Taylor And MacLean To Be Honored By UMass In Final Luncheon
On Monday afternoon the UMass Sports Luncheon Committee chose to honor UMass Track and Field's Antony Taylor and Heather MacLean on Wednesday at the year's final UMass Sports Luncheon. Wednesday's speakers include Phil Buttafuoco, Executive Director of Athletic Events for Gillette Stadium and Todd McDonald, Associate Athletic Director of Sales and Marketing. There will also be a special presentation to award the rowing and women's lacrosse team's for each of their Atlantic 10 Championship performances.
Over the weekend UMass hosted the 2014 Outdoor Atlantic 10 Championship and it was Taylor and MacLean who stole the spotlight for UMass. Taylor won his first Atlantic 10 Championship in the steeplechase on Saturday and MacLean turned in three remarkable performances throughout the weekend.
Taylor completed the steeplechase in front of a roaring home crowd in just 9-minutes, 5.27-seconds to win the event and claim his first Atlantic 10 Championship on Saturday afternoon. The gold medal performance is UMass' first since Sean Busch won the pole vault at the 2011 Outdoor Atlantic 10 Championship. He is the first A-10 Champion in the steeplechase from UMass since 1999 when Brendan Sullivan won the event.
MacLean won her first Atlantic 10 Championship in the 800 meter run by just a tenth of a second at the 2-minute, 9.26-second mark after setting the school record in the preliminaries a day earlier with a time of 2-minutes, 8.78-seconds. The Peabody, Mass. native finished the meet running the third leg of the championship 4x800 meter relay team. MacLean held the lead for UMass and handed off to Katie Powers who finished just a hundredth of a second in front of Fordham to win the 4x800 meter relay.
After the meet the coaches decided to honor MacLean as the Women's Most Outstanding Rookie Performer for her accomplishments throughout championship weekend. With the two gold medals MacLean becomes the first Minutewoman to win two titles in the same A-10 Championship since Rhianna DaCruz in 2001 when she won the pole vault and javelin.
If you wish to attend the final luncheon of the year the UMass Sports Luncheon will take place from 12-1:30 PM in the Massachusetts Room of the Mullins Center. Admission is $13 for a buffet lunch and free parking is available in the back lot of the Mullins Center.