Southern Maine Wins LEC Outdoor Championship
WESTFIELD, Mass. -- The University of Southern Maine men's track and field program made history on Saturday at the annual New England Alliance/Little East Conference/MASCAC Championships by winning the LEC Outdoor Track and Field Championship to become just the second program to sweep the LEC cross country, indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field titles in the same academic year. The Huskies matched the performance of the 2009-2010 Southern Maine teams.
The Huskies won their third straight, and seventh in the last 10 years, LEC title scoring 185 points to top the list of seven competing teams. The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth edged the University of Massachusetts Boston for the runner-up spot, 118.50-107. Rhode Island College took fourth with 73 points.
USM captured seven event titles en route to talking the championship. On the track, sophomore Ben Foster (Gorham, Maine) won the 10,000 meters (33:54/26), classmate Jared Marshall (Gloucester, Mass.) took the 110-meter hurdles (14.93), and rookie Nick Harriman (Lisbon, Maine) placed first in the 5,000 meters (15:59.17). The 4 x 400-meter relay combination of Marshall, senior Zach Miller (Rochester, N.H./Spaulding), junior Trey Rogers (Auburn, Maine/Edward Little) and senior Jonathan Hendrickson (Friendship, Maine/Medomack Valley) captured the title (3:22.77).
In the field events, junior Ron Helderman (Madison, Maine) won the pole vault (4.55 meters/14-11), senior Connor Harris (Auburn, Maine/Edward Little) placed first in the long jump (7.01 meters/23-0) and sophomore Drew Gamage (Sabbattus, Maine/Oak Hill) took the triple jump (14.50 meters/47-7). USM took the top four spots in the pole vault to score 28 points, and the first three positions in the triple jump for another 24 points.
The Huskies 4 x 100-meter relay earned a runner-up finish and set a school record with their time of 41.99 seconds. Harriman added a second-place finish in the 1500 meters (4:07.94) to his title in the 5,000, Miller had second-place results in the 200 meters (22.17) and the 400 meters (48.96). Sophomore Colin Jones (Scarborough, Maine) took second in the 800 meters (1:59.44).
Gamage and Harris also posted second-place finishes in the high jump (1.88 meters/6-2) and triple jump (14.47 meters/47-5 ¾) respectively.
Freshman Natale Cardillo (Sidney, Maine/Messalonskee) had a third-place finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (10:17.42). Junior Justin Pierce (Standish, Maine/Mt. Ararat) was third in the high jump (1.88 meters/6-2) and Hendrickson completed USM's 1-2-3 finish in the triple jump (13.09 meters/42-11 ½) taking third.
Qualified USM competitors will travel to Williamstown, Mass., next Friday and Saturday for the New England Division III Championships at Williams College.