Men's Track Wins First NEC Outdoor Championship
The Central Connecticut men's track and field team won its first ever NEC Outdoor Championship on Sunday, racking up four gold-medal performances to close the competition. The Blue Devils finished with a team score of 145 points, 28 points ahead of the nearest competitor.
Junior Brian Biekert kicked off CCSU's track events Sunday with a gold in the 3,000m steeplechase. The CCSU record-holder crossed the finish line in 9:22.40 for the win, followed by freshman Brendan Callahan in sixth, who added three more points for Central.
Biekert also won the 1,500m run, coming in with a time of 4:01.98 after finishing second in yesterday's prelims with a time of 4:13.50. CCSU finished back-to-back in the event with junior Patrick Hubbell taking the silver. Hubbell crossed the finish line in 4:02.43 after finishing seventh in Saturday's prelims.
Junior Jamal Fruster defended his title in the 400m dash with his IC4A qualifying time of 47.36. He earned 10 points for CCSU with his gold medal performance and also finished just .36 seconds short of the CCSU record in the event.
The Blue Devils dominated the 5,000m field placing five runners in the top six. Senior Craig Hunt earned his second gold medal of the 2014 Championships in the event with his time of 14:55.09. Junior Matt Walker came in second, crossing the line in 14:56.17, and was joined by Biekert (4th, 15:13.94) and Hubbell (5th, 15:17.74) in the top five.
Freshman Colin Sauter rounded out CCSU's performance in the event, he finished sixth in 15:17.91.
Junior Jordan Watkins tied the CCSU record in the 110m hurdles set in 2002 with his time of 14:52 after finishing third in Saturday's prelims. His time qualifies him for IC4A competition.
Watkins also competed in the 400m hurdles in which he finished sixth with his time of 55.76. Classmate Ryan Budd finished just before Watkins in 55.40 seconds, good for fifth place overall.
The Blue Devils nabbed a bronze medal in the high jump event. Junior Jamie Tobias cleared a height of 1.93 meters, adding six points to CCSU's total. He was followed by freshman Malik Gordon in eighth (1.88m).
Central also gathered top-five finishes in the 4x400m relay, the 200m dash and the javelin.
Fruster also finished fifth in the 200m dash with his IC4A qualifying time of 21.74 seconds while Connor finished eighth overall in the 800m run, crossing the line in 1:55.55.
CCSU earned the overall win with 145 team points, followed by LIU Brooklyn (117) and Robert Morris (108). Sacred Heart (102) and Wagner (80) rounded out the top five.
The Blue Devils circle the track in a celebratory victory lap.