DARTMOUTH, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth men's track and field team is ranked eighth in the recent U.S Track & Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division III national poll. Last week, Corsairs cracked the top-10 for the first time in program history.
UMass Dartmouth is the lone New England team inside the USTFCCCA's top-10 and is joined by No. 15 Massachusetts Institute of Technology and No. 23 Williams College ranked among the top-25 nationally. The Blue & Gold have put together a season worth the national-praise as nine different student-athletes placed amongst the top-50 for their respective events.
Newly announced Little East Conference Field Athlete of the Year Jared Louf-Woods (Salem, Mass.) leads the pack with the top mark in all of Div. III for the hammer throw, while also holding the fifth spot in the shot put. Fellow All-American George Papoulis (Haverhill, Mass.) slots in at second in the nation for the 800-meter with his time of 1:50.03. The javelin corps has been consistent all season and as a result, has four student-athletes amongst the top-50 individual rankings. Junior Stephen Tencati (Clinton, Mass.) and sophomore Jordan Entwistle (Northborough, Mass.) rank fifth and sixth respectively, while senior John Kleczkowski (North Attleboro, Mass.) and freshman Mike Volkmann (Taunton, Mass.) round out the group at No. 25 and No. 45. Freshmen Moisse Irizarry (Peabody, Mass.) is currently 31st for his efforts in the 110-meter hurdles while classmate Bruno Pires (New Bedford, Mass.) sits 41st in the 3000-meter steeplechase, breaking a Cape Verdean National record in the event with his time of 9:20.9. Joao Baptista (Somerville, Mass.) is the final Corsair listed with his leap of 1.98m giving him possession of No. 50 in the high jump.
This season has not only had a handful of top-50 performances but has seen six different school-records re-written. In the field events, Louf-Woods penciled himself as the program's all-time leader in the shot put and the weight throw with season-best marks of 16.81m (55.2 ft.) and 62.45m (204-11 ft.) respectively. John Edward Sagun (Brockton, Mass.) knocked off a discus record that previously stood for 40 years with his LEC Championship toss of 45.86m (150.05 ft.), before furthering it one week later with another impressive throw of 46.62m (152-11.75 ft.). Entwistle broke the program-record in the javelin in the opening meet of the season, before being outmatched by Tencati just weeks later when the junior re-set the distance to 66.49m (218-2 ft.) at the New England Div. III Championship. On the track, Papoulis took control of the 800-meter when he raced to a 1:50.03 finish to take second-place at the Open New England Championship while the 4x400 team of Irizarry, Papoulis, Delpiero Beaumont (Dorchester, Mass.), and Alex MacMillan (Brockton, Mass.) earned a seventh-place finish at the Open New England with their program-record of 3:19.34.
This season, the team posted program-highest finishes at both the Open New England Div. III Championship and the Open New England Championship, and already have four student-athletes with their ticket punched to the Outdoor Div. III National Championship at the SPIRE Institute in La Crosse, Wisconsin on May 24. But, there is still time for others to join as the final opportunity comes Thursday at the Last Chance Qualifier hosted by MIT.