Donahue third in decathlon at Open New Englands, likely securing NCAA invitation

Brendaon Donahue scored a career-high 6,458 points to place third in the decathlon at all-divisions Open New England Championships on May 11, 2019 at Southern Connecticut State University. (File photo courtesy of Kevin Morris)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Bates junior Brendan Donahue took third place in the decathlon Saturday at all-divisions Open New England Championships, posting a personal-record score for the second straight week and likely securing an invitation to the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships in two weeks.

Donahue (Wolfeboro Falls, N.H.) scored 6,458 points in all, 157 more than the the personal-record total of 6,301 he scored one week ago to capture the New England Division III title. Donahue entered the weekend ranked 18th in Division III in the decathlon, and might not have competed in the event this week had his place at NCAAs been more secure. His Open New Englands score would place him 12th in the national rankings entering the weekend. Twenty male athletes per individual event are selected for NCAAs.

Donahue stood in eighth place after the first day, but moved up to third place by the end, outscoring the field of 10 other decathletes in three of the five events on the day: the 110-meter hurdles (15.60 seconds, his personal record), the discus throw (130-11, also a PR) and the javelin throw (157-8). Donahue was first in the decathlon in all three throwing events (javelin, discus, shot put).

"Brendan was fantastic this weekend, coming back two weeks in a row in the decathlon and still PR'ing by 157 points to secure a trip to nationals," said head coach Al Fereshetian.

Also competing for Bates on the second day of the meet was first-year Bart Rust (Croton on Hudson, N.Y.) in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Rust finished the race in 9:29.72, good for eighth place out of 31 runners and third-best among Division III runners. His time was 8.71 seconds off his season-best mark of 9:21.11.

Combined with sophomore John Rex's (Andover, Mass.) fourth-place finish in the hammer throw on Friday, Donahue and Rust's points give the Bobcats 12 points for the meet, putting Bates in 23rd place among 38 scoring teams, 10th-best among Division III schools.

The Bobcats will enter some athletes in the MIT Final Qualifying Meet, taking place Thursday afternoon. The NCAA Championships will take place May 23-25 at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.