The two-time defending NEC champion Central Connecticut men's outdoor track and field team racked up 72 total points through six scored events and leads the 2016 Northeast Conference Outdoor Championships after the first day of competition on Saturday. The championship meet is being hosted by the Blue Devils in New Britain at the CCSU Track & Field Complex. The second and final day of competition will begin Sunday with women's javelin at 8:30 a.m. for field events and at 12:30 p.m. for track events with the men's 3,000 meter steeplechase.
Central leads the nine team field after day one with 72 points, ahead of Mount Saint Mary's who sits in second with 39 points and Saint Francis U who is in third with 32.5 points to round out the top-three teams. Wagner is fourth with 22 points followed by Sacred Heart (21.5), Fairleigh Dickinson (20), LIU Brooklyn (14), Bryant (8) and St. Francis Brooklyn (5).
The Blue Devils started off strong scoring 20 combined points in the first scored event of the meet with the men's javelin. CCSU finished second, third, fourth and eighth in the event led by junior Jeremy Willis who finished runner-up after launching the implement a season-best 60.28 meters.
Sophomore Tyler Latham and junior James Frey were right behind Willis in third and fourth, respectively. Latham tossed the javelin 56.81 meters, while Frey hurled it a career-best 56.27 meters to record the results. Freshman K.J. Smith was the final scorer for the Blue Devils finishing eighth after firing the javelin a personal-best 50.51 meters.
Central then added to its early lead by scoring four runners in the first track event of the meet in the men's 10,000 meter run. The Blue Devils tacked on 23 more points with first, third, fifth and sixth place finishes in the event giving them 43 points through the first two scored events.
Senior Matt Walker claimed the first gold medal of the meet by a Blue Devils topping the field with a finishing time of 32:04.24.
Sophomore Alex Norstrom finished third for CCSU crossing the finish line with a time of 32:42.27, while junior Tyler Raymond and freshman Roberto Piotto finished fifth and sixth, respectively. Raymond turned in a time of 32:46.10 and Piotto ran 32:46.69.
Mike Lang picked up eight points for the Blue Devils team score with a runner-up finish in the long jump. The sophomore leapt to a season-best mark of 6.72 meters to record the result.
NEC indoor track and field pole vault champion, Sam Borecki, defended his title in the outdoor season on Saturday by clearing 4.80 meters and topping a field of 11 NEC pole vaulters. The sophomore's gold medal earned the Blue Devils 10 more points towards their team total.
In the final scored field event of the opening day of competition, senior Therin Scott snagged a point for the Blue Devils after recording a huge personal record to slot him eighth overall in the hammer throw. Scott launched the hammer a new collegiate-best 47.06 meters to record the finish.
The Blue Devils then closed out day one of the 2016 NEC Outdoor Championships by cruising to a first place finish in the men's 4x800 relay. The team of senior Malcolm Connor, sophomore Austin Trainor, freshman Richard Grudzwick and junior Joseph Gioielli combined to finish with a blistering time of 7:46.31 to capture the gold medal and add 10 more points to CCSU's team score at the end of the first day of action.
Other than the six finals heats contested in on Saturday, the Blue Devils advanced 13 athletes from the preliminary rounds onto the finals to be competed in on Sunday afternoon. Be sure to follow live results here as the Blue Devils look to three-peat and follow @CCSUBlueDevils on Twitter for live updates.
Day two will begin with women's javelin at 8:30 a.m. for field events and at 12:30 p.m. for track events with the men's 3,000 meter steeplechase.