WESTFIELD, Mass. ---- Kevin Baldwin (San Jose, Calif.) finished eighth in the 10,000m and Liam Brennan (Middleboro) qualified for the 110m high hurdle finals to highlight the first day of the NJCAA Nationals for the Massasoit track & field program.
Baldwin was a medalist in the 10,000m distance race, shedding nearly three minutes off his own school record in the event to capture eighth place. The freshman became just the second Massasoit track & field student-athlete to place in the top-eight in an event, joining Alex MacMillan who placed fifth in the javelin last season.
"Kevin finishing eighth was big today," head coach Matt Jordan said. "With 12 guys in the race he knew what he had to do to place. He dropped nearly three minutes in the event, which is amazingly impressive since this is just the second time he has raced the 10K all season. We stuck with the game plan and he battled the entire race, all 25 laps."
In addition, Baldwin also set a new school-best time in the 800m race, logging a time of 2:08.33, to place 14th overall in the event.
Qualifying for the 110m high hurdle finals was Brennan, who beat his own school record in the event, posting a time of 16.85. The freshman is one of eight student-athletes in the finals set for Sunday. As long as Brennan finishes the event on Sunday, he will join MacMillan and Baldwin as the only top-8 finishers at Nationals in program lore.
"Liam to make it to the finals in the hurdles is outstanding," Jordan said. "He was seeded 12th in the event and was able to break a school record and get in the top eight to be able to race again tomorrow. He had a clean start and took it up strong. It set the place for him for the race."
Nick Vaughn (Kingston), racing at his second NJCAA Nationals, placed 11th overall in the 100m dash. His time of 11.47 marked his third fastest time of the season. The sophomore concludes his career in the individual sprint race with the top-12 100m times in program history.
The 4x100 relay team had a strong showing on Saturday, as the foursome of Tevon Springer (Sharon), Brennan, Justin Bean (Foxboro) and N.Vaughn, posted the second fastest time in program history with a time of 44.55. The Warriors finished 11th overall in the event out of 17 colleges.
Joining Brennan in the 110m high hurdles was Mitch Vaughn (Kingston). The sophomore took home 13th place racing a personal-best time of 18:01 in the event.
Rounding out the men's team was Justin Bean (Foxboro) who posted a 24.14 in the 200m race, ranking 16th overall.
On the women's side, Karlyvelle Ladouceur (Winter Park, Fla.) sprinted in the 100m and 200m races for the Warriors. The speedster clocked a 26.63 in the 200, good for 11th place, and 13.11 in the 100, raking 12th.
Deja Houston (Taunton) also represented the women for the Warriors, placing 14th in the 400m (1:12.91) and 24th in the 200m (30.56).
"The rain held off for the most part and we've dealt with less than ideal conditions all year so it was nothing new," Jordan said. "We made the best of it and everyone was up and cheering each other on. Hopefully we bring that same type of effort tomorrow."
Massasoit features the following individuals for Sunday's slate of events: 3,000m steeplechase (Baldwin), high jump (M.Vaughn, Springer, Houston), Aaron Prescott (discus), Brennan (110 HH – Finals) and 4x400 relay (Springer, Brennan, Baldwin, N. Vaughn).