Men’s Track & Field Takes Fifth at GNAC Championships, Sees Three Rams Grab Individual Titles

WESTON, Mass. – Suffolk men's outdoor track & field had a historic weekend at the GNAC Championships as the Rams finished as a team for the first time in the events short, two-year history, while three student-athletes – Michael Balestra, Maytas Csiki-Fejer and Robert Solari – all grabbed home individual champion honors.

Csiki-Fejer highlighted the group as the freshman long distance runner became the first Suffolk runner – either male or female – to top two different events at the conference championship, taking home titles in the 800-meter and the 1500-meter run, respectively. Overall, the trio are the first-ever members of Suffolk men's track & field to garner GNAC Champion and all-league nod in program history. 

Running man in Suffolk uniform going all out

The threesome led the Rams to a fifth-place showing in the six-team field with a score of 60.

Csiki-Fejer's individual titles came in record-setting fashion.

In the 1500-meter, the Saint Louis, Missouri native, clocked in at 4:02.23, nearly 19 seconds ahead of runner-up Jovan Sematimba of Regis, who set the conference championship record in the event as a sophomore in the inaugural event last year. Csiki-Fejer's time not only beat that record by 14.31 seconds, but marks the fastest time by the first-year runner in the event at the championships. Csiki-Fejer's classmates Hunter Toyoda (3rd, 4:22.97), Keoni Geers (6th, 4:28.64), Nick Malm (9th, 4:35.30) and Kevin Torres (10th, 4:39.62) all joined their classmate Csiki-Fejer in the 14-runner field and earned spots within the top 10.

In the 800, the two-time GNAC Rookie of the Week ran around the track twice with a sub two-time minute to mark his second championship record-setting performance of the day. His time of 1:59.97 paced the 14-runner field, which also featured Suffolk's Jonah Flores (8th, 2:11.43), Ryan Holloway (10th, 2:15.33) and Arthur Lacerda (11th, 2:16.34).

Solari jumped his way to become an individual champ. In the high jump he cleared 1.80 meters to top his seven opponents. The East Bridgewater, Massachusetts, local was one of the most active Suffolk student-athletes at the tournament, completing in three other events in addition to the high jump. He participated in the long jump (5th, 5.82 M), javelin (5th, 36.82 M) and was the runner-up of the 400 behind a time of 53.26.

Justin Patten also competed in the 400 and completed his lap around the track in 56.42 to take seventh.

Balestra claimed his title in the hammer throw with a championship course record-setting throw of 46.64 meters. He also participated in the discus, which he took sixth, with a 31.16-meter toss.

Michael Power and Matt Sambuceti competed alongside Baelstra in the discus and participated in the shot put as well. Power put together a 10th-place showing in the discus (27.61 M) and finished eighth in the shot put (10.42 M), while Sambuceti took eighth in the shot put (10.27 M) and eighth in the discus (29.34 M).

Nicholas Nunez rounded out the Rams' runners in the 200-meter dash where he finished eighth behind a time of 25.49.

Suffolk will now send it's the Rams that qualified to the NCAA Division III New England Championships in Williamstown, Massachusetts, this weekend, May 4-6.


Suffolk men's track & field put together a team finish for the first time at the GNAC Championships.
Michael Balestra, Maytas Csiki-Fejer and Robert Solari made history as the first Suffolk outdoor track & field men to become GNAC individual champions and all-league honorees.
Maytas Csiki-Fejer is the first-ever Ram – either male or female – to take home GNAC Champion status in multiple events, completing the feat in the 800-meter and 1500-meter run, respectively.
Maytas Csiki-Fejer set a GNAC Championship course record in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:59.97, upstaging Regis' Sean Toomey's inaugural conference championship performance of 2:03.59 by 13.37.
Maytas Csiki-Fejer put together a GNAC Championship course mark and the best performance by a first-year runner in the 1500-meter with a time of 4:02.23 to displace the previous record set of 4:16.76 held by Jovan Sematimba of Regis by 14.31.
Hunter Toyoda put together a personal-record performance in the 1500.
Michael Balestra set a GNAC Championship record in the hammer throw with a toss of 46.6 M to beat the previous mark of 43.50 M held by Saint Joseph's (Maine)'s Marshall Berninghausen.
Matt Sambuceti put together GNAC Championship personal-best performances in the shot put and discus.

2019 GNAC Outdoor Track & Field Men's Team Results

1. Colby Sawyer – 202

2. Saint Joseph's (Maine) – 149

3. Regis – 112

4. Emmanuel – 84

5. Suffolk – 60