two would then join sophomore Ashadaya Patterson (Trenton, NJ / Northern Burlington) and Michelle McNulty (Bayonne, NJ / Bayonne) in the 4x400 relay where they would finally reach the NCAA provisional mark. After missing by a second earlier last month at the Terrier Classic, the group left no doubt on Sunday with a time of 3:57.89, edging out The College of New Jersey  by .02 seconds for the conference crown in the event. The time was well under the 3:59.50 provisional mark and currently ranks in the Top 10 in the nation at eighth.

Powell would record personal bests in both events as she finished fifth in the 55 meters with a time of 7.57 seconds and was third in the 200 meters at 26.13 seconds. Powell then rank the lead leg of the 4x200 meter relay and was joined by Gearity, Patterson and Hannah Campbell (Forked River, NJ / Lacey Township) as they eclipsed the MSU record with a time of 1:44.70, besting the mark of 1:46.38 set in last year’s NJAC Championship by the group of Patterson, Powell, Katherine Tallaj and Judline Tumson.

Patterson and Ellis finished fourth and sixth, respectively in the 55 meter hurdles with a time of 8.71 and 8.84 seconds. The time for Ellis was her best recorded time in the event. Antoinetta Altilio (Rutherford, NJ / Rutherford) placed ninth in the 200 meters (27.54 - personal best) and Nicole Presti (Saddle Brook, NJ / Saddle Brook) was seventh in the mile (5:57.10). Angelina Ollo (Parsippany, NJ / Parsippany) placed 10th in the 800 meters (2:29.62) and Michelle Armando Padavano (Rahway, NJ / Mother Seton) were 10th and 11th in the 3000 meters at 12:05.89 and 12:15.25, respectively.  McNulty finished ninth in the 400 meters with a personal-best time of 1:00.67 with Campbell, who ran a collegiate best in the race, crossing just behind her in 10th at 1:00.85.

Campbell and Ollo teamed up with Brittany Stadford (Trenton, NJ  / Trenton Central) and Brianna Myrick to place fourth in the 4x800 relay (10:12.69) and the Distance medley Relay of Stradford, Altilio, Kaitlin Macknowski (New Brunswick, NJ  Spotswood) and Armando Padavano has the same placing with a time of 13:50.06.

Macknowski ran a personal best in the 800 meters coming in at 2:41.75.

In the field events, Ellis, who is on the NCAA provisional list for the pentathlon, finish second in the long jump with a leap of 5.14 while Gearity was seventh at 5.00 meters (personal best). Ellis was sixth in the high jump at 1.53 meters and Gearity 11th (1:48 meters) while Altilio placed 12th in the triple jump at 9.82 meters.  McNulty finished ninth in the long jump (4.96 meters) and Campbell was 19th in the shot put (7.96 meters).

Montclair is scheduled to return to The Amory on Friday, February 25 as they compete in the Armory Collegiate Challenge.