4x400 Relay Finishes Seventh to Earn All-America Honors
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- University of Southern Maine senior Jamie Ruginski (Buxton, Maine/Bonny Eagle) successfully defended his NCAA Division III triple jump title on Saturday to help the Huskies finish in a tie for sixth place among the 66 teams that scored at the 2015 NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships held at the JDL Fast Track facility in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Ruginski came from behind on his final attempt to win the national title landing a mark of 14.94 meters (49-0 ¼). Third after the three preliminary-round jumps, Ruginski took the lead with his fourth-round jump of 14.72 meters (48-3 ½). Senior Chris Perry of Bridgewater (Mass.) State University, the leader after the preliminary rounds, retook the lead in the fifth round with a jump of 14.75 (48-4 ¾) setting the stage for Ruginski. In the final round of jumps, Ruginski hit his best mark of the competition while Perry was not able to improve upon his mark.
The NCAA title is the third of Ruginski's career at USM. He swept the indoor and outdoor triple jump titles last year.
The Huskies 4x400-meter relay team came home with All-America honors after finishing seventh. Junior Zach Miller (Rochester, N.H./Spaulding), senior Kevin Desmond (Monmouth, Maine/Monmouth Academy) and juniors Jeremy Collins (Standish, Maine/Bonny Eagle) and Dan Webb (Acton, Maine/Sanford) combined for a time of 3 minutes, 18.56 seconds. Their time was the fourth fastest in school history.
On Friday, Ruginski earned All-America honors in the long jump with his second-place finish. Ruginski had a jump of 7.16 meters (23-6) to take the runner-up spot behind senior Dominique Neloms of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Neloms won the event with a leap of 7.37 meters (24-2 ¼).
The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire edged in-state rival University of Wisconsin-La Crosse for the team title, 62-20. Mount Union College was third with 40 points followed by St. Olaf College with 33 and North Central College (Ill.) with 31. Southern Maine and Bridgewater State tied for sixth with 20 points.