Bartlett, Brunnette and Davies earn individual titles
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Juniors Warren Bartlett (Loudon, N.H.) and Sam Brunnette (Newport Center, Vt.) and sophomore Derek Davies (Londonderry, N.H.) all won individual titles to lead the Plymouth State University men's indoor track & field team at the Little East Conference (LEC) and New England Alliance (NEA) Indoor Track & Field Championships hosted by Rhode Island College at the Providence Career and Technical School on Saturday.
PSU earned a third place finish among the LEC competition, while taking sixth among the NEA teams, a combination of LEC and Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) schools.
"We've never had a more complete performance in the three years we've been building this program," said head coach John Ostler. "Every couple of events we had great performances which helped us sustain our enthusiasm for the entire day."
Bartlett and Brunnette each won their third straight titles in the 1000 and 3000 meter runs. Bartlett led wire to wire in the 1000 meter run setting a new NEA and school record while finishing in 2:30.87. Sophomore Noah Byington (Hanscom AFB, Mass.) also ran well in the 1000 meters, earning a seventh place finish with a season-best and New England Division III Championship qualifying time of 2:36.76.
Brunnette won the 3000 meter run handily, finishing in 8:42.50 nearly ten seconds ahead of his closest competition. Brunnette also won the individual title in the mile run with a time of 4:21.18. In both races he sat back in second place for the majority of the time before surging ahead in the final laps to cruise to the wins.
|Bartlett - 1000m|
"Warren [Bartlett] and Sam [Brunnette] are three-quarters of the way to sweeping the 1000 and 3000 meter runs respectively for their careers," noted Ostler. "It is inspiring to watch them not only prepare to be in a position to win, but to execute when it matters the most each year for this meet."
The remainder of the middle distance group also performed well. Junior Chaim Tendler (Manchester, N.H.) and sophomore Hunter Zabkar (Lee, N.H.) both posted season best times in the mile run, while junior Kyle Saunders (Hudson, N.H.) earned a top-ten finish with a 1:26.27 time in the 600 meter run, his fastest mark of the year.
Davies captured his first title in the pole vault with a height of 4.25 meters (13' 11.25"). He followed that up by running a great lead off leg for the 4x400 meter relay team, which set a new season top time of 3:30.54. Davies was joined by freshmen Terrell Lewis (Nashua, N.H.) and Joey Baylus (Loudon, N.H.) and sophomore Zach Bassett (Pascoag, R.I.).
"Derek [Davies] taking the pole vault title and becoming the third conference champ in the men's team history represents a nice rounding out of our program," stated Ostler.
Lewis and Baylus put together strong performances in the 60 meter hurdles, qualifying third and fourth after the preliminaries. Lewis set a school record in the qualifying heat, then topped that to take second in the finals with a time of 8.49. Baylus finished fifth in 8.72. Lewis also earned points with a fifth place finish in the high jump after clearing 1.93 meters (6' 4.00").
|Brunnette - 3000m, Mile Run|
"Terrell [Lewis] and Joey [Baylus] are not far behind competing at a championship level," said Ostler. "I was very pleased with their attitudes, not wilting in the face of tough conference competition but elevating their performances to match that of their junior and senior counterparts."
The Panther relay teams also had a fine showing. In addition to the top time by the 4x400 team, the 4x800 meter relay team of Saunders, Byington, Bartlett and freshman Dylan Guinard (Penacook, N.H.) set a new season mark to finish fourth in 8:23.21. Meanwhile, Bolden, Baylus, Bassett and sophomore Chenet Guerrier (Burlington, Mass.) teamed up to finish seventh in the 4x200 meter relay.
Ostler was especially happy with the performance of senior Dean Squires Jr. (Derry, N.H.). On the final throw of his career the team captain reached a school record of 12.04 meters (39' 6.00") to top the 12-meter mark for the first time.
|Davies - Pole Vault|
"Maybe the most pride I got from a performance all day was Dean [Squires]," beamed Ostler. "He was the last person to qualify in the weight throw, earning his way into the meet for the first time in his career. He's such a great leader on our team and I'm proud of how he's fought through injury and adversity to end his indoor track and field career on a high note."
Plymouth State will compete at the New England Division III Championships on Saturday at Middlebury College.
– 30 –