BURLINGTON, Vermont – The University of Maine at Augusta men's outdoor track & field teams traveled to Burlington for the USCAA National Invitational Championship Meet which would also be scored as the YSCC Track and Field Invitational. Spring weather in New England was not kind to the student-athletes, adding an extra layer of difficulty to the competition with wind and rain throughout the day and temperatures in the lower 40's.
The UMA men were ready to get to work having practiced outdoors through less than ideal conditions all season in a typical cold and wet Maine spring. Jacob Jones (5th) and Sam Scott (6th) got points on the board in the Hammer throw. These throws would be good enough for Jones to place 1st and Scott to finish 2nd in the YSCC conference scoring.
The UMA men kicked things off on the track in the 4x100m finishing 3rd. Individually Sam Gerken finished in 3rd in the 200m in 24.42 narrowly behind Maine-Fort Kent Ajay Thompson in 24.41. Gerken would go on to finish 2nd overall in the USCAA in the 400m and was the anchor leg in both the 3rd place 4x100m and the 3rd place 4x400m relay teams. Avi LeBlanc finished second in the USCAA in the high jump (1st in the YSCC). Nate Martin, who was fighting off a severe cold, was still able to manage a 5th place finish in the USCAA long jump (2nd overall in the YSCC conference). Martin also finished 4th in the 800m (1st in the YSCC) and 2nd in the 110m hurdle.
Freshman Christian Alley had a 6th place finish in the 100m and an 8th place finish in the 200m. Pierre Laot ran to a 4th place finish in the 1500m in the USCAA and a 3rd place finish in the 5000m in YSCC conference scoring. The UMA men finished 5th overall in the USCAA National Invitational Championship and were conference runner ups finishing 2nd in the YSCC behind Vermont Tech.
This was the inaugural season for track and field for the University of Maine at Augusta and head coach Brendan Gilpatrick was excited with how the men performed over the weekend: "A big reason we have a team is because of the efforts made by Sam Gerken pushing to start a track program at UMA. We have a lot of talent and now just need to grow and add to what we already have. It was a great group of men to work with, each of them supported and encouraged each other throughout the season which is the foundation you need to have for a team to be successful."
USCAA National Invitational Team Scores
Men: 1. PSU-Fayette (178), 2. Vermont Tech (98), 3. Maine-Fort Kent (81), 4. Albany College of Pharmacy (69), 5. UMA (60), 6. Unity College (49), 7. PSU-Greater Allegheny (40), 8. Hampshire (21)
YSCC Invitational Team Scores
Men: 1. Vermont Tech (223), 2. UMA (161), 3. Unity College (115), 4. Hampshire (36)
Men's National Invitational Championship Highlights
- Sam Gerken: 200m (3rd), 400m (2nd),
- Jacob Jones: Shot Put (7th) Hammer Throw (5th)
- Sam Scott: Hammer Throw (6th),
- Avi LeBlanc: High Jump (2nd)
- Nate Martin: 800m (4th), 110m Hurdle (2nd), 400m Hurdle (5th) Long Jump (5th), Triple Jump (5th)
- Christian Alley: 100m (6th), 200m (8th)
- Pierre Laot: 1500m (4th)
- 3rd 4x100m Relay Team (Alley, Gerken, Laot, Scott)
- 3rd 4x400m Relay Team (Alley, Gerken, LeBlanc, Scott)
Men's YSCC Conference Invitational Highlights
- Sam Gerken: 400m (1st), 200m (1st)
- Jacob Jones: Hammer Throw (1st), Discus (4th), Shot Put (2nd)
- Sam Scott: Javelin (2nd), Hammer Throw (2nd)
- Avi LeBlanc: High Jump (1st)
- Nate Martin: 800m (1st), 110m Hurdle (1st), Triple Jump (3rd), Long Jump (2nd)
- Christian Alley: 200m (2nd),
- Pierre Laot: 5000m (3rd)
- 1st 4x100m Relay Team (Alley, Gerken, Laot, Scott)
- 1st 4x400m Relay Team (Alley, Gerken, Leblanc, Scott)