DURHAM, N.H. — Jesse Labreck had one of the most impressive individual performances in University of Maine track and field history while leading the Black Bear women’s team to its highest-ever finish at the America East Championships this weekend.
The sophomore from Oakland broke or tied six records — three school and three in the league — while winning four individual events, helping win a relay race, and helping another relay team to a third-place finish while powering the Bears to second place overall, 25.5 points behind champion University at Albany.
The men also had a solid performance, finishing fifth with 92.5 total points.
The women’s team, which won 10 events, finished with 172 points, the highest in school history.
Vicki Tolton also paced the Bears by winning two individual events (third straight 400 meters title in 54.39 seconds and 400 hurdles with school-record 59.55) and running a leg of the winning 4-by-400 relay team.
Labreck won the high jump with a school and AE record height of 5 feet, 8½ inches; the long jump (19-6), the triple jump with a school-record 41 feet; and the 100 hurdles (AE record 13.78). She also ran the third leg of the 4-by-400, which posted an AE record time of 3:41.22, and the third leg of Maine’s third-place 4-by-100 relay (school record time of 46.65).
Labreck was named AE Women’s Meet MVP and Field Most Valuable Performer while Tolton was named Track Most Valuable Performer. The women’s coaching staff of the year award went to UMaine head coach Mark Lech and assistants Dave Cusano and Amanda Souviney.
The men might have finished higher and certainly would have scored more points had sophomore distance specialist Riley Masters of Bangor not been overcome by heat stroke during the stretch run of the 5-kilometer race.
“It was unbelievably hot. There was a mile to go or so and he’d separated himself from the pack. All of a sudden he stepped off to the inside of the track,” said Cusano. “He was right on the ground and in and out of consciousness. Apparently it was heat stroke.”
Masters was taken to a local hospital and given fluids intravenously to combat his dehydration. He was treated and released on Saturday.
“He’s fine now. He’s on the bus with us heading home,” Cusano said. “It may have gotten us fourth if he had won, but the most important thing is he’s healthy.”
Jhamal Fluellen won the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.95 seconds and was third in the 200 with a time of 21.97. Freshman Jamie Ruginski set a school record in triple jump and finished second with 49-5¾, and Newburgh’s Jadrien Cousens was second in high jump with a leap of 6-9.