Gagne, Downing Shine at Championships
February 25, 2009
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NEW HAVEN -Sophomore Shannon Gagne and freshman Kevin Downing both swept the 55- and 200-meter dashes at the Northeast-10 Indoor Track and Field Championships that were held Saturday afternoon at Southern Connecticut State University. Gagne made herself a three-event champion as she also captured the long jump title, while Downing was named the Men’s Freshman of the Year.
Downing was named the NE-10 Track & Field Freshman of the Year. To the right he’s receiving his award from NE-10 Commissioner Julie Ruppert.
As a team, the women totaled 57 points for a fourth place finish while the men finished with 40 points for sixth place.
After being seeded first for the 55-meter dash in a time of 7.27, Gagne ran past the field and three-time defending Northeast-10 Champion Symone Wong of Southern Connecticut State to win the event in a season-best time of 7.24.
In the 200-meter dash, Gagne cruised to the victory in a time of 25.88, more than half of a second faster than her closest competition. Entering the meet, she had the 10th fastest time in NCAA Division II (25.01) that she posted earlier this season at the Yale Giegengack Invite.
Gagne also set a season-best in the long jump, where her mark of 5.50 meters (18-0.50) provisionally qualifies her for the national meet. She has already provisionally qualified in both the 60- and 200-meter dashes.
Downing entered the 55-meter dash seeded fourth, behind first-seeded teammate Tyrone Sawyer. That did not faze the freshman as he captured his first of two championship titles in a season-best 6.39 seconds, the third fastest time NE-10 Championship history. Sawyer finished third (6.42) and also placed sixth in the 200-meter dash (22.90).
Entering the 200-meter dash, Downing had the 17th fastest time in NCAA Division II (21.96), and he nearly bettered that mark as he finished in 21.99. That time is the second fastest in NE-10 Championship history behind the 21.91 mark posted by Hafiz Greigre of Bryant University in 2007.
Downing narrowly missed three first place finishes as he also finished third in the 400-meter dash (51.21).