LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ - Senior Alexander Soderberg was named the 2012 MAAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships Most Outstanding Performer after earning individual titles in both the 5,000- and 10,000-meter events. Freshman Jake Byrne won the 1,500-meter event while the Gaels 4x800-meter relay team set a championship record to earn the Gaels fourth event championship of the meet.
Soderberg shattered the MAAC 10k championship record on Friday evening, finishing the event in 30:15.13. He topped a 10-year old mark by more than seven seconds set by former Gael standout Vinny Mulvey (30:22.58) in 2002. Soderberg finished nearly 35 seconds ahead of his teammate Byrne who earned second place honors in 30:40.06. Byrne was more than 13 seconds faster than Manhattan's Anthony Dentino in third place. Freshman Michael Champagne earned sixth place points in the 10k with his time of 31:45.87. Senior Giovanni Signoretti (9th, 32:39.71) and sophomore Brendan Farrell (11th, 32:47.41) also competed in the event.
Soderberg earned his fifth career individual MAAC Championship on Saturday in the 5k event. He defended his crown for the third straight year with his time of 14:32.11. Iona earned all but fourth place points in the event as junior Craig Murphy was second (14:37.14), freshman Andrew Kowalsky was third (14:38.90), sophomore Jimmy Tarsnane was fifth (14:55.24) and senior Colin Culhane finsihed sixth (14:56.55) in the event. The Gaels had two other performers in the top ten in rookies Otis Ubriaco (7th, 14:57.58) and Mike O'Dowd (8th, 15:13.36)
The men's 4x800 kicked off the events Friday, setting a MAAC record time of 7:36.08. Sophomore Chris Stogsdill, senior Daniel Lipus, freshman Reed Kochanek and senior Mitch Goose combined for the effort that beat a former Manhattan relay time from two years ago. The Iona quartet topped the record by more than four seconds. In this year's race the Gaels bested the Jaspers by more than six seconds.
Byrne earned his second career MAAC Championship by finishing first in the 1500. His time of 3:51.67 was a second and a half faster than Manhattan's Kevin D'Emic. Stogsdill finished third (3:54.67) while Lipus earned sixth place points (3:57.76). Sophomores Quinn Raseman (7th, 3:59.26) and Nick Lachman (8th, 3:59.53) also finished in the Top 10.
Goose was the runner up in the 800-meter event, posting personal best time of 1:50.71. He was .08 seconds behind Manhattan's Greg Perrier in the hotly contested performance. Kochanek had a season-best time of 1:55.08 and finished 10th overall.
Iona finished fourth overall with 85 team points. Manhattan earned its 14th MAAC Championship in the last 15 years.