Marshall, Ricker, Peterson and 4x400 Relay Post First-Place Finishes
WALTHAM, Mass. -- The University of Southern Maine men's track and field team opened the New Year with a fourth-place finish Saturday at the annual Reggie Poyau Invitational held at Brandeis University.
Highlighted by fourth first-place finishes, the Huskies scored 62 points to take the fourth spot among the 12 teams competing at the meet. Merrimack College won the men's meet with 158 points. Host Brandeis was runner-up with 83 points, followed by Assumption College with 75. The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth completed the top five with 58 points.
Senior Jared Marshall (Gloucester, Mass.) won the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.26 seconds. Marshall's winning time surpassed the qualifying standard for next month's New England Division III Championships, and equaled the fifth quickest time in program history. In the national Division III rankings, Marshall is eighth on the descending order list.
In the field events, senior Jack Ricker (Conway, N.H.) and sophomore Riley Peterson (Barnet, Vt./St. Johnsbury Academy) earned first-place finishes for the Huskies. Ricker took the top spot in the high jump clearing 1.95 meters (6-4¾). Peterson was the top finisher in the pole vault clearing a career-best 4.15 meters (13-7¼). Peterson's mark met the qualifying standard for the New England Division III Championships.
USM's fourth first-place finish was turned in by the 4 x 400-meter relay foursome of junior Daniel Flaherty (North Andover, Mass.), sophomore Stephen Duckett (Manchester, N.H./Trinity), junior Josh Bloom (Bar Harbor, Maine/MDI) and freshman Brian Niznik (Wells, Maine). The foursome turned in a combined time of 3:30.94.
Bloom also scored points in the 600 meters, placing fourth with a time of 1:26.54, and Duckett had a fifth-place finish in the 400 meters, crossing the line in 53.60.
Sophomore Yahya Nure (South Portland, Maine/Deering) was the top Division III finisher in the mile, placing fourth overall with his time of 4:33.34.
Junior Trent Dexter (New Gloucester, Maine/Gray-New Gloucester) gave USM a 1-2 finish in the pole vault. Dexter was runner-up to Peterson by clearing 4.00 meters (13-1 ½).
Southern Maine will send selected competitors to the Bates Multi-Event meet for the two-day, seven-event heptathlon next Friday and Saturday, and the remainder of the team will compete at the Bowdoin Invitational on Saturday.