Standout freshmen capture individual titles for Panthers
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Freshmen Warren Bartlett (Loudon, N.H.) and Sam Brunnette (Newport, Vt.) captured individual championships Saturday to lead the men's home team as Plymouth State University hosted the Little East Conference (LEC) Championships and the New England Alliance Championships in the new George Davis Track.
The meet also included the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Championships, with all three championships including both men and women. There were 22 teams represented from 11 schools, with nearly 40 events in the all-day affair.
The University of Southern Maine men captured both the New England Alliance championship and the Little East Conference title. The Panthers were fifth in the seven-team LEC scoring and eighth in the 11-team Alliance scoring.
Bartlett captured the men's 1000 meter run, making five laps around the oval in a season-best time of 2:34.28 to outrun 16 other competitors. Brunnette followed with the title in the 3000 meters, completing the distance in 8:53.84 outdistance a field of 28 runners.
Bartlett was also joined by sophomore Brendan Polichronopoulos (Penacook, N.H.), and freshmen Casey Reale (Georgetown, Mass.) and Kyle Saunders (Hudson, N.H.) for a strong finish in the 4x800 meter relay, as the Panthers finished in third place with a time of 8:28.96.
Freshman Isaiah Bolden (Dover, N.H.) had a solid day to lead the Panther sprinters. He qualified eighth in the 60 meter dash with a time of 7.16 seconds, and improved to sixth place in the finals with a 7.14. Saunders was impressive in the 600 meters, running a personal-best 1:26.64 to tie for ninth place, and freshman Cameron Pavao (Methuen, Mass.) finished 11th in the 5000 meters in a season-best 16:29.29.
PSU also had a solid entry in the 4x200 meter relay as four freshmen -- Isiah Trask (Turner, Maine), Thomas Helm (Walpole, Mass.), Cam Atherton (Rowley, Mass.) and Micah Peterson (Fremont, N.H.) placed eighth with a season-best time of 1:36.33.
Freshman Evan Dolecki (New Hartford, Conn.) was PSU's top representative in the field events with a pair of top 10 finishes in jumps. He tied for eighth place in the long jump with a leap one-quarter inch shy of 21-feet (6.39m), and his best triple jump attempt was 40 feet, 11.5 inches (12.48m) to place 10th. Freshman Matt Elsker (Pittsfield, Mass.) had a solid performance in the pole vault with a season-best vault of 12 feet, 7.5 inches (3.85m).
PSU has qualified about a half dozen athletes for the New England Division III Indoor Championships, to be held Friday and Saturday at MIT in Cambridge, Mass.
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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