Brunnette leads Panthers with strong finish in 3000 meters
BRUNSWICK, Maine – The Plymouth State University men's track & field team placed eighth out of 10 teams Saturday at the Bowdoin University Invitational at the Mount Ararat Track.
The top performance for PSU was by freshman Sam Brunnette (Newport, Vt.), who finished fourth overall in the 3,000 meters in a time of eight minutes, 38 seconds. He reached the ECAC Championship qualifying mark, posting the 23rd fastest time in that event for Division III so far this season.
"Sam ran an exceptional race," said PSU head coach John Ostler. "He far exceeded his goal of reaching the ECAC qualifying mark of 8:50. He ran a patient race, not running too fast with the leaders in the early stages but closing very well. Sam ran is final two laps in 58 seconds, nearly 10 seconds faster than his average pace for the rest of the race."
Freshman Warren Bartlett (Loudon, N.H.) finished 10th among 30 runners in a strong field in the 1,000 meters, running a 2:37 in an event that included the reigning 800m national champion, Mitchell Black of Tufts.
Freshman Evan Dolecki (New Hartford, Conn.) had a solid long jump for PSU, finishing 12th with a leap of 6.20 meters (20'4.25") and classmate Isaiah Bolden (Dover, N.H.) reached a personal best of 8.92 seconds in the 60 meter hurdles to qualify for finals, where he finished seventh.
A couple other athletes had fine performances and hit Little East Conference qualifying marks including sophomore Dean Squires (Derry, N.H.) in the weight throw, freshmen Casey Reale (Georgetown, Mass.) and Cameron Pavao (Methuen, Mass.) in the mile run, and classmates Kyle Saunders (Hudson, N.H.) and Brendan Polichronopoulos (Penacook, N.H.) in the 600.
"This meet caps off a very successful two week winter break camp for us, said Ostler. "Throughout camp we've been practicing twice a day and pouring effort and energy into every session. We competed today with some heavy legs but the effort was there across the board. The work we did during camp and the effort and grit we competed with today will pay off when we hit championship meets in a month. I'm looking forward to seeing our team bounce back with fresh legs for our final two qualifying meets."
MIT won the event with 190 points, well ahead of runner-up Bowdoin (89) and third-place Tufts (82). PSU scored four points, ahead of Keene State College and the University of Maine Farmington, which did not score any points.
PSU will compete again next Saturday at the Tufts Stampede.
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.
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