Huskies Win 7th LEC Title in Last Nine Years
GORHAM, Maine -- For the second straight year, the University of Southern Maine men's indoor track and field team has swept the New England Alliance and Little East Conference Championships held Saturday at the Costello Sports Complex field house.
The Huskies outscored 10 other teams tallying 144.50 points to win the Alliance title. Worcester State University was runner-up with 113.50 points, followed by Westfield State University with 98.50, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth with 79 and Fitchburg State University with 70. The Alliance Championship is comprised of schools from the Little East Conference (LEC) and the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC).
In the seven-team Little East Conference scoring, USM won its third straight title, and seventh in the last nine years, scoring 199 points. The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth was second with 104 points, and Plymouth State University was third with 80. Worcester State University held off Westfield State University to win the MASCAC title, 198-164.
Southern Maine clinched the Alliance titles with a pair of dramatic, come-from-behind wins in the final two events, the 4 x 800-meter and 4 x 400-meter relays. In the 4 x 800, senior Roger Charest (Auburn, Maine/Edward Little), who earlier in the day won his second straight 800 meters title in 1:59.39, came from behind on the final lap to overcome the Eastern Connecticut State University runner and pull away for the victory in a time of 8 minutes, 16.21 seconds. Charest followed sophomore Colin Jones (Scarborough, Maine) and freshmen Donivyn Harms (Westbrook, Maine/Rochelle (Ill.) Township) and Carson Bessey (Belgrade, Maine/Messalonskee) carrying the baton. Jones also finished third in the 800 with his time of 2:01.83.
In the last event of the meet, sophomore Hany Ramadan (Portland, Maine/Deering) ran stride for stride with the anchor man for Rhode Island College for nearly a lap before surging ahead coming off the final turn to win the 4 x 400 relay. Ramadan combined with freshman Paolo DeMarco (Portland, Maine/Deering), junior Justin Pierce (Standish, Maine/Mt. Ararat) and sophomore Jared Marshall (Gloucester, Mass.) for a time of 3:23.57.
Marshall had a big day individually winning the 55-meter hurdles in a time of 7.75 seconds, and the 200 meters in 22.39 seconds. He also was runner-up in the 55-meter dash turning in a time of 6.52 seconds. DeMarco won the 400 meters with his time of 50.75 seconds.
In the field events, senior Connor Harris (Auburn, Maine/Edward Little) won the triple jump with a mark of 13.92 meters (45-8), and junior Ron Helderman (Madison, Maine) took the pole vault title for the second straight year clearing 4.75 meters (15-7). Harris also had a third place finish in the long jump with a leap of 6.65 meters (21-10), and scored a seventh-place result in the high jump clearing 1.88 meters (6-2).
Sophomore Drew Gamage (Sabattus, Maine/Oak Hill) complemented Harris in the triple jump bringing home a third-place finish with his mark of 13.57 meters (44-6 ¼).
Freshman Nick Harriman (Lisbon, Maine) posted a third-place finish in the mile and a sixth-place result in the 3,000 meters with times of 4:26.28 and 9:05.26 respectively. Sophomore Ben Foster (Gorham, Maine) came in fourth in the 5,000 meters with his time of 15:47.51, and classmate Brandan Crenner (Cornish, Maine/Sacopee Valley) was fourth in the pole vault with a height of 3.85 meters (12-7 ½).
Qualified competitors will travel to Tufts University (Medford, Mass.) to compete Saturday in the New England Division III Championships.