The Central Connecticut men's track and field team opened its outdoor season at the 18th Annual Monmouth Season Opener in West Long Branch, NJ this weekend. The Blue Devils earned 13 finishes in the top five, including wins in the 400 meter run, the 3,000 meter steeplechase and the 200 meter dash.
Sophomore Jamal Fruster claimed the victory in the 400m, crossing the finish line in 48.94 seconds. Fruster was followed by senior Nick Lindblom in 14th with a time of 51.03 and junior Ryan Budd in 22nd just eight tenths of a second later.
In the 3,000m steeplechase, sophomore Brian Biekert finished just five seconds short of the CCSU record of 9:03.24. He crossed the finish line in 9:08.21, just over 30 seconds ahead of his nearest competition.
Senior Aaron Radden, CCSU record holder in the 200m dash, aced the competition with a time of 21.97, just .88 of a second short of his record in the event.
Radden was followed by classmate Dan Hopper, who crossed the finish line in sixth with a time of 22.57. They were joined in the top ten by Fruster who turned in a 22.87 for ninth. Also competing in the event were junior Chris Savvidou and sophomore Jordan Watkins who finished in 23.63 and 24.72, respectively.
Radden, Savvidou and Hopper also performed well in the 100 meter dash. Radden took the silver in a time of 11:06, Hopper claimed bronze in 11.31 and Savvidou crossed the finish line in 11.76.
In the one mile run, the Blue Devils claimed three top-ten spots. Freshman Joseph Gioielli took third with a time of 4:18.83 followed by senior Mike Waterbury (4:29.93) in seventh and freshman Malcolm Connor (4:32.14) in ninth.
The trio also topped the 800 meter field as Gioielli took second in 1:54.12, Connor placed sixth (1:55.42) and Waterbury took ninth (1:55.50).
Watkins, who competed in the 110 meter hurdles, earned a new collegiate personal-best record in the event with a time of 15.26 for fifth place.
In the 400 meter hurdles, Lindblom placed second with a time of 54.21 seconds and Budd joined him in the top three with a time of 55.23 for third.
Senior Rashad Williams had an impressive showing in the field events this weekend. He claimed third in the discus throw, registering a distance of 42.95 meters in his first outdoor outing. He also took fourth in the shot put with a 15.83 meter mark.
In the relay events, the Blue Devils took third in the 4x100. The team, consisting of Hopper, Radden, Savvidou and Fruster, crossed the finish line in 42.65.
Central will return to action Saturday, April 6, at the AIC Yellow Jacket Invitational in Springfield, MA.