Dominique Kone ’13 is the fastest sprinter in Division III.
Kone, from Bucksport, Maine, bested the field in the 60-meter dash at the national NCAA Division III Men’s Indoor Track and Field Championships at Grinnell College March 10. His time of 6.75 broke his own Colby record.
It was Kone’s second bid for a national championship. Last year he set the pace in the preliminary heat of the 55-meter dash but suffered a pulled hamstring in the final. This year he was second in the preliminary 60-meter dash heat, running a 6.78 after a slow start. “It was all just nerves,” Kone said.
In the final Kone caught the favorite, Jonathan Smith of Guilford College in North Carolina, in the last 10 meters of the race to win. “I knew if I had a good start, I could beat that time,” Kone said.
It was the crowning victory to a strong season in which he took New England and ECAC titles. Kone also won Maine titles in the 60 dash, 200 dash, and long jump. And he expects to be back next year to see if he can improve on his personal bests.
Coach Jared Beers ’01 said he was proud of Kone’s national championship, especially after the disappointment of his injury last year. “He looked at it as one more obstacle to be tackled and never got down,” Beers said.
Kone came late to indoor track, playing basketball at Colby as a first-year. He won the NESCAC title for the 100-meter dash in outdoor track that year and as a sophomore clocked the fastest 55-meter time in the country in the preliminary race at the NCAA championship.
He is the fifth Colby varsity athlete to win a national title. Jamie Brewster ’00, now associate director of admissions and financial aid, won titles in the hammer throw in 1997, 1998, and 1999. Alpine skier Abbi Lathrop ’06 won the giant slalom in 2006. Cindy Pomerleau ’97 won the heptathlon and Todd Coffin ’83 won the steeplechase, both in their senior years. Billy Pettengill ’11 won a national snowboardcross title. The only Colby team to win a national title is women’s crew, for their victory in 2003.
Contacted in Orlando, Fla., where the outdoor track team was training and competing during spring break, Kone said it was back to reality very quickly after his national championship.
“The day I got back I had an econ exam,” he said. “I studied on the plane. I studied in the airport. As soon as I got back to campus I went straight to the library.”