LINCOLN, Nebraska -- University of Southern Maine junior Jamie Ruginski (Buxton, Maine/Bonny Eagle) won the national title in the triple jump on Saturday at the NCAA Division III Men's and Women's Indoor Track and Field Championships being held at the University of Nebraska's Devaney Sports Center.
The top seed going into the national championships, Ruginski won the event with a leap of 15.28 meters (50-1 ¾) coming on his final attempt in the competition. Ruginski took the lead on his second jump with a mark of 14.87 meters (48-9 ½) and never looked back. He extended his lead on his third attempt in the preliminary round with a mark 14.99 meters (49-2 ¼).
In the final three rounds of jumps, Ruginski's lead held up throughout with his winning mark coming of his last jump.
Senior Kris Joint of Moravian College was the runner-up with a jump of 14.80 meters (48-6 ¾) on his second attempt. Freshman Aman Stuppard of Trinity College was third at 14.60 meters (47-11).
Ruginski, who finished third in the long jump on Friday, is the first USM track athlete to win a national title and the first USM male competitor to earn All-America honors in two events.
The men's 4 x 400-meter relay quartet of sophomores Dan Webb (Acton, Maine/Sanford) and Jeremy Collins (Standish, Maine/Bonny Eagle), Ruginski and junior Kevin Desmond (Monmouth, Maine/Monmouth Academy) ran the second fastest time in school history, 3:17.95, to finish in 11th place overall. Mount Union College won the relay with a time of 3:13.48.
Southern Maine, with 16 points, had its best-ever finish at the NCAA indoor championships finishing 11th among the 68 teams that scored in the two-day meet. The University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse won the team title with 63.5 points followed by intra-state rivals Wisconsin-Eau Claire with 48 points and Wisconsin-Oshkosh with 37.5.