An injury could prevent Colby College senior Dominque Kone from defending his national title in the 60-meter dash.

Kone, a Bucksport native, injured his hamstring in a preliminary heat at the ECAC Championships last weekend in New York City. Colby track and field coach Jared Beers decided to hold Kone out of the finals. Kone’s status for the NCAA Division III championships, this weekend at North Central College in Naperville, Ill., is uncertain.

“There’s a 30 percent chance he’ll actually run,” Beers said on Tuesday morning. “(The injury’s) not terrible. The problem is, the timing is terrible. If we had two weeks, he’d be golden.”

Last season, Kone won the 60 meter title in March, with a time of 6.75 seconds In May, he won national title in the 100 to cap the outdoor season. Kone enters this year’s national indoor championship seeded fifth in the 60 with a time of 6.82 seconds.

Beers said he and Kone will go to the championships, and after some practice, decide if Kone will race. Beers said he will not risk Kone’s final outdoor season just to try to repeat as indoor national champion.

“If you push it too hard, it could end his (outdoor) season, which would end his career,” Beers said.

• • •

The Colby women’s  4×400 relay team is the ranked third going into the national championship meet.
The team of Emily Doyle, Frances Onyilagha, Emily Tolman, and Brittney Bell has only run the 4×400 relay twice, coach Deb Aitken said, but the addition of Onyilagha has made the unit faster. The school record holder in the outdoor 200, Onyilagha studied abroad in the fall, and when she returned, began training with the 400 runners.

After a few runs, Onyilagha cut two seconds from her leg of the relay.

The team ran a 3:51.86 at Tufts last week, and that put them among the top teams in Division III. The Mules are ranked third behind Emory (3:51.64) and St. Thomas of Minn. (3:51.71), and just ahead of Wisconsin-LaCrosse (3:51.94).

“It’s really tight,” Aitken said.

Doyle and Tolman are each freshmen. Onyilagha is a junior and Bell is a senior. At Scarborough High School last year, Tolman placed third in the 400 at the Class A indoor track and field championships and second in the 400 at the outdoor championships. As a senior at Poland Regional High School, Bell was the Class B state champion in the outdoor 400.

• • •

Monmouth Academy graduate Kevin Desmond is one of three University of Southern Maine athletes who will compete in the NCAA Division III track and field championships this weekend.

Desmond qualified for the national championships based on his school-record time of 1:51.70 in the 800 at the NEIcAAA Championships trails Feb. 22.

Desmond has been part of two other school records this season. At the ECAC championships he ran on the 4×400 team that set a school record of 3:18.78 and the 4×200 team which finished in a school-record time of 1:31.55.

Other USM athletes headed to nationals are: Sheldon Allen (60 hurdles) and Jamie Ruginski (triple jump).

• • •

Colby freshman Catherine McClure isn’t just new to the 5,000, she’s new to track and field. So anything McClure does at the NCAA meet this weekend is a bonus, Aitken said.

McClure qualified for the finals of the 5,000 with a time of 17:18.48 at Tufts last weekend. A few weeks ago, she ran the first 5,000 of her career in 17:55.

“I held her back because I didn’t know what kind of kick she had,” Aitken said.

In her second race, McClure ran 17:20 at the New England Division III championships, finishing in third place.

“I think she has more in her, and this has been quite the first year for her,” Aitken said. “She’s truly brand-new to track. She’s figuring things out pretty quickly.”

McClure arrived at Colby as a soccer player, with just one season of high school outdoor track and field on her athletic resume. Originally, Aitken had McClure penciled in to run the 800. Then Aitken saw McClure run the fitness test with the soccer team.

“I said, ‘She looks to me to be a distance runner,’ ” Aitken said. “I really knew she had an engine.”

Aitken started McClure in the 3,000.

“She really had no idea how to race. I told her who to follow, and she passed them on the last lap,” Aitken said.

At Tufts, McClure ran the 5,000 just two and a half hours after running the mile for Colby’s distance medley relay team. At the national championships, she’ll be fresh come race time.

“There’s no pressure. We’re just really excited she’s gotten there. She has nothing to lose,” Aitken said.

• • •

The Thomas College men’s lacrosse starts season today with a game at Nichols College.

The Terriers return three of last season’s top four goal scorers, senior Sean Machin (21 goals in 2012), junior Gunnar Shelton (17 goals) and sophomore Matt Davis (15 goals). Thomas’ first home game is scheduled for the 10th, against Wheelock.

Scott Martin contributed to this report
Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242
[email protected]

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