WORCESTER, MASS.- Carried by first place finishes by Mackenzie Kilpatrick (Weare, N.H.), Josh Turner (Rochester, N.H.) and Steve Meinelt (Topsfield, Mass.), the University of New Hampshire track and field team picked up a third place finish at the five-team Holy Cross invitational on Tuesday afternoon in Worcester. UNH garnered 158 points, well ahead of fourth place Quinnipiac and Worcester State (43 points each) and just shy of the hosts, who scored 163 points for a second place tally. Rhode Island won the event with 196 points.
Kilpatrick, a junior, battled through wet and windy conditions to win the 3000 meter steeplechase for UNH. He crossed the finish line in 9:38.70, nearly four seconds ahead of his nearest competitor, Quinnipiac's Anthony Mio (9:42.42).
Meinelt, a stalwart for the 'Cats in the distance events, took the 5000 meter run in 15:34.11 to edge out teammate and second place finisher Matt Donahue (East Greenwich, R.I.) by just over two seconds (15:36.19).
For Turner, the win in the 400 meter hurdles marked the first of his career. The freshman crossed the finish line in 57.42 seconds, just .3 seconds ahead of Rhode Island's Patrick Mills (57.77), to clinch nine points for the Wildcat cause.
Along with the three victories, the 'Cats also grabbed seven second place finishes. Brandon Williams (4:00.77; Hooksett, N.H.) was narrowly edged out in the 1500 meter run by Quinnipiac's Mark Driscoll (4:00.40), while Tim Constant (22.84; Tilton, N.H.) fell just short in the 200 meter dash to URI's Eric Groce (22.56). Also finishing as runners-up were freshman Mike Tardiff (triple jump; Berlin, N.H.), sophomore William Smith (800 meter run; Hampstead, N.H.) and both the 4x100 and 4x400 relay squads.
The University of New Hampshire track and field team returns to action this Saturday when they host UMass and Harvard in a three team meet at Reggie F. Atkins Track Facility in Durham, N.H.