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Niemiec Wins Two Titles at NEWMAC Championship, Named Rookie of the Year

Alex Niemiec Complete Results

South Hadley, Mass. - April 26, 2014 - The Springfield College men's track & field team had three event winners at Saturday's New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship, led by first-year Alex Niemiec (Chicopee, Mass.), who won two events for the Pride and was named the NEWMAC Rookie of the Year.

The Pride finished fourth as a team with 88.5 points at the conference championship hosted by Mount Holyoke College. The Pride won three individual events. MIT won the team title with 247.5 points, WPI took second with 212 points while Coast Guard (147), Springfield (88.5) and Wheaton (55) rounded out the top five.

Niemiec was the only double-event winner for Springfield, taking first in both the long jump and the 100-meter dash. The first-year won the long jump with a leap of 22-00.75 and took first in the 100m with a time of 11.03. Niemiec has led Springfield all season and earned the conference's Rookie of the Year honor for his efforts.

Brandon Hammerstrom (Auburn, N.H.) was the only other winner for Springfield, taking first in the shot put with a toss of 46-06.75. Teammate PJ Andrews (Lincoln, R.I.) finished seventh in the event (40-02). Andrews also placed fourth overall in the hammer throw (154-00) while Hammerstrom (134-09) was eighth. Parker Ashton-Youngs (Tolland, Conn.) also had one of the Pride's top finishes of the day, placing second in the javelin (175-04).

Besides Niemiec, the Pride had two other competitors in the finals of the 100m dash. Ken Toal (Newtown, Conn.) finished fourth with a time of 11.38 and Marcus Brown (Randolph, Mass.) took eighth in 12.08. The same was true in the long jump, as Niemiec's teammates Jared Ombati (Manchester, N.H.) (19-10.25) and Brian Stacy (Belchertown, Mass.) (19-10.25) finished seventh and eighth, respectively. Stacy also took seventh place in the triple jump (38-02).

Ryan O'Connell (Middleboro, Mass.) took third place in the 1500m run, finishing in 3:58.43. In the 110 hurdles, Joe Taggart (Castleton, Vt.) finished in 17.55, good for sixth place. Dylan Peterson (Waterbury Center, Vt.) finished eighth in the 400 hurdles with a time of 59.57. Joe Geurds (Albany, N.Y.) earned a sixth place finish in the 3000 meter steeplechase with a time of 10:17.20.

Jacob Simons (Naugatuck, Conn.) finished eighth in the 800m with a time of 1:58.42 while Jacob Buhelt (Falmouth, Maine) finished ninth overall in the 200m with a time of 22.99.

Springfield's 4x100 relay team of Brown, Niemiec, Buhelt and Toal finished third overall with a combined time of 47 seconds flat. The Pride's 4x400 relay team of Simons, Buhelt, Toal and O'Connell took fifth overall in 3:28.78.

In the high jump, William Ferguson (Lake Hopatcong, N.J.) placed third with a height of 6-00. Andrew Aronne (Wethersfield, Conn.) rounded out the field events with a ninth place finish in the pole vault (12-07.50).

With individual event victories, Niemiec and Hammerstrom were named to the NEWMAC All-Conference First Team, while Ashton-Youngs second place finish earned him a spot on the All-Conference Second Team.

Men's Track & Field Virtual Guide 2014

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Head Coach Ken Klatka

Ken Klatka Ken Klatka, an associate professor of physical education at Springfield College, will enter his 38th season as head coach, and 44th as a coach overall, of the men’s track and field program in 2013-2014. He ranks among the nation’s most successful coaches, with an overall record of 447 wins, 156 losses, and two ties for an impressive .743 winning percentage. In 2011, Klatka was inducted into the Springfield College Athletic Hall of Fame. Read more.

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