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USM's Ruginski returns after NCAA title

11:31 PM, Mar 16, 2014   |    comments
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  • Courtesy: NCAA
  • Courtesy: USM
    

GORHAM, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Jamie Ruginski won state titles and a New England championship when he was at Bonny Eagle, but the trophy he earned on Saturday trumps them all:  a national championship. 

The junior at Southern Maine returned to Gorham on Sunday a day after capturing the Division III NCAA indoor track title for the triple jump.  In doing so, he became the first athlete at USM win a track & field national championship. 

"The most unbelievable feeling in my life.  I couldn't believe it.  You know, I worked so hard for it.  You know, a lot of sacrifice, dedication, you know, a lot of nights I wanted to take and spend time on the track when I wanted to do other things.  It's been a very emotional week for me, emotional year, and it's just been unbelievable to be there," he said. 

On Friday, he finished third in the long jump.  As a top-eight finisher in both events, he also becomes the first USM trackster to earn multiple All-American honors at a national championship. 

Ruginski originally competed at the University of Maine where he set the school record for the long and triple-jump.  After his freshman season, he decided to give up track and school altogether moving out to California to snowboard and work in Lake Tahoe. 

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