Close Wins Heptathlon at N.E. Division III Championships
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- University of Southern Maine junior Emily Close (Orleans, Vt./Lake Region Union) established a new school record Saturday en route to becoming the first USM athlete since 2004 to win the heptathlon at the annual New England Division III Outdoor Championships held Friday and Saturday at M.I.T.
Close followed up her impressive first-day showing on Friday with a career best mark in Saturday's opening event, the long jump (5.18m/17-0), to score 609 points. After adding 283 points in the javelin (19.70m/64-7), Close completed the two-day, seven-event competition running one of her best times in the 800 meters (2:28.01) for another 718 points.
For the two days, Close totaled 4,469 points to eclipse the previous record of 4,439 points compiled by Kim Brewer in April 2005 at the Penn Relays and surpassed her previous best score of 4,306 points at last year's NEICAAA New England Championships. Close joins Brewer (2004) as the only USM competitors to win the heptathlon at the N.E. Division III meet.
In the four opening day events on Friday, Close had an outstanding day posting the best mark in three of the four events contested. She opened the day running the quickest time in the 100-meters hurdles (15.09) to collect 830 points. She followed that up in the high jump with the top height (personal best 1.57m/5-1 ¾) for another 701 points.
Moving to the shot put (9.82m/32-3), Close had another personal best to score 518 points. She finished the day running the fastest time in the 200 meters (25.85) to score 810 points. At the end of Friday's four events, Close had scored 2,859 points.
Sophomore Jhanel Potts (Boston, Mass./Concord-Carlisle) scored in two dash events on Saturday placing third in the 100 meters (12.14) and seventh in the 200 meters (25.48).
Sophomore Katie Ferrara (Auburn, Maine/Edward Little) scored a half point tying for eighth in the pole vault (outdoor personal best 3.25m/10-8).
Senior Rachel Ingram (Winthrop, Maine) scored the Huskies only points during the first day of competition placing seventh in the long jump (outdoor career best 5.28m/17-4). She came back on Saturday to place seventh in the triple jump (outdoor career best 11.36m/37-3 ¼).
A notable non-scoring performance was turned in by sophomore Jess Regan (Sturbridge, Mass./Shepherd Hill Regional) who moved on to the program's top 10 list for the heptathlon with her total of 3,271 points.
Qualified USM competitors will compete next Friday and Saturday at the NEICAAA (New England Intercollegiate Amateur Athletic Association) New England Championships being held at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H.