Former Lion standouts Nealey, Hill take college track championships by storm

With diversity his strength, Nealey wins heptathlon, Hill 400 meters
By Staff | Feb 03, 2020

Roxbury, Mass. — A pair of Belfast Area High School graduates certainly demonstrated their impressive athletic prowess when they rose to the top of the pack at the 52nd New England Inter-Collegiate Amateur Athletics Association indoor track and field championships on Jan. 31-Feb. 1 at the Reggie Lewis Center.

Drew Nealey of the University of Rhode Island and Cassidy Hill of the University of Maine, who experienced tremendous track-and-field success (as well as in other sports) in high school as talented Lions, emerged on top again now at the next level.

Nealey, of Northport, finished first in the heptathlon, a combination of seven events which demonstrates an athlete's tremendous all-around abilities, adaptability and diversity.

The 6-foot 2-inch, 170-pound Nealey finished first overall among 12 competitors at 4,832, while Jonathan Pelusi of Brown University, who was second at 4,779.

Nealey finished 11th (7.64) in 60 meters, fifth (2:49.88) in 1,000 meters, fifth (8.97) in 60-meter hurdles, third (6-2) in high jump, second (14-7.5) in pole vault, seventh (20-3.5) in long jump and fifth (37-8.5) in shot put.

URI finished third among 22 men's teams at 114. Connecticut was first at 217.5.

Hill, of Searsmont, excelled in the middle sprints as she was first in 400 meters and fourth in 200 meters.

In the 400, Hill finished third (56.83) among 30 runners in the prelims and first (55.87) in the finals. She bested May Stern of Brown University, who was second at 55.97.

In the 200, Hill was sixth (25.42) among 29 in the prelims and fourth (25.19) in the finals.

Maine finished 10th with 25 among the 24 women's teams, while Connecticut was first at 125.33.

The former Lions have experienced strong college track-and-field careers with a multitude of personal highlights.

In high school, Nealey was a multi-time state champion in pole vault and also won the state 300-meter hurdles. He excelled in other event, including the jumps, in an early example of his diverse prowess in track and field.

As a Lion, Hill was one of the finest sprinters in the state.

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