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‘Cats open up season versus Black Bears

It was a hard fought battle this weekend for the men and women’s indoor track and field teams as they traveled to the University of Maine for its first meet of the season. While it came down to the very end of the meet to find a victor for the men in their 90-86 loss, the women were able to obtain a victory in a score of 94-87.    

Both teams enjoyed some individual victors in events in this small dual meet. Throwers Nicholas Ritzo took first in the shot-put and Eric Brogioli captured the win for the weight throw, both winning their event in their third and final throw. Pole vaulter Alexander Tamulonis won his event in a jump of 4.25-meters and sophomore Brett Hoerner had a strong showing in the mile placing second with a time of 4-minutes, 22.51-seconds. Overall, UNH took first place in 8-17 events.   

With the men’s meet drawing to a close and the score too close to tell, it came down to the relays at the end.  Unfortunately, the ‘Cats couldn’t dig out the win.

“It was one of those battles you don’t get any more with those big meets out there,” men’s head coach Jim Boulanger said on the feel of a small dual meet.  “Nobody likes to lose to Maine but we gave it our best shot. We had good team balance, but most of all attitude and all those good things. It came down to a great relay battle, and they really got us in the 3-kilomoter,” he said.  Maine took the top five spots in the 3k.

The men’s team will be relying on their freshmen a good amount this season, and they mostly responded to this meet well.  “[It was] kind of a wakeup call. I think for some of them [they’ve] only been in a dual meet a handful of times in their life due to other big meets… I’m happy with it and I think they’ll get better,” Boulanger said.

The women’s team took home 10 first-place finishes in events while beating Maine by seven points. The 4×400-meter relay team consisting of Tessa Artruc, Emma Checovich, Elise Renahan and Jessica Hackett crossed the line a whole 14 seconds ahead of the Maine relay team, coming in at 4:02.01.

The jumpers also performed particularly well with victories in the pole vault by Sabrina Anderson (3.20 meters), and Shelby Strickland placing first in the high jump, clearing a height of 1.70 meters.

“We’re particularly happy with the way our jumpers jumped. The pole vault and high jump went very well,” head coach Robert Hoppler said. “It was a good competitive meet and it’s against a traditional rival like Maine. We always open up with this dual meet and it’s good to get out here.  I was really happy with the level of competition at this meet.”

The mid-to-long distance events went well for this team’s first time out, with victories in the 500m (Brianne Moss), 800m (Alyson Messina), 1000m (Amanda Symanski), mile (Angelyn Masters) and 3000m (Kayla Farren).

“It was a good opportunity for some of the athletes who didn’t run xc to compete and get a start this semester,” Hoppler said.  The ‘Cats placed second at the conference championships for indoor last year.

Both teams will face the Black Bears again next weekend in a tri-meet at Dartmouth College.

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