The University of Vermont track & field teams won five individual titles on the first day of the 2014 America East Outdoor Championships on Saturday as UVM hosts the meet for the first time in conference history at the Frank H. Livak Track & Field Facility.
Nika Ouellette (javelin), Cassie Marion (long jump), Kirsten Weberg (3000-meter steeplechase), and Nikki Braceras (10,000-meter) won titles for the women's team, which is first overall in the competition with 69.5 points. The men sit in fifth place with 27 points and were led by senior Aaron Szotka, who captured the 10,000-meter run.
Ouellette won her fourth straight women's javelin title, becoming the first athlete to accomplish the feat in America East history. The senior's best throw traveled 46.55 meters as she took the event by more than three and a half meters. Ouellette's four-peat gives the Vermont women's program 17 javelin titles since 1989.
Marion became the program's first America East long jump champion since Kate Goodchild in 2001 as she captured the title with a mark of 5.49 meters on her final attempt. Rookie Mallory Honan finished fourth overall with a distance of 5.35 meters as Vermont earned 15 points in the event.
The Catamounts closed the day by becoming the first school since 2004 to sweep the men's and women's 10,000-meter events. Szotka, who was running the first collegiate 10K of his career, broke the six-year-old America East Championship record by more than five seconds. The senior posted a time of 30:36.34 and became Vermont's first men's 10K winner in the last 22 years.
Braceras also won going away in the women's 10,000-meter with a time of 34:53.83, crossing the finish line nearly 30 seconds ahead of the second place finisher. Defending women's 10K champion Alicia Clark placed third in 35:56.09 as UVM had two all-conference performers for 16 points.
In the other distance final of day one, Weberg coasted in the steeplechase to win by more than 11 seconds with a time of 10:43.26. The 2012 NCAA All-American won the event for the second time in the last three seasons.
Elsewhere in field events, Charlotte Mintzer was an all-conference performer in the hammer throw for the second straight year as she placed second with a distance of 49.73. In the final event of the afternoon, Grace Weisbecker earned a tie for third place in the pole vault by clearing 3.40.
Isaac de La Bruere also earned all-conference honors for the first time in the men's javelin as he finished third with a mark of 57.14. Colby Cunningham was fourth in the long jump (6.87) and seventh in the high jump (1.94) to score in multiple events, while Aaron Tenney (1.99) placed fourth in the high jump. Martin Kallur cleared 4.65 meters in the pole vault for a share of fifth.
2013 America East All-Conference performers Brittany St. Clair (3,016 points) and Sara Roderick (2,902 points) occupy the top two spots in the women's heptathlon after the first four events. St. Clair won the high jump and finished second to Roderick in both the shot put and 200-meter, while Roderick posted second place in the 100-meter hurdles to begin the day.
On the men's side, Tyler Parent ranks fourth in the decathlon with 3,228 points after five events. Parent was second in the shot put and earned a tie for fourth in the high jump, while Ed Simon currently sits sixth in the competition with 3,101 points.
In preliminary track heats, Thomas O'Leary had the fastest qualifying time in the men's 1500-meter run with a time of 3:56.15 and freshman Patrick Coppinger qualified fourth in 3:57.87. Defending 400-meter hurdles champion Mallory Duncan won the preliminary round with a time of 53.18 seconds. Kallur (14.44) registered the second-best preliminary mark in the 110-meter hurdles, while Duncan (15.31) was also a qualifier in eighth.
Nick DeLuna (1:55.35, 800-meter) and Ben Greenwald (49.32, 400-meter) collected seventh and eighth in their respective heats on Saturday, while Ryan Gerrity was ninth in the 200-meter to round out the men's qualifiers with a mark of 22.53.
Yolanda Ngarambe led the women in the preliminary track heats, posting the best time in the 800-meter by more than five seconds. The defending conference champion in the 800 ran a time of 2:08.16, while Hilary Rawding also qualified for Sunday's final in eighth place.
Sydney Durand (eighth, 4:43.54) and Amber Peirsol (10th, 4:43.61) both posted qualifying times in the 1500-meter, while Weisbecker moved on in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.08 for eighth.
The 2014 America East Championships wrap up on Sunday at the Frank H. Livak Track & Field Facility beginning at 9 a.m. with the conclusion of the men's decathlon and women's heptathlon. Field events resume at 10:30 a.m., while finals on the track get underway at 11 a.m. with the men's 4x100-meter relay.
Courtesy: UVM Athletic Department
PO Box 4508