Burlington, VT -
Vermont Tech hosted the United States Collegiate Athletic Association National Invitational Track & Field Meet on Saturday, with 8 USCAA schools and over 150 athletes represented. The meet started on a rainy Saturday at 9am with the 10,000 meters and field events at the University of Vermont Track.
In the overall results, the women's team from University of Maine Augusta won the championship with 123 points, while there was just a 1 point difference between 2nd place Unity College and 3rd place Vermont Tech. On the men's side, Penn State Fayette won with 178 points, a significant lead over 2nd place Vermont Tech with 98 points. University of Maine Fort Kent placed 3rd with 81 points.
Siteri Tale from PSU Fayette was the only athlete to break a USCAA record, which came in women's discus with a throw of 29.28 meters.
Many of the teams in attendance were happy to get the meet in, despite the changing Vermont April Weather. University of Maine Augusta coach Brendan Gilpatrick stated "our team had a great time and are thankful to have the opportunity to compete in a National meet for 2019". Vermont Tech hopes to be able to host the meet again next year, but the USCAA has not yet determined the championship location.
As the host school, Vermont Tech had some great performances by several athletes who placed in the top 3 in their event. The meet started with Freshman Gabby Leffler winning the 10K with her teammate, Sophomore Emma Labadie finishing shortly behind her in 2nd. Leffler also finished 2nd in the Steeplechase and 3rd in the 5K. Emma Labadie scored in her only other event, placing 2nd in the 800 meters. Junior Kiana Royer placed 2nd in the 400 meters, and also earned points for the team by finishing 5th in the 200 and 6th in the 100 meters. In other running events, Freshman Emily Rogers finished in the points, placed 3rd in the Steeplechase, 4th in the 1500, and 6th in the 400 meters. In the women's field events, two Vermont Tech athletes came up with big points for the team. Freshman Kennethia Gilford won the long jump and placed 2nd in the triple jump, while Freshman Sophie Provost placed 3rd in Javelin, 5th in discus, and 8th in Shot Put.
The Vermont Tech men's team also put in great performances to take 2nd place overall. Senior Dave Mattern scored in all of his events, leading the way with 2nd place in both javelin and pole vault. Dave also placed 4th in shot put, 6th in discus, and 5th in the 400 meters. Junior JP Pritchett scored in all his events, winning the long jump, placing 3rd in high jump and triple jump, and placing 7th in the 100 meter final. Other point scorers in field events include: Sam Stocks 4th in high jump and discus, Jessie Bickers 7th in discus, Michael Dunkle 3rd in pole vault, 7th in hammer, and 6th in Steeplechase.
In addition to individual events, Vermont Tech took 4th in both relay events. The 4x100 was run by the team of Scott Durkee, Sam Stocks, Jeremiah Shaw and JP Pritchett, while the 4x400 was run by the team of Dave Mattern, Michael Dunkle, JP Pritchett and Scott Durkee.
Vermont Tech school records also came down at this meet. Matt Kelly set the Vermont tech 10k record on the track in 41:20, PR of over 1 minute. Sam Velasquez set the Vermont Tech record in the 110m Hurdles at 24.03 also a PR. David Mattern set Vermont tech record in the 12lb shot with a 35'4.75 throw while Sam Stocks set a record in the Discus at 100'9.75" and Michael Dunkle set a school record in the Hammer throw at 59'11.25" For Vermont Tech winning the conference title is a milestone in the goals of Coach Dunkle to create a culture of competitive running in Vermont. "Our standards are getting higher and we are creating a strong athletic program at Vermont Tech with stronger teams in all sports. It's great to have an Athletic director who shares that dream and is helping to make it a reality."