The American International College (AIC) men’s track and field team captured its first ever Northeast-10 Outdoor Championship on May 7, 2016.
The Yellow Jackets registered an even 200 points to claim the conference crown outright. Rival and reigning NE-10 champion, Southern Connecticut State University, finished second with 183.50 points. With the win, AIC completes a sweep on the men’s side this season after claiming back-to-back cross country and indoor titles earlier this year.
The Yellow Jackets opened on the track with a win in the 4×100 meter relay. The team of junior Daquan Holmes (Troy, N.Y.), sophomore’s Jashane Brown (Middletown, Conn.) and Jurt Lungrin (Union, N.J.) and freshman Isaac Sampson (Lagos, Nigeria) blazed around the track in 41.19 seconds.
The win was just the start for AIC in the sprints as Holmes went on to win the 100 meters (10.89) and the Yellow Jacket finalists crossed the line 1-2-3 with Brown (10.94) and Sampson (10.95) completing the sweep. Holmes returned to place second in the 200 meter dash (22.14), just ahead of Brown and Sampson who both went 22.17 seconds with Brown narrowly out-doing the rookie at the line.
The Yellow Jackets also went 1-2 in the 400 meter run led by freshman Chad Miller (Spanish Town, Jamaica) in 47.91 seconds. His mark set a new facility record, breaking former AIC national champion Dominic Smith’s mark of 48.58 seconds set in 2012. Countryman and senior Horatio Pinnock (St. Thomas, Jamaica) was next to finish in 48.71 seconds.
Miller was not kind to any records Saturday as he later took down the 400 meter hurdle facility record with a mark of 52.32 seconds. Pinnock also broke 53 seconds (52.71) as both hit NCAA provisional qualifying times. Lungrin placed third in the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 15.09 seconds.
AIC freshman Leakey Kipkosgei (Kapsabet, Kenya) hopped into the 3K steeplechase and cruised to victory with a time of 9:17.60. Sophomore Siem Mehretu (West Orange, N.J.) battled Andrew Reifman-Packett of the College of Saint Rose down the home stretch, but the Golden Knight had just enough to edge Mehretu (9:37.86) at the line.
Kipkosgei later placed second in the 800 meter run with a time of 1:52.51 as Jonathan Cahill of St. Rose held off Kipkosgei’s late charge down the stretch. AIC sophomore Andre Rolim (Somerville, Mass.) was not in the seeded heat, but still ran away from the field in the bell lap of his section, crossing the line in 1:54.92 and placing sixth overall.
Yellow Jacket senior Jeremy Antivo (Rahway, N.J.), more known for his middle distance speed, showed his depth in the 5K, racing away in the final few laps for a new personal best time of 14:48.84 and a crucial late meet victory for his squad. Antivo will remain in Springfield this summer to intern with the Spirit of Springfield.
On the jumps side, senior Xavier McIntosh (Maplewood, N.J.) took second in high jump, clearing 1.93 meters (6-feet, 4-inches). He also finished second in Friday’s long jump with a leap of 7.07 meters.
The cherry on top came in the final track event as the 4×400 meter relay team waltzed to victory to seal the championship. The team of Brown, Pinnock, Miller and sophomore Chandler Cotton Jr. (Landover, Md.) ran away to nearly a five second win and allowed Pinnock an easy, but hard victory lap to finish in 3:15.70.
Miller was named the 2016 Most Outstanding Track Performer, adding to Kipkosgei’s indoor and John Chirchir’s (Kapsabet, Kenya) cross country Most Outstanding Performer accolades. McItosh was also named the indoor Most Outstanding Field Performer.
The Yellow Jackets are far from done as they head to the NEICAAA Championships Friday and Saturday, May 13 and 14 at Southern Connecticut.
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