NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Set for its third-ever appearance in the Northeast-10 Conference Championships hosted by AIC this weekend, the Merrimack men's track & field team was tagged to finish in 10th place in the weekend-long event, as revealed by the league's Pre-Championship Poll this week.
Finishing ahead of 11th-place Assumption, the Warriors will be aiming to both exceed the pre-championship prognostications but will also look for their highest-ever finish in the program's brief three-year history. In both 2011 and 2012, the Warriors earned ninth-place finishes at the NE-10 Championships. But primed by a blend of young talent and experienced returners, Merrimack could very well turn heads and shock the field with strong performances this weekend.
Southern Connecticut received eight first-place votes and 97 points to top the men's poll. The Owls won last year's men's outdoor title before placing third at the 2013 Northeast-10 Indoor Championship this past February. UMass Lowell earned the pre-championship runner-up favorite, receiving one first-place vote and 89 points overall.
Stonehill, the 2013 NE-10 10 Men's Indoor Track & Field Champions, was picked third in the coaches' poll with 83 points and one first-place tally, while host AIC came in fourth with 74 points and one first-place vote. New Haven rounded out the top-five with 57 points.
Adelphi (54) and Bentley (42) placed sixth and seventh in the poll before both Franklin Pierce and Saint Rose shared a tie for eighth after both earning 39 points apiece. Merrimack's 20 points were good for 10th place, eight higher than Assumption's 12-point total.
Merrimack will look to freshman sprinter and long jumper Denzel Livingston (Billerica, Mass.), as well as the combined efforts of short- and middle-distance graduate students Ethan Weaver (Brooklyn, Conn.) and Ian Weaver (Brooklyn, Conn.) to lead the way this weekend.
Livingston's impact has been felt throughout the outdoor campaign; the rookie picked up his first career individual outdoor victory after winning the long jump at the Greyhound Invitational in April; the Billerica, Mass., native also picked up two second-place finishes in the long jump, one fourth-place honor, and ran to a second-place finish in the 100m dash, as well.
The Weaver twins, meanwhile, have seen their share of success primarily in the 400m dash. Ian Weaver owns a second-place finish in the event this spring, while Ethan has placed third on three separate occasions. The former twin has also put forth strong efforts as the team's leader in the high jump, as well.
2013 Northeast-10 Men's Outdoor Track & Field Pre-Championship Poll
1. So. Connecticut (8) – 97
2. UMass Lowell (1) – 89
3. Stonehill (1) – 83
4. American Int'l (1) – 74
5. New Haven – 57
6. Adelphi – 54
7. Bentley – 42
T8. Franklin Pierce – 39
T8. Saint Rose – 39
10. Merrimack – 20
11. Assumption – 12
( ) – first-place votes