GRINNELL, Iowa — Colby College’s Dom Kone of Bucksport is a national champion and the fastest NCAA Division III men’s sprinter in the country for a second straight year.
Kone, a junior, won the 60-meter dash at the NCAA Division III Men’s Indoor Track and Field Championships with a facility-record clocking of 6.75 seconds at Grinnell College’s Charles Benson Bear Athletic Center. He also broke his own school record in the 60 dash after finishing with a 6.78 on Friday night in a preliminary race. Kone earned his second All-American honor at an NCAA indoor meet.
Kone’s performance highlighted a busy weekend of competition for Maine athletes in national meets.
Kone finished second in his prelim heat to Guilford’s Jonathan Smith, who clocked a 6.76 to break the facility record for one day. While Kone came into the meet as the top seed, Smith instantly took favorite status after his preliminary run. Kone had the 6.78 despite having a slow start.
“I was happy that [Smith] ran that time,” Kone said. “I knew that if I had a good start, I could beat that time.”
Smith was in lane four and Kone was to his left in lane three. Kone had a slightly better start than Friday, but he still fell behind in the first 30 meters. Smith appeared to have the lead with about 10 to 15 meters to go. Kone kept sprinting hard through the line while Smith leaned at the line. Smith had a time of 6.80 to take second place and Kenneth Turner was third in 6.82.
“My start still could have been better. I still felt a little hesitant,” said Kone, who did have a false start disqualification in the 60 dash at the New England Division III meet. “The transfer phase of the race and my drive were a lot better. It also helped to have the adrenaline pumping. I needed it because I didn’t pass him to the final 10 meters.”
Other performances by Maine athletes over the weekend included:
• Bates College junior David Pless broke the NCAA Div. III indoor shot-put record by 9.5 inches to claim his second straight crown with a distance of 60 feet, 6 1/2 inches, a day after finishing fifth in the weight throw.
• USM freshman Hannah Wiley finished 14th in the triple jump at 36-5 to finish 14th in the NCAA Div. III championships.
• USM senior Ben Manning earned All-America honors with a seventh-place finish in the 800 meters in 1:57.41 at the championships.
• Bangor native Riley Masters helped his University of Oklahoma men’s distance medley relay team finish sixth in the distance medley with a 9:36.90 clocking. Masters closed out the race with a 4:01.89 mile. The medley consists of legs of 1,200 meters, 400, 800 and the mile.