SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

February 15, 2014

Jean DePlacido column: Bates' Enos ranked No. 1 nationally in shot put

Jean DePlacido
Correspondent

---- — Sean Enos is currently ranked No. 1 in the country for Division 3 in the shot put and fourth in the weight throw. The Bates College junior captain and former St. John’s Prep star is having a sensational year and received the National Athlete of the Week award last month after taking over the top spot for shot putters.

“That kind of recognition felt pretty cool,” said Enos, who will represent the Bobcats in both events at the NCAA championship at Lincoln, Nebraska on March 14 and 15. “Right now I’m seeded first and hope to keep it going to see where it takes me. I know this also puts a big target on my back, but I am really motivated to keep the spot right through nationals.”

Enos threw the shot 55-feet-11 inches at the Bates Invitational, and finished second overall behind Maine’s Division 1 thrower Justin Gagne (57-1.5). He won the 35 pound weight throw (61-475), almost three feet better than the runner-up. Enos is the only man in Division 3 to throw better than 61 feet at two different meets this season.

“Being ranked fourth in the weight throw gives me good motivation to step it up,” said Enos, who is an outdoor All-American in the discus. “I will be pretty busy at nationals. The weight throw is on the first day and shot the second day. It takes a lot of determination to have a strong performance in both.”

Enos is following in the footsteps of multi-time All-American David Pless, who graduated last year after setting many school records. Enos is currently ranked second on the Bates all-time school shot put record list behind Pless and sixth in the weight throw. The best weight throw Pless had was 64-7.75 and shot put of 61-0.25.

“Pless captained the team for two years, and I hope to do it. I’m honored to be named captain as a junior,” said Enos. “I’m trying to move up on the school record lists as much as I can. It all starts with fall training, trying to best prepare yourself for the season. I was hoping for a breakout year, but I couldn’t imagine things going as well as they have so far.

“My main goal is to get to 60 feet in the shot, and I don’t think that’s unrealistic since I’m at 57 now. I’ll go hard with the training for a while longer and then ease down a bit when nationals get closer. I’m hoping to win the shot put; the weight throw is very competitive, and it will take a really good day for me to finish first in that event. I’d love to beat the record Pless set in the weight. Right now I’m still figuring it out.”

The Bobcats won the Maine State Indoor Championship which was held at Bowdoin earlier this month with 174 points followed by Bowdoin, University of Southern Maine, Colby, and St. Joseph’s. Enos took top honors in the shot with a personal best 57-04.75 and weight throw (60-05.75). He followed that up with a first place D-3 finish and third overall at the Valentine Invitational at BU last weekend (56-0.5) in a field of 73. He placed second in the weight throw overall and first in his division (61-2.75).

“Our team is awesome,” said Enos. “We lost a couple of big guys to graduation, but others have stepped up. Right now we’re gearing up for the Division 3 New England’s. MIT is ranked the highest, but two years ago we were underdogs and pulled off the first win in school history. We’re hoping for something like that to happen again.

“We have a lot of guys already qualified for nationals, and our distance medley relay team in ranked first in the nation. It’s exciting to be part of it, and we’re hoping for more good things to happen.”

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Peabody High girls’ basketball coach Jane Heil has been dealing with a lot ever since her husband Bob, who is also an assistant coach, underwent emergency surgery on January 23. Bob is recovering in the hospital with his wife at his side as much as possible while the Tanners prepare for the upcoming Division 1 North tourney. Heil said the girls on the team have been great through this difficult time. Wishes for a speedy recovery go out to the popular coach.

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Joe Luongo was invited to run the 600 in a special race at the Armory in New York last weekend, and the St. John’s Prep junior lit up the track, finishing with the No. 2 time in the nation this season, a personal best 1:20.23. Luongo transferred to St. John’s from Austin Prep after his family moved.

“He was very impressive,” said Eagles coach Ray Carey, who went to New York to see Luongo race. “Thousands of kids compete in this event, and the No. 1 kid in the country also ran there. Joe will run the 600 at the state meet and also does the 300 and a leg on the 400 relay for us.

“His strength is middle sprints, and it is phenomenal that he is improving as much as he has been. We train outside, and this is as bad a winter for snow and cold as I can remember in my 38 years (coaching at St. John’s).”

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Jean DePlacido is a correspondent for The Salem News. You can contact her at JMDeplacido@aol.com.