College notebook: Local track athletes break new ground

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The start of the outdoor track and field season has mirrored the pleasant weather for numerous local college athletes.

Our tour of the state begins at the University of Maine, where the aptly nicknamed Trevor “T.J.” England continues to underscore his status as one of the top triple jumpers in the northeast.

England, a sophomore from Poland, established the third-longest triple jump in school history with his victory at New Hampshire’s Wildcat Invitational last Saturday. With his jump of 47 feet, 9 3/4 inches, England also qualified for the IC4A (ECAC) championship later this spring.

Recent results also have hinted at a resurgence for Maine senior Jeff Ramos of Turner. Ramos, a graduate of Leavitt Area High School, won the high jump with one of the top 10 distances in Black Bears lore at a home meet March 27.

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Ramos was America East outdoor champion in high jump as a freshman and swept the indoor and outdoor titles as a sophomore.

Meanwhile, at the University of Southern Maine, junior Matt Harmon of Auburn (Edward Little) is obliterating his own school records in the hammer throw.

Earlier this season, Harmon covered a distance of 147 feet to become the Huskies’ all-time performer in the event. Last weekend at the Fitchburg State Invitational, Harmon hurled the hammer 149-9 to extend that mark and secure sixth place in the event for Southern Maine.

Harmon’s versatility was on display a week earlier in the Worcester Polytechnic Institute City Meet, where he finished third in both the triple jump and shot put.

George Foster of Lewiston gave the Huskies sixth-place points in the 400-meter dash at the WPI meet. The junior qualified for the New England Division III championships in the process.

Three Southern Maine runners shone brightly at Northeastern University’s Husky Spring Opener on March 20.

Senior Justin Richardson of Turner (St. Dom’s) ran sixth in the 10,000 meters with a time of 32:46.71. Freshman Dylan Lajoie of Mechanic Falls (Poland) followed in his footsteps, finishing eighth at just over the 33-minute threshold.

Auburn’s Dan Pontbriand (EL) participated on the outstanding Division III 4×400 relay team at the Northeastern showcase. Pontbriand’s quartet finished fourth overall.

MONKS MAKE GOOD

Saint Joseph’s College has benefited from a flurry of tri-county athletes and their contributions this spring.

Freshman Alex Stone of Lewiston made an immediate impact with the men’s lacrosse team. Stone has scored two goals and assisted six more in his first five starts with the Monks.

On the softball diamond, Jillian Kimball of Albany Township (Telstar) is wrapping up her career as a four-year starter in style. Kimball is batting .292 with 12 RBIs, starting every game as an infielder.

Natasha Howard of Farmington (Mt. Blue) and Maria Labbe of Lewiston have emerged as a a successful platoon behind the plate. Howard, a junior, has appeared in 11 games, starting seven, and is hitting .346. Labbe flaunts a .400 average with a home run and eight RBIs in 18 games, including 11 starts.

St. Joe’s entered the weekend at 19-5, riding a 15-game winning streak after a doubleheader sweep Tuesday of Southern Maine.

QUICK HITS

– Freshman Megan Gauger of South Paris (Oxford Hills) has started 12 games for the University of New England softball team. Gauger is hitting .237 with five RBIs and seven runs scored.

– It has been a rough 0-10 start for the University of Maine at Farmington, but there’s no shortage of spark from Winthrop junior Russ Schmelzer atop the batting order. Schmelzer leads the team with a .313 average, 10 hits, seven runs scored and six stolen bases in seven attempts. Ryan DiPompo of Jay and Will Griffiths of Mechanic Falls (Poland) own the lowest and third-best ERAs, respectively, on the Beavers’ pitching staff.

– Also at Farmington, Lewiston’s Samantha Morency had a hit and scored a run in Thursday’s doubleheader against Bowdoin. UMF dropped the two games, 6-4 and 1-0.

koakes@sunjournal.com

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