Sophomore Marquis Ward was crowned the 2018 Northeast Conference High Jump Champion to highlight a handful of outstanding performances at day one of the league's title meet at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island, NY on Friday, February 16. Ward was the first Blue Devil to win the high jump since Denzell Jones took gold in 2011 set the school record with a jump of 2.10 meters.
Ward set a new personal record with the winning jump of 2.04 meters, beating out his old top bar of 1.95 meters. The Blue Devils scored 23 of their NEC leading score of 45 points in high jump event alone. Sophomore Amaziah Gadson edged his old personal record while taking second place, clearing the 2.01 meter mark. Rounding out the high jump scorers was sophomore Kevorni Welsh who finished in fourth place with a collegiate best jump of 1.92 meters after topping FDU's Christopher Estrella in a jump-off.
The men's silver and bronze medals belonged to CCSU junior Alex Norstrom and sophomore Roberto Piotto. Both Norstrom and Piotto tackled personal records in the race with Norstrom leading the way in second place with a time of 8:31.50, beating out his old time of 8:39.86. Piotto turned in a time of 8:32.64 surprassing his previous PR of 8:49.77.
In the long jump finals, Mike Lang placed fourth overall and jumped 6.88 meters. Latham finished in sixth place and soared 6.70 meters, setting a new personal record.
The NEC top-seeded miler, senior Austin Trainor won his heat with a time of 4:28.14 to qualify for Saturday's mile finale. Sophomore Julio Arredondo will also run in the title race tomorrow after smashing his old personal record mile, 4:35.77, on Friday with a time of 4:28.19.
Freshman Jonathan Gill recorded the top time in the 800 meter run, 1:57.19, to qualify for Saturday's finals. Junior Adonys Langual will join Gill in the title race after advancing with a preliminary time of 1:58.11.
Two Blue Devils, senior Tyler Latham and junior Franklin Bartley Jr. qualified for the 60 meter hurdle finals taking third and fourth place, respectively, in the same heat in Friday's preliminary round. Latham flew in at 8.36 seconds, a new personal record, and Bartley Jr. clocked in at 8.57 seconds.
Junior Akiel Smith recorded the fastest 60 meter dash time of the day, breezing through the qualifying round while tying his collegiate best time of 6.89 seconds. Smith continued a superb showing at day one of the conference championships, winning his heat and qualifying in the 200 meter dash with a time of 22.13 seconds.
Junior Jero Sneh (7.16s), freshman Miles Fye-Moore (7.25s) and sophomore Evan Walker (7.41s) competed also ran the 60 meter dash. Freshman Christopher Dency and junior Kyle Welch set a new personal record in the mile running times of 4:42.70 and 4:52.05, respectively, for CCSU.
Central had three athletes compete in the 400 meter dash, sophomore Jack St. Clair, freshman Marcris Webb, and junior Julio Gil-Martinez. St. Clair led the pack with a time of 51.72 seconds followed by Webb with a personal best time of 52.26 seconds and Gil-Martinez with a time of 54.33 seconds.
Junior Matt Baum was the lone CCSU representative in the 500 meter dash and finished with a time of 1:08.21. In the weight throw, sophomore Nana Kissi threw the farthest distance in his heat while setting a new personal record and placing 10th overall, on his last heave after hitting the 12.98 meters. Freshman Jack Godfrey also threw in the event, posting a mark of 9.30 meters.
St. Clair jumped a 6.51 meters and finished in the top-10 in ninth place in the long jump. Sophomore Jarred Creech jumped a distance of 6.26 meters in the long jump.
Fye-Moore dashed 22.63 seconds and freshman Darius Wise completed the 200 meter dash in 23.37 seconds.
Day two of the NEC Championships will start tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. with the men's 60 meter hurdle finals and will conclude at 2:15 p.m. with the closing awards ceremony. All track events will be streamed live on NEC Front Row and field event highlights will be posted on NEC Front Row On-Demand.