Hulerie McGuffie will hit the NCAA Division III Outdoor National Championship this week with momentum on her side.
The former Classical High track star has been tearing it up the last few weeks with her most recent success coming at the ECAC Division III New England Championship meet where she took home a gold medal in the 200-meter dash and set a University of Massachusetts Boston women’s record in the 100-meter dash. The meet was held last Thursday and Friday at Springfield College.
McGuffie is no stranger when it comes to competing in the nationals. Between the indoor and outdoor seasons, she’s a four-time All-American in the 400 and one-time All-American in the 4 x 100 relay. McGuffie said one of her goals at the nationals is to earn All-American (a top eight finish in an event) status in the 200, which is something she hasn’t done yet.
McGuffie, who is the only one from her team competing at the nationals, admits to having a slight case of the jitters.
“The bigger the meet, the more nervous I get,” she said. “This is what we train for all year. This is what we wait for all year.”
McGuffie, a junior, has focused most of her attention on the 200 and 400-meter races since competing at the college level, but this year her coach had her run the 100 as well and considering her record-breaking performance in the event last week, it has gone quite well. McGuffie ran a 12.18 at the ECAC Championship, breaking a school record (12.20) set by Hall of Famer Delores Booth in 1986.
McGuffie’s performance earned her a third-place finish at the ECACs to go along with her first-place finish in the 200. This was her first time taking first in an event at that meet. McGuffie said although she has competed in as many as five events in one day while at UMass, that’s not the norm. Like most runners, she said she prefers to concentrate on a couple of events and do well in those.
McGuffie’s coach, Consandria Walker, has been at UMass since McGuffie started in the program three years ago.
“She’s definitely helped me through it,” McGuffie said. “She’s a really good coach. She did track at the college level.”
McGuffie said her coach’s work ethic is something she has passed along to her team. Walker described McGuffie as a model for aspiring student athletes in the Boston area.
“I continue to applaud her drive in being able to juggle school, a job and competing successfully at the level she does,” Walker said. “She has qualified for nationals since her freshman year and that itself represents what great contributions she has made to the program. Her future is bright and she just might surprise us all,”
McGuffie, who is majoring in psychology and behavioral science, said she hopes to continue running after she graduates from UMass, possibly as an unattached runner.
“Things are going really well,” she said. “I can’t believe I’m going into my last year.”
- Cam O’Neill of Lynn/St. Mary’s racked up some impressive post-season awards for his performance on the Holy Cross baseball team. O’Neill was named the 2015 Patriot League Rookie of the Year and he received the Ron Soucie Award as the team’s Rookie of the year. O’Neil, a freshman second baseman, hit. .311 with 20 runs scored, eight doubles, a home run and 18 RBI. His 56 hits this season are the most by a Holy Cross freshman in the history of the program.
- University of Hartford junior pitcher Kyle Gauthier picked up his second America East weekly honor of the season. He was named co-Pitcher of the Week after he threw eight shutout innings in a 1-0 win over the University of Marylan-Baltimore. The former Classical High standout’s effort helped his team clinch its second straight appearance in the American East Championship.
Gauthier only allowed four hits, walked two batters and struck out four. He only faced two hitters over the maximum. On the season, Gauthier led the Hawks weekend rotation with a 3.69 earned run average. He had 13 appearances (all starts). He led the team with 51 strikeouts and his 85.1 innings led all America East pitchers. His 51 strikeouts put him seventh in the league.
The University of Hartford will play its opening game of the America East Championship today at LeLacheur Park in Lowell. The Hawks will face top-seeded Stony Brook, which features another local pitcher, Ryley MacEachern of Saugus/Austin Prep/Salisbury School. MacEachern was the American East Pitcher of the Week for the week of May 11 when he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning in a 9-0 win over the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He only allowed one hit in that game, struck out five and walked one.
Gauthier will be playing summer baseball for the Keene Swamp Bats in Keene, N.H. The Swamp Bats play in the New England College Baseball League.
Hannah Byrne of Lynn/Lynn Classical wrapped up her softball career at St. Anselm College when her team lost to Southern New Hampshire University in the NCAA Division II East 2 Regional last week. Byrne finished with a .330 batting average. She scored 18 runs, had 36 hits including five doubles, two triples and three home runs. She led the team in RBI with 25.