|Hometown:||New Ipswich, NH|
Under the direction of long-time coach Peter Thomas, a former Owl runner, Keene State College is recognized for producing some of the top men’s and women’s cross country and track athletes at the league, regional, and national level.
Now in his 30th season, Thomas, the recipient of multiple coach-of-the-year honors at both the Division II and III level, including LEC women's indoor track coach of the year last season and the men's and women's cross country coach of the year awards in 2010, is looking forward to another productive year on the trails and track for his highly-successful program that has developed a combined 48 cross country and 109 track All-Americas, including one cross country and 19 track national champions, including Janel Haggerty, who won the national championship in the pentathlon last winter and was named the LEC's indoor field athlete of the year.
In 2010, the KSC men’s cross country team placed third at the New England regional meet and earned its first NCAA berth since 2005. He has led the Owl men's team to a combined 16 NCAA championship berths, including nine consecutive trips (1997-2005) as a Division III member. His 1999 and 2000 teams were national runner-ups. KSC has also captured 11 Little East titles and four (1999-2002) New England regional crowns.
Thomas led the KSC women’s cross country team to its 13th consecutive LEC championship last fall and had a runner earn an at-large berth to the nationals. The Owls finished fifth regionally and made their inaugural NCAA appearance in 2006.
Last fall, Maggie Fitter earned an at-large NCAA cross country berth. In 2011, Paige Mills raced to her second consecutive All-America honor and was named the LEC women's cross country runner of the year.
Having earned a reputation as one of the top cross country coaches in Division III, Coach Thomas has now set his sights on developing a well-rounded and competitive track and field program at Keene State. He took a major step in that direction in 2002-03 by directing Mary Proulx and Mark Miller to their fifth and fourth national championships, respectively. The Keene State women have had a pair of fourth place finishes at the NCAA championship, indoors in 2006 and outdoors in 2008.
Keene State has continued to add to its list of All-America in recent years. This winter, Janel Haggerty became the Owls first national champion in the pentathlon, Ryan Widzgowski placed second inn the mile and Maggie Fitter was fourth in the 800-meter race. Widzgowski followed that up with a All-America third place finish in the 1,500 at the outdoor nationals, earning both LEC indoor and outdoor runner of the year recognition.
In 2011, three Owl athletes qualified for the NCAA championships with Glenn Guilmette earning his second straight All-American honor in the javelin. In addition, Janel Haggerty was named the Little East women's indoor field athlete of the year and Guilmette was slected as the men's outdoor field athlete of the year by the conference.
In 2009, Keene State produced three track All-Americas, including Bryan Kolacz, the national champion in the hammer throw. Last season, the Owls produced five All-Americas with Kolacz finishing sixth and third respectively in the weight throw and hammer, Allison Chamberlain raced to second place finish in the 800, and Peter Najem doubled up in the 800 (7th) and 1,500 (8th).
Needless to say, Coach Thomas, a New Ipswich, N.H., native has high hopes for both programs this year.
|Title:||Head Throws Coach|
|College:||Keene State College|
Keene State College head throws coach John Napolitano is set to begin his fifth season as at the helm in the 2013-14 season. In his tenure, Napolitano has guided Owls to six All-America honors, including a fourth place finish at the NCAA Championships for Glenn Guilmette (Kensington, N.H.) with a new school record toss of 66.38 meters (217′-9”) in the javelin at Claremont Mudd Scripps in Claremont, California.
In 2010-11 at the outdoor track and field championships, the Owls had their most successful trip to the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Ohio Wesleyan University, bringing home a second place and a fifth place finish for a team total of 15 points, placing the Owls 18th in the country with just two throwers.
Bryan Kolacz 11’ (Exeter, N.H.) finished 2nd in the hammer throw with a toss of 63.85 meters (209’-5’’). Kolacz’s toss was the 5th farthest in NCAA Division III history. Kolacz completed his KSC career as a five time All-American, winning the honor three times outdoors in the hammer, including the 2009 National Championship, and twice indoors in the weight throw. Kolacz’s toss of 20.04 meters (65’-9’’) in the 35-lb weight at the Smith College Invitational last December was the 2nd farthest throw by a competitor in NCAA DIII history.
Two days after Kolacz earned his hammer honors at the outdoor championships, Glenn Guilmette 13’, earned his first All-American honor by placing fifth in the javelin with a toss of 62.78 meters (206’). Guilmette became the first men’s javelin thrower in school history to earn All-America honors in the event.
Also making a statement on the regional level, in the 2012 outdoor season, Keene State sent a school record 13 throwing competitors to New England Championships, more than doubling the previous record of five student-athletes.
The Owl throwers have also thrown well at the conference level, amassing 51 all-LEC performances and 16 conference champions in just four years at the Little East Conference championship meets under Napolitano’s direction.
Napolitano, a 2008 graduate of Keene State College and former All-Little East Conference performer in the hammer, discus and 35-lb weight, has been involved in Keene State throwing since 2004. As a student-athlete, Napolitano was named to the All-LEC Academic team six times, and graduated with a dual major in Communication Studies and Journalism.
Napolitano currently lives in Keene, N.H.
|College:||Keene State College|
A two-time national champion and a four-time All-American in the high jump, Crystal Blamy returns for her third season as an assistant coach with the Keene State track team. Blamy, a native of Walpole, will help develop the skills of Owl high jumpers.
Blamy capped off her Owl career by capturing the national Division III indoor and outdoor high jump championship as a senior, becoming the just the third athlete to win both indoor and outdoor honors in the same year since 1997.
In addition to her national championship, Blamy also New England Open, New England Division III, ECAC and Little East indoor champion and was named the Northeast region and LEC field athlete of the year. Her outdoor accolade included New England Division III and LEC championship and conference field athlete of the year honors. Blamy was named Keene State’s 2009 female athlete of the year.