SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

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November 20, 2013

Salem's Van Alstyne sets rare mark at Framingham State heading into playoffs

Gaining over 1,000 yards is something of a magic number for running backs.

When it comes to Framingham State senior Melikke Van Alstyne, you need two hands to count his 1,000-plus yard campaigns.

After hitting that milestone in each of his three varsity seasons at Salem High, Van Alstyne has rushed for more than 1,000 yards in all four of his years at FSU as well.

Last weekend, he joined an exclusive club when he became just the third running back in the history of Division 3 college football in New England to run for 6,000 career yards. With 6,017 career yards, Van Alstyne has a chance to pass former Maine Maritime backs Steve Tardif (6,093) and Jim Bower (6,060) as the region’s all-time Division 3 rusher.

“It blows my mind a little bit. It’s funny because I haven’t really had a chance to think about (the records),” said Van Alstyne.

The fact that the Rams are still playing is what matters most to Van Alstyne. Framingham State (9-1) won the MASCAC championship and earned an automatic berth into the NCAA Division 3 tournament. They travel to Ithaca College for a first round game Saturday.

It’s the second straight NCAA tournament trip for the Rams, who finished 10-2 a year ago and lost in the first round of the NCAAs, 20-19, to Cortland State. Van Alstyne ran for 227 yards and a pair of touchdowns in that game, and is relishing the chance to get back on the postseason stage.

“When I committed to Framingham State, this is what they had planned,” said Van Alstyne, who has seen FSU improve under long-time coach Tom Kelley in each of the past four seasons.

“From my standpoint, it’s been even better than I thought. I’m so happy to be here.”

Van Asltyne has the FSU records for carries in a season and career as well as the all-time marks for total yards in a game (294), season (1,790 last year) and career. He’s run for over 100 yards in nine of 10 games this season, including a pair of 200-yard outings.

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