Huskies Record Sweep for the 17th Straight Year
GORHAM, Maine -- The University of Southern Maine women's indoor track and field team won its 17th consecutive New England Alliance and Little East Conference (LEC) titles at the daylong championships meet held Saturday at the Costello Sports Complex field house.
The Huskies beat out 10 other teams to take the Alliance title with 152.50 points. Bridgewater State University was the runner-up scoring 129.50 points, followed by Westfield State University with 102, Rhode Island College with 79 and Keene State College with 70. The Alliance meet includes schools from the Little East Conference and the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference.
In the seven-team Little East scoring, the Huskies easily outdistanced runner-up Rhode Island College, 200-100. Keene State College was third with 79 points. USM's string of Alliance and LEC titles dates back to 2001. Westfield State edged out Bridgewater State, 227-222, to win the MASCAC title.
USM used its outstanding depth to score in 17 of 19 events in the Alliance meet, and 18 of 19 in the LEC scoring.
Winning individual Alliance and LEC championships for USM were senior Jasmine Boyle (Brunswick, Maine) in the mile with her time of 5 minutes, 16.56 seconds, senior Hannah Damron (Windham, Maine) won her third straight Alliance and LEC titles in the 800 meters with a time of 2:20.98, and senior Molly Gibeault (Brooklyn, Conn./Woodstock Academy) collected her second straight Alliance (and third straight LEC) pole vault title clearing 3.55 meters (11-7 ¾).
Damron combined with sophomore Kayla Griffis (Scarborough, Maine), junior Lauren Beganny (Litchfield, Maine/Oak Hill) and sophomore Emily Close (Orleans, Vt./Lake Region Union) to win the 4 x 800-meter relay in dramatic fashion. Damron came from behind on the last lap to catch the Westfield State runner at the wire to win the relay by four one-hundredths of a second, 9:56.08 to 9:56.12.
Individually, Close tied for third place in the high jump clearing a season best 1.57 meters (5-1 ¾), Griffis contributed a fourth-place result in the 800 in 2:24.95, and Damron also was fourth in the mile in 5:19.70.
Freshman Adela Kalilwa (Lewiston, Maine) posted a runner-up finish in the triple jump with a mark of 11.16 meters (36-7 ½) and senior Neka Dias (San Antonio, Texas/Holmes) was second in the 55-meter dash flashing across the finish line in 7.48 seconds. Dias also posted a fourth in the 55-meter hurdles with her time of 8.71.
The Huskies 4 x 200 relay foursome of freshman Jhanel Potts (Boston, Mass./Concord-Carlisle), senior Liz O'Neal (Brunswick, Maine/Mt. Ararat), sophomore Penny Maimone (Stoneham, Mass./Arlington Catholic) and Dias finished second with a combined time of 1:45.29.
In addition to her win in the mile, Boyle was third in the 1,000 meters coming home in 3:09.73. Sophomore Heather Kendall (Lewiston, Maine) picked up a third in the 55 dash with her time of 7.52, and Potts was fourth in 7.56 as USM scored 19 points by taking second, third and fourth in the dash. Maimone picked up a fourth-place finish in the 400 meters with her time of 1:00.79.
Freshman Allison Pickering (Orono, Maine) helped the Huskies earn 22 points in the pole vault with her fourth-place result clearing a season best 3.25 meters (10-8). Maimone was fifth clearing 3.05 meters (10-0) for the first time, and freshman Katie Ferrara (Auburn, Maine/Edward Little) was sixth, also clearing 3.05 meters. In LEC scoring, USM vaulters took the first five slots.
Qualified competitors will compete next Saturday in the annual New England Division III Championships being held at M.I.T.