Damron, Dias, Gibeault and Kalilwa Earn NEICAAA All-New England Honors
GORHAM, Maine -- Four members of the University of Southern Maine women's track and field team earned NEICAAA (New England Intercollegiate Amateur Athletic Association) All-New England honors this weekend at the annual NEICAAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships held at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., on Friday and Saturday.
Seniors Hannah Damron (Windham, Maine), Neka Dias (San Antonio, Texas/Holmes), and Molly Gibeault (Brooklyn, Conn./Woodstock Academy), along with freshman Adela Kalilwa (Lewiston, Maine), received the coveted honor after placing among the top eight finishers in their respective events.
Damron posted a personal-best score of 4,381 points in the seven-event heptathlon to finish in eighth place. The senior had the best time among all the competitors in the final event, the 800 meters, with her time of 2 minutes, 17.57 seconds to receive 857 points. Sophomore Emily Close (Orleans, Vt./Lake Region Union) also competed in the heptathlon posting a career-best score of 4,306 points to finish ninth. Damron is now ranked 13th nationally, and Close is 18th, according to the latest Division III performance list.
Dias earned her All-New England honor in the 100-meter hurdles by finishing sixth with her time of 14.72 seconds in Saturday's final. Dias qualified for the final by winning her heat race on Friday with a time of 14.31 seconds.
Gibeault broke her one-week-old school record in the pole vault by clearing 3.80 meters (12-5 ½) to take third place. Gibeault eclipsed her previous standard of 3.77 meters (12-4 ½) set the previous weekend at the New England Division III Championships that were also held at Williams.
Kalilwa, this year's Little East Conference women's outdoor Rookie Field Athlete of the Year, picked up a fifth-place finish in the triple jump with a mark of 11.62 meters (38-1 ½). Kalilwa also competed in the long jump posting a mark of 5.17 meters (16-11 ½). Junior Rachel Ingram (Winthrop, Maine) also competed in the triple jump finishing 13th with a season-best mark of 11.15 meters (36-7).
The Huskies' 4 x 100-meter relay foursome of freshman Jhanel Potts (Boston, Mass./Concord-Carlisle), Dias, senior Liz O'Neal (Brunswick, Maine) and Kalilwa finished fourth in the relay with their combined time of 48.17 seconds.
Potts posted the ninth quickest time in the 100-meter dash trials on Friday crossing the line in 12.23 seconds. O'Neal had the 10th quickest time in the 400-meter hurdle trials with a career-best time of 1:03.25. In the field events, senior Briana Pina (Cumberland, R.I.) posted a mark of the 45.58 meters (149-6) in the hammer throw.
Southern Maine earned 19 points to finish 14th among the 40 teams that scored in the meet. USM's finish equaled the program's best finish at NEICAAA event established in 2016. Northeastern University edged the University of Rhode Island by one-half point, 102.50-102.00, to win the team title. The University of New Hampshire and Southern Connecticut State University were third and fourth with 74 and 55 points respectively. The University of Massachusetts Amherst and Dartmouth College tied for fifth with 53 points.
Southern Maine concludes the 2017 season this Thursday afternoon at the MIT Last Chance Qualifier Meet. The NCAA Division III final performance list will be posted next weekend for declarations to be submitted for this year's Division III Outdoor National Track and Field Championships.