The winning team is pictured with head coach Colin Tory (left) and assistant coach John Lynch.

Men’s Distance Medley Relay Wins National Championship

The Rensselaer men’s distance medley team of Colin Smith, Jason Hall, Noah Falasco, and Ben Fazio are National Champions after posting a time of 9:56.42 at the NCAA meet March 10-11 in Naperville, Illinois. The squad defeated 11 others to become the first relay team in Rensselaer history to win an NCAA title.

Smith, a senior, opened the race and ran a 3:04 in the 1200 meters to take the lead, handing off to Hall, who ran his 400 leg in 50 seconds. Falasco, a freshman, maintained the Engineers’ third place spot with a 1:55 over 800 meters, handing to Fazio for the stretch. The senior fell back to fifth place for two laps before making a charge to take the lead, running a 4:05 over 1600 meters to hold off the opposition. SUNY Geneseo was second, more than two seconds behind (9:58.64), and Middlebury College came in third (9:58.86).

The foursome is Rensselaer’s second indoor national champion, joining Krishaun Gilmore ’98, who won the 55-meters in 1997. Rensselaer’s other NCAA titlists are Tom Lowell ’76 in the hammer (1975, 1976) and Dan Rich ’84 in the same event in 1984.

Also competing for the Engineers at the NCAA Meet was sophomore Grant O’Connor, who ran the 5000 meters. He finished 13th with a time of 14:45.66. Tim Nichols, a senior from Tufts University, won in 14:25.08.