Today: Jun 16, 2024

Men’s track and field earn 17th straight Northeast-10 Championship

Pat Longobardi, Sports Writer-

On Feb. 17, the Southern Owls Men’s Indoor Track and Field team captured their ninth straight Northeast-10 Conference Indoor Track championship in Boston, Mass.

This was Southern’s 17th consecutive track and field conference title overall, including their eight straight outdoor crowns.

Southern came in first place with 158 points overall. Stonehill College, scored 105 points. American International College, scored 103 points. 

Southern defeated nine other teams in the competition. There were 19 overall events. 

John Wallin, Southern head coach, said the team was pretty fortunate during the indoor season, despite having many team injuries. 

“We won the Metropolitan Championships for the first time ever, we won our conference, and our two biggest meets are still to come,” said Wallin. 

The Metropolitan Championships were held in Manhattan, N.Y. Southern came in first place, defeating 14 other teams in the competition. 

“We have to help keep that going and compete,” said Southern sophomore, Thomas Phommalinh. “You don’t want to let everyone down after eight, nine years.”

Several Southern athletes placed in the top of their events during the conference competition.

Senior Nicholas Fedor and freshman A.J. Guerra were in the top two with throws of 17.40 meters and 17.27 meters, respectively. Senior Enis Bukalo was second in the shot put. 

Senior Selasi Lumax won the 1000 meters, with a time of 2:29.43.

Senior Patrick Waszczak finished first in the pole vault with a height of 4.70 meters, and freshman Nelson Laskoski finished in second with a height of 4.55 meters. 

Senior Nana Ocran took first in the 55 meter dash with a time of 6.43.

Southern’s 4×400 relay team of Ocran, sophomores Rudolph Cowan and Twayne Forth, and junior Stenson Jean-Baptiste, finished in second with a time of 3:21, just six-hundredths of a second off the lead. 

Sophomore Logan Sharpe placed second in the 500 meters with a time of 1.04.82, less than six-tenths off a second behind the leader.

Senior Joseph Poulsen took second in the 3000 meters with a time of 8:41.90. 

“Nobody really had a great meet for the team,” said Wallin. “We had to take care of business and put ourselves in a good position to win.” 

Wallin said Southern was weak in the distance events in years past, but has made up ground this year, becoming much more well-rounded for future success.

“Well everyone is always excited,” said Wallin. “I mean nobody wants to be the team that loses the streak.”

Phommalinh credited Southern for having a lot of guys and girls going to nationals this year.

“We have almost 10, 11 or 12 capable of, or who are close to, making nationals in Albuquerque, N.M.,” said Phommalinh. 

Southern Women’s Indoor Track and Field team also won the Northeast-10 Conference Indoor Track championship. It was their eighth Northeast-10 Conference championship, and second straight conference track title, which also includes the 2010 outdoor crown.

“Those who are not competing need to get ready for outdoor (track) and get back to the grind of working hard,” said Phommalinh.

The New England Championships was a two day event from Feb. 25 through Feb. 26 at Boston University.

“The New England Championships is our real conference championship, and then from there, the National Championships,” said Wallin. “We expect to be top two in the New England Championships, and top 12 at nationals.” 

Southern next moves to the IC4A Championships from Mar. 5 through Mar. 6, in Boston, Mass., and then the NCAA Championships from Mar. 11 through Mar. 12, in Albuquerque, N.M. 

Southern will host the New England Championships for the 2011 outdoor track season.

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