Click Here for Championship Headquarters
Click Here for Official Results
Click Here for Post Meet Interviews
Landover, MD - The outcome was in question until the final event was completed, but the Long Island women held on to win their second straight team title at the 2011 Northeast Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships. The Blackbirds led Monmouth by four points heading into the 4x400 relay and scored a third-place finish in the event with Monmouth settling for second. So in the end, it was Long Island with 138 points and Monmouth with 136.
Once again, Long Island's Jessie Gaines (Chesapeake, VA/Western Branch) won multiple titles on the way to a third consecutive NEC Most Valuable Performer award. Gaines totaled four gold medals and one silver, setting three meet records in the process.
Running in Saturday's 60-meter hurdles qualifying round, Gaines tied the meet record she set last year before turning in a new all-time NEC low in Sunday's final. Torching the field on the way to her third consecutive NEC 60-meter hurdles crown, Gaines clocked in at 8.34. The three-time MVP also broke the meet record in the 60-meter dash (7.53) meet and triple jump (12.55m). She came up short in her bid to repeat in the 200-meter dash, finishing second to Mount St. Mary's Ashley DeCruise (Rockville, MD/Richard Montgomery), but won the long jump, an event she took runner-up honors in last year.
LIU juniors Jazmin Waller (Atco, NJ/Winslow Twp.) and Torrie Saunders (Annapolis, MD/Annapolis) also scored in multiple events to help deliver the team title.
The NEC Most Outstanding Rookie award went to Robert Morris freshman Merel Van Steenbergen (Boskoop, Netherlands). The rookie distance runner finished second in Saturday's 3K run (10:07.97) before setting a meet record in the 5000-meter (17:17.02) on Sunday. Sacred Heart senior Kimberely DeLoreto (Oakland, NJ/Pascack Hills), who won the 3000-meter run, also surpassed the former meet record in the 5K (17:18.65), but finished a step behind Van Steenbergen.
Monmouth veteran Christina Nelson (Little Silver, NJ/Red Bank Regional) won the mile handily, pulling away heading into the bell lap and never looking back. After turning in a 5:06.73 mile time, Nelson took second in the half-mile. The 800-meter final was an all-Garden State battle with defending champion Megan Paterson (Freehold, NJ/Freehold Boro) of Fairleigh Dickinson holding off Nelson.
2011 Women's Performers of the Meet
Most Valuable Performer (MVP): Jessie Gaines (LIU)
Most Outstanding Track Performer: Jessie Gaines (LIU)
Most Outstanding Field Performer: Jessie Gaines (LIU)
Most Outstanding Rookie Performer: Merel Van Steenbergen (RMU)