NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. -- The University of Southern Maine women's outdoor track and field team used its outstanding depth to score in every event en route to winning its 15th consecutive Little East Conference Championship on Sunday. The annual championship meet was held at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
The Huskies took the team title scoring 185.50 points to easily outdistance runner up Keene State College. Keene State edged UMass Dartmouth for second place, 104-94.50. The University of Massachusetts Boston was fourth with 92 points, followed by Eastern Connecticut State University with 85 and Rhode Island College with 78.
Sophomore Hannah Damron (Windham, Maine) and junior Peyton Dostie (Standish, Maine/Bonny Eagle) were double winners for USM. Junior Catie Keenan (York, Maine) and sophomore Sabrina Sodders (Alstead, N.H./Fall Mountain) also brought home an individual title.
Damron took the top spot in the 1500 meters with a personal best time of 4:52.48, and in the 800 meters crossing the line in 2:18.76. In the 1500, junior Emily Panciera (Monson, Maine/Foxcroft Academy) finished third in 5:04.23, and senior Morgan Beede (Augusta, Maine/Cony) took fourth with a time of 5:06.20. Freshman Shelby Whitman (Bennington, Vt./Mt. Anthony Union) took fourth in the 800 with her time of 2:26.78, and Panciera was sixth in 2:30.94.
Dostie claimed the top spot on the podium successfully defending her title in the 100-meter hurdles with a winning time of 15.30 seconds. Dostie also won the 400-meter hurdles for the second straight year with her time of 1:05.64. Freshman Liz O'Neal (Topsham, Maine/Mt. Ararat) took third in the 100 hurdles with her time of 16.79 and fourth in the 400 hurdles with a time of 1:10.17. In the 3,000-meter steeplechase, sophomore Brooke Davis (North Clarendon, Vt./Mill River Union) came home third in a time of 12:37.92.
Sophomore Nicole Kirk (Scarborough, Maine) lowered her school record in the 100-meter dash with her second-place time of 12.44 seconds. Kirk also finished second in the 200 meters with a personal best time of 25.73.
Beede and Keenan finished 2-3 in the 5,000 meters with times of 19:15.87 and 19:16.93 respectively. Keenan opened the day by winning the 10,000 meters with a personal best time of 40:31.26. Junior Tayla Robbins (Raymond, Maine/Gray-New Gloucester) was second in the 10,000 with her time of 41:00.24.
Sodders was the Huskies lone field event athlete to bring home the top prize. She took the top spot in the shot put with a career best throw outdoors of 11.52 meters (37-9 ½).
Freshmen Molly Gibeault (Brooklyn, Conn./Woodstock Academy) and Natasha Wallace (Pittsfield, Maine/MCI) finished as runner-ups in the pole vault and javelin respectively. Gibeault cleared 3.05 meters (10-0) in the pole vault. Wallace had a season-best throw of 35.17 meters (115-5) in the javelin. Classmate Briana Pina (Cumberland, R.I.) was third in the hammer throw with a toss of 40.57 meters (133-1).
USM will send qualified athletes to the New England Division III Championships at Springfield College this coming Friday and Saturday (May 2-3).