Southern Maine Women Win 18th Consecutive Little East Conference Title
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The University of Southern Maine women's track and field team won its 18th consecutive Little East Conference (LEC) indoor championship Saturday at the annual New England Alliance Championships held at the Providence Career and Technical High School.
The Huskies took the top spot in the seven-team LEC field scoring 140 points. Rhode Island College was runner-up with 109 points, followed by the University of Massachusetts Boston with 102 and Eastern Connecticut State University with 95.
Leading the way for USM was sophomore Adela Kalilwa (Lewiston, Maine) who set two school records and scored in four events. Kalilwa won the LEC and Alliance titles in the triple jump with a school and meet record mark of 11.75 meters (38-6 ¾). She was fourth in the long jump with a school record leap of 5.57 meters (18-3 ¼), and seventh in the 60-meter dash (8.15) and the 200 meters (26.89).
Junior Emily Close (Orleans, Vt./Lake Region Union) won the LEC 60-meter hurdles title with a personal best time of 9.07 seconds. Close also placed third in the 600 meters (1:43.22).
Sophomore Allison Pickering (Orono, Maine) led the Huskies to a 1-2-3 finish in the pole vault equaling her career best mark of 3.50 meters (11-5 ¾). Classmate Katie Ferrara (Auburn, Maine/Edward Little) was second at 3.20 meters (10-6), and rookie Edie Christian (Scarborough, Maine) took third with a career best height of 3.05 meters (10-0).
Senior Neka Dias (San Antonio, Texas) posted runner-up finishes in the 60-meter dash (career best 7.95), the 60-meter hurdles (9.29), and the 200 (26.55). Junior Haley Bantz (East Waterboro, Maine/Massabesic) also had a pair of second-place finishes in the 800 meters (2:23.32) and the high jump (1.54 meters/5-0 ½).
The Huskies' 4 x 800-meter relay quartet of senior Lauren Beganny (Scarborough, Maine), senior Kelly Lynch (Harpswell, Maine/Mt. Ararat), Close and Bantz was second with their combined time of 10:34.30. Beganny also took a third in the 1,000 meters (3:11.98).
Senior Rachel Ingram (Winthrop, Maine) was third in the triple jump with a career-best mark of 10.81 meters (35-5 ¾).
In all, USM athletes turned in 14 performances that met the standards for next weekend's New England Division III Championships. Individuals placing in the top three earned All-Little East Conference honors.
In the Alliance meet that features schools from the Little East Conference and the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference, the Huskies finished second to Westfield State University, 128-101.50. Westfield State snapped USM's streak of 17 straight Alliance titles, and is the only other school to win an Alliance indoor title in the 21-year history of the championship.
Qualified individuals will travel to Springfield, Mass., next Friday and Saturday for the annual New England Division III Championships being held at Springfield College.