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Men’s track and field take home 18th straight NE-10 championship

Junior Selasi Lumax finished in third in the 800 meter run at the NE-10 championships.

Pat Longobardi, Sports Writer:
Coming off of a successful indoor campaign, the Southern men’s track and field team has been looking forward to great performances in the month of May.
Southern was ranked No. 19 in the USTFCCCA rankings, and No.1 in the East Region.
The Owls recently competed in the 2011 Northeast-10 Conference outdoor track and field championships in Lowell, Mass., from May 6-7. The men’s team won their 18th consecutive conference championship, their ninth in the outdoor season.
First-year head coach John Wallin said the various weather conditions were a factor early in the season, forcing many athletes to sit out of some events.
“We were very fortunate to stay healthy,” said Wallin. “April was rough, but in May, we expect great performances. We are a much better outdoor team than an indoor team.”
Wallin was named Coach of the Year at the meet. Diwani Augustine was also named Athlete of the Meet.
During the 2011 Metropolitan Championships in New Brunswick, N.J., the Owls placed fifth, while also having seven first-place winners at the Yale Springtime Invitational on May 1.
Augustine won in the long jump (7.15 meters), and first in the triple jump (14.63 meters), while Patrick Waszczak won in the pole vault with a height of 4.80 meters. Jared Dixon won in the high jump (2.12 meters), while Casey Canada won in the 110 meter hurdles (14.74) and Logan Sharpe won in the 400 (52.81). Stenson Jean-Baptiste also won in the 400 meter dash (48.67).
This week, for the first time in the school history, the Southern men’s and women’s outdoor track and field teams will host the 2011 New England Championships at Jess Dow Field, from May 12-14.
“Everybody likes to travel when they are on a sporting team,” said Augustine, a senior long jumper, triple jumper and sprinter. “This is my final season, so it’s like nice for it to be at home, so friends and family can watch us and see what we train for.”
During their indoor season in March, Southern sent a combined 17 participants (eight men, nine women) to the NCAA Division II Championships in Albuquerque, N.M.
“We had 11 athletes (men and women) receive All-American certificates, the most of any indoor team at nationals,” said Wallin. “We are very excited about that stat.”
Waszczak said as a senior, the team is still adjusting through changes of a different coaching staff.
“Some of us are still a little bit timid as what to expect,” said Waszczak. “I think when things start to come together, and we realize that everything that these coaches tell us is exactly right, we just need to put our faith into them.”
Southern will next look to the 2011 NCAA Division II Championships in Turlock, Calif., from May 26-28. St. Augustine’s College has won the past two outdoor championships.
Senior distance runner Joseph Poulsen said the team is still on the upswing, and is expecting great things in the upcoming meets.
“Everybody’s gotten so much better just within the last year or so,” he said. “We want to compete for the New England Championships and then do really well at nationals. Hopefully we, within the next year or two, will be like a podium team.”

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