Wilson breaks record, boosts Minutewomen in New England Championships
After two days of competition, the Massachusetts track and field teams wrapped up the New England Championships in successful fashion.
The event began with a fast start from the Minutewomen while their male counterparts struggled to gain a foothold on the competition.
Rachelle Bourque led the Minutewomen with a solid performance for the second straight week. She earned a New England Championship in the javelin throw (135 feet). Last week, Bourque set the UMass record in the same event.
Lisa Wilson broke another record in the hammer throw. She took fourth place with her toss of 185 feet, one inch. Her throw beat her previous record from the New Hampshire pre-conference meet by nine feet.
Adding to the success on the first day was freshman Nicole Pompei in the pole vault, Katherine Finnegan in the long jump and Ida Okkonen also in the long jump.
The Minutemen did not share such early success. They saw one athlete finish in the top five, and three finish in the top 10.
Jason Ayr finished in second place in the 10,000-meter run for UMass. His time of 31 minutes, three seconds was also good enough to qualify him for the IC4A championship next week.
More of the same followed on day two of the event, as the Minutewomen finished in third place overall and the Minutemen placed ninth in a field of 39 teams.
Wilson again posted solid marks, this time in the shot put event. She took second in the discus throw as well, tossing it 152 feet.
Also coming onto the scene was freshman Emma Riedel, taking fourth place in the 100-meter dash. She crossed the finish line in 12.57 seconds. Fellow freshman Michelle Jenssen also placed seventh in the 400-meter dash.
Failing to impress on the first day, the Minutemen righted the ship on day two of the NECs.
The 4×800-meter relay team of Ryan DiOrio, Joe Doyle, Scott VanderMolen and Dan Barry took first place and was named best in New England. The squad combined for a time of seven minutes, 34 seconds, which was also good enough to qualify for next weekend’s IC4A championship.
Sonny Gamble set a personal best in the 3,000-meter steeplechase event, crossing the finish line in nine minutes, 17 seconds. Gamble was the second-highest scorer in the meet for UMass.
The impressive showings bode well for UMass as it heads into the final meet of the season next week.
Michael Wood can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.