BROCKTON, Mass. ---- A total of nine student-athletes from the Massasoit track & field program will compete at the NJCAA National Championship, hosted at Westfield State this weekend.
Seven individuals on the men's side and two on the women's team will take part at Nationals, totaling 17 events. Of the 17 events, 15 are individuals along with two relay teams for the men.
"It's nice to see everyone spread out in the events," head coach Matt Jordan said. "Everyone has their niche. We don't really have a lot of people overlapping in events. We have 15 individual entries for Nationals and a lot of the kids are in different events, which is great because that means all hands on deck when it comes to cheering and supporting."
The Massasoit track program has continued to show great growth in its third year of existence. After sending just one athlete to Nationals in the inaugural season of 2014, that number has grown to four athletes (seven events) in 2015 to nine (17 events) this season.
"It's great to see the evolution of the program in my second year," Jordan said. "It was challenging having a lot more bodies on the team, but it made it that much more exciting. Bringing Adam (Blanchette) on board as an assistant coach was a big help to me also. He's a familiar face, having competed for two years here and really helps with team comradery."
The Warriors held two low key practices heading into the weekend, with events slated to begin on Saturday morning.
"A little bit of the less is more mindset this week," Jordan said. "Just trying to be comfortable and make sure we are stretched out and ready. We just want to be having fun and relaxed going into the events."
Karlyvelle Ladouceur – 100m, 200m
Deja Houston – 200m, 400m, HJ
The Warriors' women's track team only consists of two athletes in Karlyvelle Ladouceur (Winter Park, Fla.) and Deja Houston (Taunton), both of which will be competing in multiple events for Massasoit at Nationals.
Ladouceur has really made a name for herself in her freshman campaign in Brockton. The sprinter qualified and set school records in the 100m, 200m and 400m, but will only compete at Nationals in the 100 and 200 due to the schedule.
The Winter Park, Fla., native's top 100m time of 12.63 is seeded fifth of the 24 competing athletes and her 200m time (26.17) ranks ninth.
Houston will gear up to take part in three events, running the 200m, 400m and the high jump for the Warriors. Her high jump mark set a school record during the 2016 campaign.
Nick Vaughn – 100m, 4x100, 4x400
Aaron Prescott – Discus
Tevon Springer – HJ, 4x100, 4x400
Liam Brennan – 110 HH, 4x100, 4x400
Mitch Vaughn – HJ, 110 HH
Justin Bean – 200m, 4x100
Kevin Baldwin – 800m, 3,000 SC, 10,000m, 4x400
Front lining the Massasoit men's team is sophomore Nick Vaughn (Kingston). A veteran of the Nationals, Vaughn will take part in the 100m at NJCAA's for the second consecutive year. Last season, Vaughn finished 12th in the 100m and 26th in the 200m. This season the sophomore will run the 100m, seeded 15th in the event. Vaughn will also anchor both the 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams for the Warriors.
In the field events, freshman Aaron Prescott of Carver put on quite a showing in his first year donning Green and White. The discus thrower set a school record and is seeded sixth in the event, after tossing a season long distance of 35.67m at the Regis Pride Classic.
Mitch Vaughn (Kingston) also put together a solid sophomore campaign at Massasoit. After just missing the cut in the high jump as a freshman, Vaughn qualified in the first meet of the season. His highest leap of 1.85m, a Massasoit record, ranks eighth in the National seedings. Vaughn will also run in the 110 high hurdles.
Freshman Kevin Baldwin (San Jose, Calif.) has shown and will continue to show great endurance, slated to compete in three separate events as well as a relay team. The long distance specialist qualified for Nationals in the 800m, 3,000m steeplechase, 10,000m and a member of the 4x400 relay squad. Baldwin is seeded ninth in the steeplechase.
Tevon Springer (Sharon) and Liam Brennan (Middleboro) will each compete in an individual event and be on both qualifying relay teams for the Warriors. Brennan is seeded 12th in the 110 high hurdles.
Justin Bean (Foxboro) rounds out the student-athletes representing Massasoit, being in the 4x100 relay squad and sprinting in the 200m race.