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USM to Send Four to NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships

USM to Send Four to NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships
Four members of the USM men's track and field team - (left to right) Jamie Ruginski, Jeremy Collins, Kevin Desmond and Dan Webb - will compete this week at the NCAA Division III Outdoor National Championships.

USM to Send Four to NCAA Division III Championships

            GORHAM, Maine -- The University of Southern Maine men's outdoor track and field will send four representatives to this year's NCAA Division III Men's and Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championships that get underway on Thursday and run through Saturday.

            Sophomore Jeremy Collins (Standish, Maine/Bonny Eagle), junior Jamie Ruginski (Buxton, Maine/Bonny Eagle) and the Huskies' 4x400-meter relay quartet of Collins, Ruginski, sophomore Dan Webb (Acton, Maine/Sanford) and junior Kevin Desmond (Monmouth, Maine/Monmouth Academy) will travel to Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio, for the championships.  Collins is in the 400-meter hurdles field while Ruginski made the field for the long jump and triple jump.  The NCAA Division III Men's and Women's Track and Field Committee announced the accepted entries list Sunday morning.

            Collins is the 10th seed among the 20 competitors in the 400 hurdles based upon his school record time of 52.73 seconds turned in during the NEICAAA (New England Intercollegiate Amateur Athletic Association) New England Championships at Westfield (Mass.) State University on May 10.  Making his second trip to an NCAA championship this year, Collins competed in the 400 meters at the NCAA indoor championships in March.

            Ruginski, an indoor All-American in the long jump and triple jump, leaped his way into the long jump field this past Friday at the ECAC (Eastern College Athletic Conference) Division III Outdoor Championships with a school record mark of 7.31 meters (23-11 ¾).  He qualified for the triple jump by posting a mark of 14.76 meters (48-5 ¼) at the ERAU Spike's Classic at Embry-Riddle University on April 5.  Ruginski, the national champion indoors in the triple jump, is the fifth seed in the long jump and third seed in the triple jump.

            The relay quartet raced its way into the field of 16 teams with its school record time of 3:14.68 at the NEICAAA meet.  The foursome also competed at the NCAA indoor championships in March finishing 11th.

            Collins will compete in the 400 hurdles prelims this Thursday (6:45 p.m.).  Ruginski will compete in the long jump on Thursday (6:30 p.m.) and the triple jump on Saturday (12:00 p.m.).  The relay will run its preliminary round race on Thursday (9:10 p.m.).  Finals for the 400 hurdles and the 4x400 relay will be on Saturday.