Panthers compete for first time in 35 years
BOSTON – The Plymouth State University men's track & field team made its first appearance in 35 years Saturday at the 4th Annual University of Massachusetts Boston Indoor Open at the Reggie Lewis Center.
The Panthers are in their first season since reinstating the sport as a varsity program. Plymouth State had men's track and field in the late 1960s and 1970s before discontinuing the program prior to the 1980 season.
The event was a non-scoring, qualifying meet with a lot of Division I and Division II competition along with strong Division III teams. The goal of the meet was to strive to hit qualifying marks for later championships, according to head coach John Ostler, with eight Panther athletes achieving 11 Little East Conference qualifying performances.
PSU's top performances came in the high jump, where freshmen Evan Dolecki (New Hartford, Conn.) and Isaiah Bolden (Dover, N.H.) placed seventh and ninth, respectively, out of 49 competitors. Dolecki recorded a jump 20-feet, 3-inches while Bolden posted a jump of 20-feet, 1-inch. Bolden also placed 26th among 96 runners in the 60-meter dash in a time of 7.37 seconds.
Other Panthers who reached conference qualifying standards included freshman Connor Mullins (Salem, N.H.) in the shot put (35'11.25") and weight throw (35'6.75"); freshman Jake Ozoonian (Windham, N.H.) in the shot (37'9.25"); junior Sam Webber (Derry, N.H.) in the high jump (5'10.75"); Dolecki and freshman Matt Kennedy (Billerica, Mass.) in the triple jump (41'0.5" and 38'8.25", respectively); and freshmen Thomas Helm (Walpole, Mass.) and Kyle Anderson (West Barnstable, Mass.) in the 400m dash (53.99 and 55.61, respectively).
"It always a good day when you get double digit qualifiers for our conference meet," said Ostler. "I'm even more excited that they were spread over a lot of events. Our talent is portioned evenly between all the event groups. They're excited to defend our new home turf against a tough Colby-Sawyer team next week."
PSU will make its debut in the new George Davis Track at PSU next Saturday against Colby-Sawyer College.
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