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Sunday, May 1, 2005


Zagura wins three events, Pavia two and Nicholson one in 41-point win

NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA – Eastern Connecticut State University became the first team to win as many as four Little East Conference Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships Sunday when the Warriors claimed their fourth straight title in the eight-year history of the meet at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

Eastern (177 points) won six individual championships and both relays to post a 41-point win over runner-up University of Southern Maine (136). Host UMass Dartmouth (129) was third, Rhode Island College (88) fourth and Keene State College (64) fifth. Eastern beaten Southern Maine by 26 points last year to claim the title.

Eastern has won the title every season under fourth-year head coach Frank Poulin.

In addition to winning the conference title, Eastern placed second in the New England Alliance scoring for the fourth straight year. Westfield State College (157.50) remained undefeated in eight years of alliance competition. Eastern totaled 131 points, with host Massachusetts Dartmouth (97) third in the ten-team field. The New England Alliance competition is comprised of five teams from the Little East and five from the Massachusetts State College Athlete Conference (MASCAC).

The top three finishers in individual events in Little East competition and the top eight in alliance competition earn all-conference and all-alliance recognition, respectively. The top three relays are also accorded all-conference and all-alliance recognition.

Sophomore Matthew Zagura (ELLINGTON)  won the shot put, discus and hammer throw, junior David Pavia (STAMFORD) captured the 100 meter dash and long jump and junior David Nicholson (WINDSOR) won the 400 meter dash for the second straight year. Zagura repeated as champion in the shot put. The titles were the first for Pavia.

In addition, the 4x100 meter and 4x400 meter relay teams also earned gold. It was the third title in four years for the 4x100 and the fifth championship in eight years for the 4x400 relay. The 4x100 relay was timed in 43.62, just off the conference record of 43.04, set last year by Southern Maine. Pavia and Nicholson competed on both relays and were joined on the 4x100 by freshman Paul Cavalieri (WETHERSFIELD) and first-year sophomore Mykal Kuslis (WATERTOWN) and on the 4x400 by sophomore Mark Lewis (WINDSOR) and junior Josh Lowney (COLUMBIA).

Fourteen different individuals contributed to the team’s point total in Little East scoring and 11 contributed in the alliance scoring. In Little East scoring, Pavia and Zagura each collected 30 points, Kuslis and Nicholson 18 each, Cavalieri 12 and junior Jon Cannizzaro (MILLBROOK, NY) 10. Pavia and Nicholson also added points as members of both relays and Cavalieri, Kuslis, Lowney and Lewis added points as members of one relay.

Twelve individuals combined to provide Eastern with all-conference or all-alliance accolades a total of 50 times: 22 all-conference achievers and 28 all-alliance honorees.

Pavia was named all-conference or all-alliance 11 times, Nicholson eight times, Kuslis and Zagura six times and Cavalieri five times and senior Andrew Bessette (PAWCATUCK) three times.  Lewis and Lowney were each named all-conference and all-alliance twice for running on the relays. Earning a spot on both the all-conference and all-alliance teams were junior David Earle (BRANFORD), Cannizzaro and sophomore Rory Maxwell (WALLINGFORD). Freshman Brian Teske (SOUTHINGTON) earned all-alliance honors once.

Zagura becomes only the second Eastern male to win three individual championships in one meet (following All-America Jason Edwards, who won the 100, 200 and long jump in 1998, 2000 and 2002) and only the second individual – first since 1998 -- in the history of the meet to win the shot, discus and hammer in the same year.

In addition to their conference championships, Zagura won the alliance title in the hammer and was second to Peter King of Westfield State in both the shot put and discus. Pavia won the alliance title at 100 meters and was second in the long jump and Nicholson won the 400 meter alliance championship for the second straight year. Both relays also captured alliance championships, the 4x400 winning for the second straight year and the 4x100 for the second time in three seasons.

Nicholson, who entered competition as the two-time defending conference and alliance champion at 200 meters, was edged out for first place by UMass Dartmouth sophomore Jonathan Garcia. Garcia was timed in 22.68, Nicholson at 22.77.

In all, Pavia competed in and scored points in six events. In addition to winning alliance titles and conference titles at 100 meters and as part of both relays and winning the conference long jump championship, he was second in the alliance long jump and second in the conference and alliance triple jump event and fifth in the conference and alliance 200 meter dash.

Bessette concluded his career by being part of four straight conference championship teams. In the javelin, Bessette earned all-conference honors by placing third and was all-alliance by placing a fifth. He repeated those honors from a year ago. He was also named all-alliance with a seventh-place finish  in the hammer.

Ten individuals have qualified and will compete in this weekend’s New England Division III Championship Meet at Springfield College: Zagura in the shot, discus and hammer; Pavia in the 100, long jump and triple jump; Nicholson in the 200 and 400; Maxwell in the pole vault; Teske iin the high jump and Bessette in the javelin. Cavalieri, Kuslis, Lewis and Lowney will also join Pavia and Nicholson in the relays.

Men’s Outdoor Track & Field Championship

At North Dartmouth, MA

little east conference

EASTERN CONN. 177; 2. U. of Southern Maine 136; 3. Massachusetts Dartmouth 129; 4. Rhode Island College 88; 5. Keene State College 64.

New England Alliance

1. Westfield State College 157.50; 2. EASTERN CONN. 131; 3. Masschusetts Dartmouth 97; 4. U. of Southern Maine 93.5; 5. Rhode Island College 62.5; 6. Keene State College 59; 7. Fitchburg State College 56; 8. Worcester State College 53.5; 9. Bridgwater State College 43; 10. Salem State College 26.

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