NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – A pair of individual champions highlighted the opening day of competition for the Sacred Heart men's track and field team at the 2019 NEC Outdoor Championships, held on Saturday at Central Connecticut State. Cameron Croce took first place in the hammer throw with a school record toss while Christian Turner took first place in the shot put to sweep both the NEC outdoor and indoor titles in the throwing event.
A hugely successful first day has the Pioneers sitting in fourth place with a total of 39 points. Mount St. Mary's leads the field of nine teams with 61 points.
- Croce made history with a school record toss of 57.50m, earning his first individual conference title as a freshman
- A momentous occasion for the rookie, Croce bested his personal-best heading into the day of 54.60m (established at the Wolfie Invitational) by nearly three full meters
- Croce closely edged out the runner-up (Benjamin Ross of SFU) by just 0.81m
- Turner placed fourth in the event, earning five points for the Pioneers in the team standings, with a throw of 50.78m
- Michael Kearns completed a dominating event for SHU with a sixth place result (three points in the standings) and throw of 45.05m
- Turner continues a dominating campaign, picking up another shot put victory as he tossed 16.92m to edge out the runner-up finisher in his teammate Kearns who threw 15.91m
- Turner, the NEC Indoor shot put champion and NEC Indoor Field Performer of the Year, adds another notch to an impressive season that features a school record and a clean sweep of the NEC shot put titles
- Running in their first 4x800m relay of the season, the Pioneers' grouping of Ryan Corbett, Jake Tavernite, Gavin Thurlow and Nicholas Pandolfo combined to place sixth with a time of 7:50.31
- The sixth place result earned three points for the Pioneers in the NEC team leaderboard
- Jeffrey Young earned a spot in the 110m hurdles finals for the third straight season
- Young finished with the sixth-fastest preliminary time as he crossed the line in a personal-best time of 14.69 seconds
- Young easily bested his previous personal-best of 14.82
- Pandolfo is heading to the NEC outdoor 1500m finals for the third straight season after qualifying with a time of 4:03.70
- Pandolfo finished sixth in the NEC 1500m finals in 2018 and fourth in 2017