The Central Connecticut men's track team claimed the 2011 Northeast Conference Indoor Track and Field Championship on Sunday afternoon. The Blue Devils totaled 114 points in route to their first NEC Track Championship. Sophomore Aaron Radden was named the NEC's Most Valuable Performer and also took Most Outstanding Track Performer honors for the second consecutive year. Freshman Denzell Jones was named NEC Most Outstanding Rookie after winning the high jump and finishing third in the triple jump.
The Blue Devils led Sacred Heart University by eight points heading into the final event of the meet. Central's team of Shawn Buchanan, Legairre Radden, Aaron Radden and Dan Hopper finished the 4x400 in 3:23.87, earning a fourth place finish and the five points which clinched the Blue Devils team championship.
Radden earned his second consecutive NEC Most Outstanding Track Performer honor and the NEC's Most Valuable Performer honor after successfully defending his 60 and 200 meter championships. Radden won the 60 meter dash in 6.89 seconds and the 200 meters in 21.75 seconds.
Jones, the NEC's Most Outstanding Rookie, earned a victory in the high jump, scoring 10 points for the Blue Devils. Jones cleared a season best 2.10 meters (6' 10.75"). Junior Matt Berube also contributed in the high jump. Berube scored six team points for his third place finish, he cleared 2.01 meters (6' 7").
Jones and Berube teamed up again in the triple jump, with Jones finishing third and Berube taking fifth. Jones jumped 13.85 meters (45' 5.25") and Berube 13.73 meters (45' 0.5").
Junior Rashad Williams finished third in the weight throw with a best throw of 17.30 meters (56' 9.25"). Williams had finished fourth in the shot put on Saturday.
Sophomore Jeremy Schmid claimed the NEC title in the one mile run with a time of 4:18.08. Schmid earned 10 points for the team with his win. Sophomore Mohamed Hrezi finished third in the event with a time of 4:18.74, that finish earned the Blue Devils six points.
The Blue Devils earned points from a pair of runners in the 400 meters, as freshman Legairre Radden finished second in 50.23 seconds and freshman Nick Lindblom finished seventh in 51.34 seconds.
Sophomore Dan Hopper grabbed six points for the Blue Devils with his third place finish in the 500 meters, he finished in 1:05.88.
Hrezi earned the team points in the 800 meters with a seventh place finish in a time of 1:56.94. Sophomore Mike Waterbury was right behind Hrezi crossing the line in 1:57.51, to earn an eighth place finish.
In the 5,000 meters junior Sam Alexander earned eight points and teammate Luke Albertson earned a point with his eighth place finish. Alexander ran 15:01.88 and Albertson finished in 15:22.99.
The team of Robert Weston, Budd Ryan, Hrezi and Schmid earned seventh place points for the Blue Devils with their time of 10:23.21 in the distance medley relay.
The Blue Devils have climbed from 11th in the conference to first in only three years. This is the second Championship of the 2010-11 year for the Blue Devil runners after earning a NEC Cross Country Championship during the Fall.
The Blue Devils will be back in action on Feb. 25, at the New England Championships.