Berube, Alexander Lead Blue Devils at First Day of NEC Championships
After its best performance at the championships a year ago, the Central Connecticut State University men's track and field team got out to a good start again this season finishing day one of competition at the Northeast Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships in second place. The Blue Devils totaled 23 points behind two top four finishes by sophomore Matt Berube. He tied for second in the high jump with a mark of six feet 4.25 inches and placed fourth in the long jump with a distance of 22 feet 11 inches.
Two other Blue Devils joined Berube with top performances in the high jump. Junior Eric Rathbun placed fourth, while sophomore Nick Trifone took eight place in the event. The former matched Berube's height of 6'4.25", but fell to fourth due to failed attempts. The latter jumped 6'1.25" to place eighth at the championships.
CCSU got its other points during day one's only track final on Saturday. Sophomore Sam Alexander finished the 3,000 meters in a time of 8:44.46 to place fourth. Freshman Craig Hunt also took ninth place with a time of 8:51.18.
Four other Blue Devils qualified for Sunday's final competition today. Freshman Aaron Radden, who was recently named Roadrunner Sports/NEC Track Athlete of the Week, qualified in both the 60 and 200 meter dashes. Radden recorded the top time of the day in both events and broke his own school record in the 60 meter event, finishing in 6.89 seconds. He was the only runner to break 22 seconds in the 200 meters, crossing the line in 21.97 seconds.
Junior Josue Paul also qualified for Sunday's 60 meter final. His time of 7.03 seconds was the fourth best on the day. Fellow junior Shawn Buchanan recorded the second best 500 meter time of the day while qualifying for Sunday's final. He recorded a time of 1:06.83 as he took second in the final preliminary heat of the day. Sophomore Jeremy Schmid was the final Blue Devil to qualify for Sunday's finals. He also will be the second seed tomorrow, as he finished the one mile run in 4:19.57.
Radden, Paul, Buchanan and Schmid will be joined on the track Sunday by senior Ry Sanderson, Alexander and freshmen John Krell and Craig Hunt who will compete in the 5,000 meter final. Berube and Rathbun will be back on Sunday to tackle the triple jump. Freshman Keith Boyd-Carter will also compete in the triple, while sophomore Rashad Williams will take on the shot put for the Blue Devils.