Leah Desjardins of Husson University competes during a recent track and field meet. The sophomore from Poland won the 100 meters to help the Eagles women's team win the North Atlantic Conference championship last weekend. Husson also claimed the men's title. Credit: Monty J. Rand

The Husson University men’s and women’s track and field teams weren’t supposed to win North Atlantic Conference championships this spring — until they did.

A coaches’ poll in advance of the event at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, New Hampshire, suggested the host teams were the favorites, but the Eagles provided a newer perspective by sweeping the conference championships for the first time.

“The poll was accurate as far as the seeds go but we still hadn’t competed as a full team in a meet on a good day with either gender,” Husson coach Kate Goupee said. “Once those pieces came into place with the Aloha Relays for the women at Bowdoin and the Maine state meet the men had at Bates, the following Monday when we rescored it now we were in first but the poll already had come out.”

The third-year Husson men’s outdoor track team captured its first NAC crown, edging runner-up Colby-Sawyer 198-182.

Sprinter Robenson Saintard led the way, sweeping the 100-meter (11.14 seconds) and 200-meter (22.73) dashes.

Husson set three NAC records during the men’s meet. Eric Hathaway of Pittsfield shattered the previous mark in the hammer by more than eight meters with his throw of 50.00 meters, while Cayd Wortman of Dedham won the 110-meter hurdles in 16.12 seconds.

The third NAC record was set by Husson’s 4×100-meter relay team of Saintard, Jake Dobos, Evan Chadbourne of Harmony and Race Bouchard of Auburn in 43.55.

Other event winners for the Eagles were Justin Martin of Winslow in the javelin (53.09 meters), Zach Hartman of Kennebunk in the 800 (2:02.33) and Jeffrey Ward in the long jump (6.36 meters).

Saintard, a senior from Port Charlotte, Florida, was named the NAC men’s track athlete of the week for his performance, while Hathaway was named the conference men’s field athlete of the week after adding a second-place finish in the shot put and a fifth in the discus to his victory in the hammer throw.

Eagles freshman Zion Gurney of Auburn earned rookie of the week honors after recording three-top five finishes — third in the high jump and triple jump and fourth in the pole vault.

The Husson women’s team, which started in 2012, captured its second NAC crown. The Eagles scored 207 points to outdistance second-place Colby-Sawyer (167).

The Eagles featured six individual champions and set two meet records with Allison Kondracki winning the 400 in 1:10.57 and Hermon’s Maddie Page tops in the pole vault at 2.88 meters.

Other event winners for the Eagles were Leah Desjardins of Poland in the 100 (12.77), Lisa Pawlowski of Boothbay in the high jump (1.48 meters), Issy Capozzi of Limerick in the discus (31.98 meters) and Faith Burnett in the hammer (41.48 meters).

Burnett, a senior from Wethersfield, was named NAC women’s field athlete of the week after also finishing second in both the discus and hammer.

Sixteen different Husson track athletes have qualified for the New England championships to be held Friday and Saturday at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, though not all of the Eagles will be participating because graduation ceremonies at Husson are scheduled for Saturday.

Top-seeded Eagles at the New Englands include Hathaway, ninth in the hammer and 10th in the shot put, and Martin, ninth in the javelin.

“This has been fantastic,” Goupee said of Husson’s efforts. “This is the most we’ve had qualify on the men’s side. We’re able to take two relay teams and both [the men’s and women’s] 4×100 teams we feel are competitive enough to go. It’s really been a great year with a wonderful group of kids. They’re awfully fun and they come and work hard every day.”

Husson misses NAC baseball playoffs

While Husson is often the first North Atlantic Conference team to start the northern part of its schedule because of the artificial surface on its home field at the Winkin Complex, its inability to complete its schedule this spring is part of the reason the Eagles won’t advance to postseason play.

Husson finished 14-22 overall and 9-13 in conference play, one-half game behind the University of Maine at Farmington (13-19, 10-13 NAC) in the battle for the fourth and final spot in the NAC tournament.

Seedings are determined by winning percentage in conference play.

UMF had one conference game against New England College cancelled in advance of the tournament, set to run Friday through Sunday at top-seeded Castleton University (27-10, 21-3 NAC) in Vermont.

Husson was unable to play a scheduled doubleheader at Colby-Sawyer College of New London, New Hampshire, due to weather issues.

Husson defeated UMF in three of their four meetings this spring but lost 10 of its last 14 conference games overall. UMF won eight of its final 13 NAC regular-season contests.

Joining Castleton and UMF in the NAC tourney field announced Tuesday are No. 2 Lyndon State (19-18, 15-7) and No. 3 New England College (24-13, 13-8).

The double elimination tournament will begin with three games Friday. Castleton will host UMaine-Farmington at 9 a.m. and Lyndon will face New England College at noon. The two first-round losers then will play to remain in a 3 p.m. elimination game.

Graham honored after no-hitter

Husson baseball freshman pitcher Cam Graham of Littleton and Houlton High School continues to reap awards after his no-hitter against Lyndon State last Sunday.

The left-hander has been named North Atlantic Conference pitcher and rookie of the week and ECAC Division III North pitcher and rookie of the week. Graham also was named to the D3baseball.com Team of the Week.

Graham pitched seven innings against the Hornets in what turned out to be Husson’s season finale, striking out seven and walking two during the Eagles’ 1-0 victory.

The no-hitter was the 12th in school history, the first since 2006 and the first ever for a Husson freshman.

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Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...