Connecticut College News
Samma: 'Everything just went well'03/15/2009
Alex Samma '10
Alex Samma '10 of Burkina Faso won the triple jump at the NCAA Division III Indoor Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. last Saturday -- and became the first national champion in the history of the College's track and field program.
Samma covered a distance of 49 feet, 5 and one half inches (15.07 meters). He shattered his previous school mark by nine and one quarter of an inch.
"Everything just went well," said Samma, who suffered a hamstring injury two weeks earlier. His goal had been to finish in the top eight and better his mark.
It was an amazing achievement, The Day wrote, considering that Samma came to the College wanting to play soccer and only joined the track team at the urging of team member Mickey Lenzi, his roommate.
Coach Ned Bishop told The Day that Samma has improved more than five feet since joining the team. "There was no question he had lots and lots of talent. He's fast with a lot of power."
The Camels scored 10 points to finish in a seven-way tie for 17th place in the country with the triumph in the triple jump. Samma stamped his ticket to nationals by winning the New England Division III Championship at MIT Feb. 21.
Women's hockey also enjoyed a first of its own earlier this month. The team made it to the NESCAC Final Four, facing top-seeded Amherst in the semi-finals on March 7.
Amherst won, 6-1.
Goaltender Lauren Mellen '09 of Joliet, Ill., propelled the team to the semis by stopping 53 of 54 shots in the quarterfinals against Trinity a week earlier, winning 2-1. The performance earned her NESCAC Player of the Week.
The weekend of Feb. 6, the Camels played Trinity twice in two days and lost by a combined score of 7-1.
Coach Kristen Steele told The Day that her team knew that they didn't play their best game. "We knew that (Trinity) hadn't seen the real us. I think the team knew that and they believed that," she said.