For the second time in program history, the Central Connecticut men's indoor track and field team won the Northeast Conference Championship on Saturday, February 17, scoring the most points of any CCSU men's indoor team with 132 points. Central outlasted the four-time defending champion LIU Brooklyn who finished as the runner-up with 110 points. The Blue Devils had an impressive 12 athletes medal at the 2018 NEC title meet at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island, NY.
The Blue Devils last won the NEC title in 2011. The championship marks the 15th combined Northeast Conference title for ninth year head coach Eric Blake (9-XC, 6-Track).
On Saturday, the Blue Devils gained 14 points in the 5,000-meter run, thanks to junior Alex Norstrom and sophomore Roberto Piotto who earned silver and bronze in the event. Norstrom placed second with a time of 14:42.24 and Piotto followed him in 14:47.75.
Junior Akiel Smith was named the NEC runner-up in the 60-meter dash with a personal record time of 6.88 seconds, scoring eight points with the silver medal performance. Smith earned his second medal of the day in the 200 meter dash with a third place finish to score six points with a time of 21.90 seconds.
The 800-meter run NEC champion and runner-up was decided by just 1.08 seconds, resulting in freshman standout Jonathan Gill taking home the silver medal, scoring eight points. Gill ran a personal record time of 1:52.64 in a race to the finish with Sacred Heart's Trevor Guerrera who won with a time of 1:51.56.
Earning his second medal of the 2018 conference championships was sophomore Marquis Ward who demolished his old triple jump personal record of 13.90 meters, with a silver medal leap of 14.24 meters on Saturday. On Friday Ward was crowned the NEC High Jump Champion with a league-leading jump of 2.04 meters en route to being named the NEC Co-Most Oustanding Performer (Jumps) with FDU's Brenden Perez.
Last year's NEC Pole Vault Champion, senior Sam Borecki placed second on Saturday with a top throw of 4.75 meters earning another eight points for the New Britain crew. Freshman Jeremy Hopwood placed fifth in the pole vault with a mark of 4.25 meters.
In the mile finale, senior Austin Trainor scored another six points for Central with a third-place finish. Trainor was edged by Wagner's Nick Velez in an all-out sprint in the leg of the mile and finished with a time of 4:13.35. Sophomore Julio Arredondo also ran the mile for the Blue Devils, taking ninth place overall (4:24.41).
Senior Tyler Latham kicked off the second day of the Northeast Conference championships in the first event with a fourth place finished in the 60-meter hurdles to score five points for CCSU, clocking in at 8.35 seconds. Junior Franklin Bartley Jr. fell into eighth place but not before recording a personal best time of 8.52 seconds.
Arredondo, Gill, junior Adonys Langual and Trainor placed sixth overall in the distance medley relay with a time of 10:30.75 to gain three points.
Junior Adonys Langual notched three points for Central in the 800-meter run while taking sixth place with a time of 1:56.64. Sophomore Jarred Creech also scored (1) in the triple jump after springing 13.24 meters and finishing in eighth place. Rookie Trevor Glymph also posted a 13.15 meter triple jump.
Sophomore Nana Kissi led CCSU in the shot put, taking seventh place (2) and throwing a huge personal record mark of 14.52 meters. Three freshman Jack Godfrey (12.88m), J'Von Brown (12.74m), and Neil Tompkins (12.52m) also threw for CCSU in the shot put.
Following the NEC championships, the Blue Devils will next compete at the BU Last Chance Meet on February 25.