Kolacz Hammers National Championship
As far as Bryan Kolacz is concerned, a hearty helping of pancakes and French toast is the breakfast of champions. The sophomore from Brentwood, New Hampshire, enjoyed his morning meal, picked up his hammer, and threw it a Division III season best of 201'8" to win the national title at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field championships at Marietta, Ohio, on May 21.
Kolacz fouled on his first attempt, but his second toss qualified him for finals. A confident Kolacz stepped into the circle to deliver his third throw. "I said to myself, 'This is going to be the throw,'" Kolacz said. "I just knew it. I felt so peaceful, and my body was ready."
On the sidelines, Darcy Wilson, the Owls' throwing coach, knew Kolacz was about to unleash a winning throw. "About turn three, you can tell he's ready to catch it," said Wilson. "He caught the finish, and that hammer just flew. This is a real landmark for him; he's been looking to break 200 feet. To do it at nationals is huge." Kolacz set a Don Drumm Stadium record with his throw.
Kolacz joins a select group of 10 national champions from Keene State. He is the first KSC men's athlete to earn the honor in a field event since Paul Trocki won the decathlon in 1979.
More Spring Highlights
KSC won its ninth straight Little East Commissioner's Cup, awarded to the top athletic program in the conference. KSC also retained the President's Trophy against rival Plymouth State. The Owls have won the trophy for the past seven years.
The Keene State women's lacrosse team captured its first-ever Little East Conference championship with a dramatic 9-8 overtime win over two-time defending champ Eastern Connecticut State University. Jill Kirk, a sophomore from Port Jefferson Station, New York, netted the game-winning goal.
Keene State outfielder Bobby Doyon was named to both American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) and Division III Baseball.com All-America teams.
The sophomore from Keene led the Owls in hits (73), doubles (22), home runs (13), and RBIs (73) to go with his .435 batting average. His 73 RBIs and 22 doubles set a KSC season record, and his 13 round-trippers tied the school mark.
Outfielder/catcher Cody Callahan was named the Little East Conference rookie of the year. The freshman from Seekonk, Massachusetts, led all LEC rookies in nearly every offensive category: batting average (.455), doubles (19), hits (65), on-base percentage (.524), RBIs (52), and slugging percentage (.790).
Three track athletes received major Little East Conference awards. Senior Peter Najem (Derry, N.H.) and sophomore Allison Chamberlain (Scarborough, Maine) were named men's and women's outdoor track runners of the year, respectively, while Bryan Kolacz was selected as the men's field athlete of the year.
The Keene State softball team captured its first ECAC New England crown with a convincing 11-1 triumph over top-seed Brandeis University. Owl senior centerfielder and leadoff hitter Jenna Patnode (Surry, N.H.) earned tournament MVP honors after batting 8 for 15 (.533) in the tournament.
Tyler Kathan (Ludlow, Vt.) and Crystal Blamy (Walpole, N.H.) were named Keene State College's male and female athletes of the year, respectively, at the College's 2008-09 athletic awards dinner. Sarah McDougle (Walpole, N.H.) was the recipient of the scholar athlete award.
Nineteen Owl athletes were named to the spring LEC All-Academic Team.