By David Konowitch, news correspondent
Over 150 points separated first and second place on the men’s side at the Minuteman Invitational on Saturday.
The men’s track and field team dominated en route to a first-place showing, compiling 242 points at the event hosted by the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst. UMass came in second with 91 points. The Huskies took home 12 first-place finishes to boost their scoring.
The women’s track and field team finished second by a narrow margin behind Boston College (BC), scoring 147 points, three less than BC’s 150 points. The women secured two top finishes to help their cause.
The men’s scoring was greatly increased by the performance of the sprinters, who took the top spot in five sprint events.
Sophomore sprinter Kwame Fordwor opened scoring with a win in the 100-meter dash in 10.83 seconds, edging out teammate graduate student Damani Wilson, who finished second in 10.86 seconds.
The 200-meter dash was even closer as junior sprinter Donovan Henry finished 0.003 seconds ahead of Fordwor. Both officially clocked times of 21.96 seconds, but Henry won by official scoring. Senior Jared Lane finished third in 22.25 seconds to complete the Husky sweep.
Henry recorded his second win of the day in the 400-meter dash, crossing the line in 48.20 seconds.
The Huskies’ swept the podium in the 110-meter hurdles, led by freshman hurdler Jordan Samuels’ 14.82 seconds. Lane placed second, finishing in 14.84 seconds and was followed by freshman Matthew Richards’ 15.64-second sprint. Freshman Nick Fofana added a fourth-place finish at 15.86 seconds.
The 400-meter hurdles included more of the same, as sophomore hurdler Anthony Pavlich took first in 55.24 seconds and freshman hurdler Peter Katsarakes took second in 56.20.
Director of Track and Field Cathrine Erickson was proud of her sprinters’ performance.
“We are progressing very well,” she said in an email to The News.
NU had two wins in the distance events, with senior distance runner Stephen Sollowin taking the 1,500-meter run in 3:59.18 and junior distance runner Zachary Krause winning the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 9:42.91.
The NU 4×100-meter relay team also racked up a first-place finish to add to the team total. The relay team of sophomore sprinter Kyle Darrow, Henry, Wilson and Lane passed the baton in a time of 42.12 seconds.
The Huskies did not let up in the field events, led by Darrow in the long jump.
Darrow leapt 7.72 meters, a personal best, to beat the field by nearly a whole meter. For his jump, Darrow earned his second Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Field Athlete of the Week nod. He previously earned the accolade in March. Samuels took home second in the event with a 6.74-meter leap.
Sophomore jumper Chris Manning took first in the high jump at 1.86 meters.
The throwers added two first-place finishes to conclude the scoring. Freshman Robert Alder won the discus with a fling of 45.05 meters and freshman Connor Fugere won the hammer throw with a toss of 49.92 meters.
Although the men dominated, Erickson noted that the team is still “working on the little things.”
The women compiled six second-place finishes to go with two first-place victories.
Sophomore hurdler Betsy Garnick nearly won the 100-meter hurdles, placing second in 14.83 seconds. Stonehill’s junior Jeana Esernio ran the distance in 14.76 seconds for first place.
Junior vaulter Jacilyn Briggs continued her strong campaign, winning the pole vault by clearing the bar at 3.67 meters.
The throwers again provided a spark for the women, led by junior Jenna Serunian.
Serunian won the discus, throwing 39.71 meters. She also took third in the shot put at 12.12 meters and third in the hammer throw in 40.62 meters. Fellow thrower junior Alexandra Rose placed second in the hammer throw at 44.62 meters and added a fifth-place showing in the shot put at 11.83 meters.
Erickson was proud of the strides her team has taken over the past few weeks.
“Overall, we are continuing to work toward achieving our goals in the championship season,” she said.
NU is currently in Worcester, finishing the two-day meet against the College of Holy Cross. The Huskies travel to Princeton, N.J. for the Larry Ellis Invitational on Friday and Saturday.
Photo courtesy Northeastern Athletics