DARTMOUTH, N.H. – Colin McCabe is officially the best freshman shot putter in New England. The star Massachusetts Maritime Academy thrower qualified for the prestigious multi-divisional All-New England Track and Field Championships and finished No. 8 across NCAA Divisions I, II, and III in shot put with a 15.35m throw.
McCabe, the four-time MASCAC Rookie of the Week, added yet another line to his impressive first-year C.V. with an invitation to New England's top track and field event. The Dartmouth, Mass. native did not sneak into the competition either, as he was seeded No. 9 out of 20.
"Before Colin threw, my advice to him was, 'Relax, throw with confidence, throw consistently, and get 6 throws,'" noted Head Coach Cathy Lohse. "'You saw what happened last week, anything can happen, anyone can take the win.'"
As he has done consistently over the course of the season, McCabe gradually increased his distance throughout the meet. In the first heat, from which only the top nine advanced, McCabe started with a 14.80 meter throw, almost duplicating the length on his second attempt, only four centimetres (1.57 inches) shorter.
With those times placing McCabe in the top nine, the rookie did not relent, ensuring he would move on to the final round with a 14.90 meter put, which moved him up a spot in the rankings. With a New England title on the line, the robust and toned McCabe reached back for an extra ounce of strength for his fourth throw, hurling the shot 15.19 meters, at that point the eleventh-best throw of any shot putter in any heat.
However, the two-sport athlete then put his penultimate shot 15.35 meters to ensure a Top 8 finish with no other thrower beneath him in the rankings closer than three centimetres in distance. With one throw remaining, McCabe was only 1.5 centimetres out of fifth place, but settled for a 14.57 meter put to finish his day.
"[I thought it went] really well," commented McCabe. "I am glad I ended the season on a good note. But I do wish I could've had another PR."
McCabe was one of only three in the Top 10 that did not foul and was well ahead of both any other first-year throwers or any MASCAC representatives. Second-best among conference throwers was Worcester State University's Elmer Acuña, who topped out at 14.36m in the first round and did not advance. In a fitting conclusion to the season, the event was won by UMass-Dartmouth's Jared Louf-Woods, who has best his sporting neighbour in four events this year.
"After the event was over, Jared from UMASS Dartmouth said to Colin, 'Congrats man! Remember, not many freshmen make it this far. Keep working hard, get your chest up!'," relayed Lohse.
McCabe finished eighth overall, fourth in Division III, and ahead of all but one athlete from DII and three in the NCAA's top division. His distance was second all-time in Academy history, with his name etched in the top seven rows in the record book. In only his first season, McCabe has become the first Buccaneer to ever top 14 meters, doing so in all but one meet, surpassing the 15 meter mark in four events.
With those records in the book, the season concludes for Buccaneer track and field, while McCabe has blazed a path that will be exciting to watch fulfilled. In the meantime, make sure to bookmark www.mmabucs.com and get the inside scoop on Facebook and Twitter @mmabuccaneers. Plus, check out our new Instagram @massmaritimebuccaneers.
Gabriel Fidler, Sports Information Associate