Senior Leadership Leads Maine Track and Field on Final Day of the Outdoor America East Championship
BURLINGTON, Vt. – On the final day of the 2014 track and field championships, Maine received inspired performances from several of the squads' seniors as Kelton Cullenberg and Justin Gagne earned individual event championships in Burlington, Vt., Sunday afternoon. The seniors joined, Wilson Adams who tallied an event championship and event record in the hammer throw on Saturday. The Black Bears men's squad finished the meet with 124 points, coming in third overall while the women's team finished eighth with 36 points.
In what could be considered the strongest performance of the entire meet, Gagne earned the Most Outstanding Field Athlete of the meet as he tallied two championships in the discus and shot put and came in seventh in the hammer. In the shot put the senior thrower tallied a final mark of 16.88m (55-04.75), besting the next best entrant by nearly a foot, while in the discus he placed first once again with a mark of 52.22 (171-04), shattering the second best mark of 47.97 (157-04).
Meanwhile Cullenberg capped his final America East championship, defending his crown in the 5000-meter run with a time of 14:29.42. Like Gagne, Cullenberg handily defeated the field with the next best entrant just over six seconds slower than his top-time.
The Black Bears had many others qualify for the finals in other events, beginning with the 100m as Frank Del Duca and Daniel Roukey took fifth and sixth, respectively. Del Duca came in with a time of 10.82 seconds while Roukey was close behind with a time of 10.82 seconds. Maine tallied nine team points in the event.
The tandem couldn't replicate those results in the 200m as Del Duca was the only one to score, as he finished eighth with a time of 22.28 seconds, while he added one point to the team total.
In the 400m, like Del Duca, Joseph Viola recorded one team point for the squad as he finished eighth with a time of 50.07 seconds.
The Black Bears found more success in the 800m however, as Jake Leithiser brought home eight points from his runner-up time of 1:51.42. UMBC's Andrew Smith was the only one to best Leithiser's time as he clocked in with a mark of 1:50.84. Meanwhile Alexander Moser finished the 1500m in the top-3 with a time of 3:57.52 adding six team points.
In the hurdle event, Michael Lucas ended up scoring for the Black Bears, coming in eighth with a time of 55.41 seconds, scoring one point.
Maine's best relay team came in the 4x400-meter squad of Viola, Scott Merrill, Lucas and Leithiser, who scored four points for the Black Bear cause with a time of 3:19.27. The 4x800 team of Moser, Lorenzo LaBrusciano, Jacob Johns and Liam Nee finished eighth with a time of 7:52.05, scoring one team point.
Nathaniel Meade nearly took the triple jump title with a final mark of 14.90m (48-10.75), scoring eight team points. Only Aboshiom Obemeata from UMBC out jumped the senior with a distance of 14.97m (49-01.50).
Joseph Slattery ended a grueling decathlon with a fifth place finish, securing 5453 points and scoring four team points for the Black Bears.
The Great Danes captured their 10th-straight title on the men's squad title with 208 team points while UMBC was the only other team to defeat the Black Bears with 165 points. Binghamton was fourth (108), Vermont fifth (87), New Hampshire was sixth (79), Umass Lowell was seventh (55), Stony Brook took eighth (20) while Hartford came in last with 10 points.
On the women's side Ashten Hackett gave Maine four team points after advancing to the 100m hurdles as she finished with a time of 14.65 seconds.
Maine's relay team also scored team points for the Black Bears as they came in seventh in the 4x400 as Shannon O'Neil, Ashten Hackett, Jessica McCarthy and Kelsey Maxim clocked in with a time of 4:00.19. Meanwhile the quartet of Rachel Wilkinson, Darien Lewis, Ashton Weiler, and Ariel McNett also came in seventh with a mark of 9:30.45.
In field events Ashley Donohoe had the strongest performance as she came in third in the discus throw. The freshman thrower tallied six team points with her mark of 40.91m (134-03).
Meanwhile Grace MacLean and McCarthy finished in the heptathlon with marks of 4059 points and 4034 points, respectively. The duo also added in seven team points combined.
Albany once again took the top honors winning the team scoring with 195.50 points while Vermont took second with 142.50 points. Binghamton was third in the team scoring with 131 points while UMBC was fourth with 129, New Hampshire was fifth with 107, Umass Lowell was sixth along with Stony Brook with 46. Hartford came in last with 24 points.
Maine competitors will now compete at the New England Championships beginning on May 9-10, hosted by Westfield State University.