PAWTUCKET, R.I. – The Little East Conference announced the 2017 Men’s Outdoor Track and Field major awards, as voted on by the league’s head coaches. All of the LEC major award selections are first time outdoor track and field major award winners.
UMass Boston junior Dominic Nda (Pittsfield, Mass.) was selected as the 2017 Little East Conference Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year. Nda dominated all of the sprinting events in recording breaking fashion at the Little East Conference (LEC) and the New England Alliance (NEA) championships. Nda broke the LEC and NEA records in the 100-meter dash with a final time of 10.69 seconds. Nda was also a member of the record-breaking 4x100-meter relay team with his teammates Miriyoga, Amedoadzi and Powell. The Beacons’ new 4x100-meter relay time was clocked at 41.31 seconds. Nda competed and won the LEC and the NEA championships in 200-meter dash with a final time of 22.13 seconds, narrowly missed breaking the LEC record by 0.27 seconds. Nda is currently ranked 16th nationally (No.1 in New England) in the men’s 100-meter dash with his 10.69 qualifying time achieved at the LEC/NEA Championships on April 29, 2017.
The University of Southern Maine senior Connor Harris (Auburn, ME) was named the 2017 Little East Conference Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year. Harris won the 2017 LEC and NEA title in the long jump with a final jump distance of 7.01 meters as the Huskies won the LEC team title. Harris followed up his long jump championship with a second place finish in the triple jump. Harris jumped a distance of 14.47 meters in the triple jump and is currently ranked eighth nationally in the event. Harris also competed in the pole vault, finishing third with a final height of 2.90 meters.
UMass Dartmouth freshman George Papoulis (Haverhill, Mass.) was selected as the 2017 Little East Conference Outdoor Rookie Track Athlete of the Year. Papoulis won the LEC and the NEA championship in the 800-meter run with a final time of 1:54.13. Papoulis currently ranks 10th in the New England region for the 800-meter run with his 1:54.13 time that was reached at the LEC/NEA championships on April 29. Papoulis recently finished 11th in the 800-meter run at the New England Division III championships, tripping the timer at 1:55.35.
Rhode Island College freshman Jephte Wagnac (Providence, R.I.) was named the 2017 Little East Conference Outdoor Rookie Field Athlete of the Year. Wagnac finished as the LEC’s top freshman jumper in the triple jump event at the LEC/NEA championships with a final distance of 12.89 meters. Wagnac also set the record in the 400-meter hurdles event at the LEC/NEA championships with a time of 53.06 seconds. Wagnac ended the season strong as he was named the Little East Conference Rookie of the Week for three consecutive weeks (4/17, 4/24, 5/2).
The 2017 Little East Conference Outdoor Track and Field Coaching Staff of the Year went to the 2017 Little East Conference champions, the University of Southern Maine. Led by head coach Ryan Harkleroad, the Huskies won the Little East scoring championship with 185 total points and took second place in the New England Alliance championship with 125 total points. The Huskies won their third straight LEC title and seventh in the 10 season. The 2016-17 Huskies became just the second program to sweep the LEC cross country, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field championships in the same academic year.
2017 LEC Outdoor Track and Field
Track Athlete of the Year
Dominic Nda, Junior, UMass Boston
Connor Harris, Senior, Southern Maine
Rookie Track Athlete of the Year
George Papoulis, Freshman, UMass Dartmouth
Jephte Wagnac, Freshman, Rhode Island College
Coaching Staff of the Year
University of Southern Maine
The Little East Conference was formed in 1986 when six public institutions gathered to create a single sport athletic conference and has expanded into what is now New England's premier athletic conference for public institutions in NCAA Division III. The LEC features 19 Championship Sports and sponsors quality competition in every season for our student athletes while following the Division III mission of passion, responsibility, sportsmanship and citizenship.