May 15, 2006
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Rhode Island freshman Michael Bland won the 100-meter dash and ran a leg on the victorious 4x100-meter relay to lead the Rams to their fourth-straight team title at the New England Championships, hosted by MIT.
URI totaled 124.5 points, outdistancing Dartmouth (96.5), New Hampshire (70.5), Williams (69) and Southern Connecticut (57.5) to round out the top-five of 36 scoring teams in the field.
Bland was clocked at 10.65 seconds, just ahead of senior teammate Eric Groce, who crossed the line in 10.74 seconds to finish runner-up.
Freshman Yudehweh Gbaa finished first in the triple jump with a personal-best leap of 50 feet, 2 1/2 inches (15.30 meters), second in the 110 hurdles (14.57), fourth in the 400 hurdles (54.00) and eighth in the long jump (22-7 3/4, 6.90). Also placing in the 110 hurdles was junior Chris Adams, who finished tied for fourth at 15.00.
Senior Adam Zucconi and sophomore Sean Strizzi finished first and second, respectively, in the pole vault. Zucconi's winning height was 15-5 (4.70), followed by Strizzi's 14-11 (4.55) effort.
Sophomore Michael Bernardo was victorious in the hammer with a personal-best and NCAA Regional-qualifying mark of 186-8 (56.90), and, after being seeded 20th in the discus, finished fourth with another personal-best, 144-3 (43.97).
Bland, who also finished fourth in the 200 (21.66) and Groce, who took fifth in the 200 (21.80), teamed with sophomore Brendan Lamboy and junior Ashhad Agyapong in the 4x100 to cross the line with a winning time of 41.45. Agayapong, who was fighting a recent hamstring injury, also placed third in the 400 (48.53).
Sophomore Ryan McCarthy placed second in the shot put (54-2 3/4, 16.53) and sixth in the javelin (183-1, 55.80), while senior Robert Scales (third place, 191-3, 58.30) and junior Jamal Blackson (eighth place, 179-3, 54.65) also scored in the javelin.
The Rams will next be in action at the NCAA East Regional Championships in Greensboro, N.C. on Friday and Saturday, May 26-27. Bernardo will compete in the hammer, Gbaa will run in the 110 hurdles and McCarthy will compete in the shot put.