Bantz, Ferrara and Kalilwa Win Title at LEC Championships

Katie Ferrara
Katie Ferrara
USM Finishes Third in Team Standings

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. -- The University of Southern Maine women's track and field team won three individual titles Saturday en route to a third-place finish at the 2019 Little East Conference Women's Indoor Track and Field Championships held at the George E. Davis Track on the campus of Plymouth State University.

            Senior Haley Bantz (East Waterboro, Maine/Massabesic) won the high jump by clearing 1.55 meters (5-1).  Her height qualifies Bantz for next weekend's New England Division III Championships.  Junior Katie Ferrara (Auburn, Maine/Edward Little) won her first LEC title in the pole vault clearing 3.15 meters (10-4).  Classmate Adela Kalilwa (Lewiston, Maine) won the triple jump for the second straight year with her season-best mark of 11.53 meters (37-10).

            Rhode Island College won its first team title since 2000 compiling 174 points.  Keene State College was runner-up with 122.50 points, followed by USM with 111 and Eastern Connecticut with 84.

            The Huskies began their quest for an 18th straight LEC title in solid fashion as Kalilwa and freshman Mykayla Hoggard (Bangor, Maine) combined for 14 points in the long jump, and the pole vault contingent racked up 24 points.  Kalilwa was second in the long jump with a season-best jump of 5.52 meters (18-1 ½) and Hoggard took third with a collegiate best mark of 5.30 meters (17-4 ¾).

            Following Ferrara in the pole vault were freshman Bekah Robertson (Biddeford, Maine) who was runner-up on the tiebreaker matching Ferrara at 3.15 meters.  Junior Samantha Round (Veazie, Maine/Orono) and senior Penny Maimone (Stoneham, Mass./Arlington Catholic) tied for fourth after clearing 2.90 meters (9-6 ¼).

            Hoggard came back on the track to post a third-place finish in the 400 (1:01.77), a fifth in the 60-meter dash (8.34), and a sixth in the 200 (27.28).  In addition to their field event results, Kalilwa posted a runner-up finish in the 60 dash (career best 7.97), and Bantz contributed a third-place result in the 600 meters (1:42.21).

            Junior Ashley Joyner (Auburn, Maine/Granbury [Texas]) tied for second in the 60-meters hurdles (9.59), and USM added points with a fifth place from junior Samantha Dow (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy; 9.79) and sixth place from Ferrara (9.87).

            Joyner and Round joined Kalilwa on the podium for the triple jump taking fifth (10.18 meters/33-4 ¾) and sixth (9.97 meters/32-8 ½) respectively.

            On the track, the Huskies wrapped up their day with a third place finish in the 4 x 800 relay (10:43.81) and a fifth in the 4 x 400 relay (4:25.08).

            Qualified competitors will travel to Bowdoin College next Saturday for the New England Division III Championships.