The University of Maine Track and Field team traveled to Staten Island, N.Y. this past weekend to compete in the America East Championships. At the end of the competition both men and women placed in eighth overall, with both teams defeating Hartford University in ninth place.
The women gathered a total of 36 points in a very difficult meet with some of the stiffest overall competition they’ve faced this season.
Maine’s first scoring event was in the 500-meter dash. Second-year Kaitlin Saulter placed seventh, clocking in at 1:15.78 and gathering two points for the team, the first Maine athlete of the day to do so.
The women put in strong group performances in the two major relays. In the 400-meter relay, a team of third-year Teal Jackson, second-year Grace Macura, first-year Lauren Magnuson and second-year Alexis Dietrich completed the relay in third place, finishing at 3:53.99, almost 10 seconds faster than their seeded time of 4:02.39. They were only bested by Albany and University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) in the event, and brought six points to Maine.
The 800-meter relay team consisted of third-year Ahlin Sungsuwan, third-year Kelsey Maxim, Saulter and fourth-year Naomi Holzhauer. Their final time of 9:35.08 was enough to pass both UMBC and Hartford, and earn Maine three points.
Third-year Grace MacLean jumped 1.66 meters to earn herself fourth place in the women’s high jump and earn five points for Maine.
In pole vault, fourth-year Jaclyn Masters again showed her prowess by winning the competition outright, vaulting 3.9 meters to gain first place and a full 10 points for the Black Bears.
First-year Ariel Clachar took another two points for Maine with her seventh place finish in the long jump, in which she reached 5.39 meters.
In the indoor pentathlon, MacLean finished second overall, surpassed only by Albany’s fourth-year Paige Vadnais. MacLean finished 11th in the 800 meter run, second in the 60 meter hurdles, third in the high jump, second in the long jump and third in the shot put in order to reach her final sum of 3,431 points for the indoor pentathlon, which earned eight points for Maine.
The men finished with a total of 32 points for the weekend. Their first scorer was fourth-year Jake Leithiser in the 400-meter dash, whose fifth place finish of 48.92 gathered Maine four points.
Third-year Jacob Johns took the bronze in the mile run, a six point finish at 4:13.83.
In the 5,000-meter, third-year Jesse Orach continued his habitual success by crossing the line at 14:44.21, beating his seed time by five seconds and taking four points for his fifth place finish.
As with the women, both of the men’s relays performed remarkably well. The 400-meter relay team consisted of first-year Corbett Tucker, fourth-year Michael Lucas, Leithiser and fourth-year Tyler Martin. They beat their projected time by two seconds, finishing at 3:19.54. This was enough for sixth place and three points. The 800-meter team included third-year Levi Frye, Johns, first-year Simon Powhida and second-year Elijah Fossas. This relay beat their seed time by eight seconds, and finished in fourth place at 7:52.52.
In the high jump, Martin jumped for 1.94 meters for a fifth-place finish.
Second-year Thomas Murray threw 14.44 meters in the men’s shot put for an eighth place finish, and another valuable point for Maine. Immediately after, Murray returned to the field for the weight throw in which he reached seventh place with a throw of 14.75 meters and two more points for Maine.
In the heptathlon, Maine finished with one scoring athlete, second-year Joseph Slattery. Slattery’s individual performances of sixth in the 60-meter dash, sixth in the 100-meter run, seventh in the 60-meter hurdles, seventh in the high jump, fifth in the pole vault, seventh in the long jump and eighth in the shot put netted him seventh place overall for Maine.
Next week, the track and field teams will travel to Boston University where they will compete in the New England’s meet.