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T&F Teams Cruise to Strong CAA Indoor Championship Finish

The Monmouth University track and field programs traveled down to Virginia Beach, Virginia, where they took on their new conference rivals at the inaugural Colonial Athletic Association Indoor Track and Field Championships.

With an impressive season to his name, Dalton Yeust continued to steal the show during the men’s pole vault championship. The redshirt sophomore was able to break the Monmouth program record for the second time this season, taking home the gold after clearing 5.10m and becoming the first man to clear the 5.00m at the CAA Championships since 2016.

Teammate Connor Bennett tied a PR which was enough to secure a second place finish behind Yeust with a mark of 4.65m.

For the throws, Mujeeb Ali won the first ever CAA medal in Monmouth history – a silver in the men’s weight throw on the first day of competition after throwing an impressive mark of 17.72m.

The Hawks continued to leave their mark as the men’s team took silver in the distance medley relay, which was the final event of the day. James Martinez, Kevin Collura, Luke Riley, and Ryan Tarapchak combined their strong efforts to post a time of 10:04.98.

Keven Kevelier was named the meet’s Most Outstanding Field Performer, a well-deserved title for the redshirt sophomore who rallied up 16 individual points with his gold-medal effort in the high jump (2.00m) and his bronze-winning performance in the triple jump (13.93m).

The Hawks had a three-way sweep in the men’s high jump, leading with Kevelier. Rickie Casazza and Blake Wehr both posted a clearance of 2.00m, with Casazza taking silver and Wehr taking bronze, officially.
After leading the event in the CAA all season, sophomore Ahmad Brock took gold in the men’s triple jump with a leap of 14.33m.

In the mile, Louis DiLaurenzio came in first place on the men’s side with a time of 4:06.15, while Ashley Navarro was edged in the women’s event and placed second at 4:56.57. The redshirt senior didn’t give up, fighting back in the 800m to take home gold with a blazing time of 2:11.04.

David Strong took third in the heptathlon with 4630 total points after winning two events, the 60m dash and the long jump, during the two days of competition.

In the relay events, the men’s squad won silver in both the 4x400m (3:15.21) and 4x800m (7:37.99).

A well rounded performance full of strong efforts from the men’s team earned them a second place finish with 155 total points, trailing only behind Northeastern who took the whole competition. The women finished slightly lower, placing eighth overall with a total of 42.5 points.

“This is a historic meet for our squads. Not only was it our first CAA indoor championship, but it was also the first CAA indoor track and field championship ever to be held! Our teams competed with so much heart this week. I was really proud of their efforts. We came up just short of our team goals, but this only adds fuel to the fire as we head into the outdoor season,” said head coach Mike Nelsen.

The Hawks will open up their outdoor season on Friday, March 24 on their home track where they will host the two-day Monmouth Spring Opener at Kessler Stadium.