Track And Field Sets School Record At Conference Championships



Rafter crosses the finish line at a meet.

Andrew DeCapua, Reporter

The Central Connecticut State University men’s and women’s track and field teams earned eight gold medals, thirteen total, during the Northeast Conference Championships this past weekend. The men’s team placed fourth overall in the team standings with 88 points, while the women’s placed sixth overall with a total of 63 points.

Sophomore Angie Rafter got things started for the Blue Devils by setting a new school record and taking the gold in the women’s 3,000-meter final with a time of 9:57.67. Rafter also went on to win the women’s 800-meter final with a time of 2:17.18.

Senior Megan Brawner took home two individual golds of her own. She won the women’s one-mile final with a time of 5:01.42 and followed that up with a win in the women’s 5,000-meter final with a time of 18:01.78.

Brawner and Rafter teamed up with freshmen Ashley Dana and Magnalen Camara to win gold in the women’s distance medley relay with a time of 12:07.76.

Brawner and Rafter also shared the honor of being named the Most Outstanding Track Performer in the distance category.

“It’s very special to share the Most Outstanding Track Performer honors for distance with Angie because we see how hard we work each day,” Brawner said. “It’s so rewarding to see your teammate’s work ethic pay off during the bigger points of the season.”

Dana also earned the silver in the women’s 800-meter final with a time of 2:17.45, finishing less than a second behind Rafter.

Going into the weekend, head coach Eric Blake thought that Brawner, Rafter and Dana were primed to have success.

“Megan, Angie and Ashley had pretty much a perfect weekend,” Blake said. “We thought that could happen but to actually do it says a lot about those three.”

Another notable performance for the women came from senior Hailey Rospierski who placed fourth in the women’s 60-meter hurdles final with a time of 8.86 seconds.

The men’s team also earned a few first-place finishes of their own this past weekend. They were highlighted by a dramatic finish from senior Richard Grudzwick who placed first in the men’s 800-meter final with a time of 1:52.48, edging out the competition by just .01 seconds.

Although Grudzwick was trailing going in the final moments of the race, he said he never doubted himself.

“Going into the last 100 meters of the race, I thought to myself, ‘you can win this,’” Grudzwick said. “I pushed as hard as I could and leaned as hard as I could [to win].”

Seniors Edwin Alston and Quincy Sanchez finished the men’s 60-meter hurdles final in first and third place respectively. Alston took the gold with a time of 8.10 seconds and Sanchez took the bronze with a time of 8.15 seconds.

In the men’s 5,000-meter final, seniors Alex Norstrom and Roberto Piotto finished in first and second. Norstrom crossed the finish line with a time of 14:37.41 to take the gold, while Piotto finished with a time of 14:44.80 to take the silver.

Junior Miles Fye-Moore took the bronze in the 200-meter dash final with a time of 21.66. He also placed sixth in the men’s 60-meter dash final with a time of 7.04 seconds.

The Blue Devils’ men’s distance medley relay team consisting of Grudzwick, Fye-Moore, senior Andrew Findley and senior Julio Arredondo finished in third place with a time of 10:15.28.

Other stand out performances for the men included a fifth-place finish from senior Kevorni Welsh in the triple jump event with a leap of 14.46 meters and a fifth-place finish from Findley in the 500-meter final with a time of 1:04.30.

Up next on the schedule for track and field is the Boston University Last Chance Qualifier in Boston, Massachusets on Feb. 28, followed by a return trip to Boston to compete in the IC4A/ECAC Championships on March 6-8.