USM Finishes Eighth at NEICAAA Outdoor Championships
GORHAM, Maine -- On the strength of a one-two finish in the triple jump, the University of Southern Maine men's track and field team finished a program-best eighth at the 2017 NEICAAA (New England Intercollegiate Amateur Athletic Association) Outdoor Track and Field Championships held this past weekend at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass.
For the third straight meet, the USM triple jump duo of sophomore Drew Gamage (Sabattus, Maine/Oak Hill) and senior Connor Harris (Auburn, Maine/Edward Little) took the top two spots in the triple jump. Gamage won this week with a mark of 14.53 meters (47-8) with Harris in the runner-up spot with a jump of 14.45 meters (47-5). For finishing among the top eight, both athletes earned NEICAAA All-New England honors.
Two weeks ago (April 29) at the New England Alliance/Little East Conference Championships, Gamage stood atop the podium winning the triple jump with mark of 14.50 meters (47-7) and Harris was second at 14.47 meters (47-5 ¾). At the New England Division III Championships (May 5-6), Harris took the top spot at 14.72 meters (48-3 ½) and Gamage was runner-up with a mark of 14.56 meters (47-9 ¼).
Junior Ron Helderman (Madison, Maine) earned NEICAAA All-New England honors in the pole vault for the second straight year placing sixth by clearing a season-best height of 4.81 meters (15-9 ¼). Helderman's mark moved him up to 18th place on the latest NCAA Division III performance list.
On the track, sophomore Jared Marshall (Gloucester, Mass.) picked up All-New England honors in the 110-meter hurdles by finishing fifth. Marshall qualified for the finals by posting the seventh quickest time of 14.69 seconds in Friday's heat races. He came back in the final on Saturday to cross the finish line in 14.71 seconds.
Marshall also teamed with junior Trey Rogers (Auburn, Maine/Edward Little) and seniors Jonathan Hendrickson (Friendship, Maine/Medomak Valley) and Zach Miller (Rochester, N.H./Spaulding) to finish sixth in the 4 x 100-meter relay. The quartet had a combined time of 42.37 seconds.
Marshall and Miller also competed in the 200-meter trials on Friday turning in times of 22.02 and 22.49 seconds respectively. Miller also ran in the 400-meter trials clocking in at 49.28.
Senior Roger Charest (Auburn, Maine/Edward Little) competed in the 800 meters finishing with a time of 1:57.70. Harris placed ninth in Friday's long jump competition with a jump of 6.66 meters (21-10 ¼).
The Huskies finished with 28 points to place eighth among the 37 teams that scored in the meet. That finish eclipsed last year's previous program-best finish by one position. The University of Rhode Island won the men's team title scoring 163 points. Northeastern University was runner-up with 145. Rounding out the top five were Dartmouth College with 76 points, Tufts University with 56 and Southern Connecticut State University with 51.
Southern Maine concludes the 2017 season this Thursday afternoon at the MIT Last Chance Qualifier Meet. The NCAA Division III final performance list will be posted next weekend for declarations to be submitted for this year's Division III Outdoor National Track and Field Championships.