Puja Thapa / Administrative Executive Editor

Junior Benjamin Musese, a recent transfer student from the University of Southern Maine, shattered a Keene State school record for the triple jump in his first meet during the Branwen Smith-King Invitational at Tufts University on February 1.

According to Keene State Athletics, Musese, who had been an All-American in the outdoor triple jump last season with the University of Southern Maine, leaped 14.18 meters, breaking a 14-year-old mark set by Craig Stuart. Stuart’s mark of 13.91 meters was set at the 2006 Little East Conference Championships. Musese’s mark is currently 19th in the country with the top 20 qualifying for the NCAA Division III Championships in March.

Musese’s background in track and field started young. 

“I started running track my 8th-grade year when I moved to Maine,” said Musese. “At first, I didn’t know anything about it and at that moment I didn’t have any interest in doing it. After the soccer season was over, I got bored and didn’t know what to do, so I decided to join the track team. My coach made me run the 400 meters and 200 meters because of my speed. Eventually, he asked if I could try the triple jump,” Musese said.

As for training at Keene State, Musese has a self-described standard approach. 

“I’m usually just practicing my jumping phases and do a lot of sprints,” explained Musese. “I also do some heavy lifting. I don’t usually work on my legs because they are naturally strong; the only thing I focus on is my upper body.” Musese continued, commenting on his eating habits. “I don’t eat healthy food such as salad because I have a fast metabolism. I only eat junk foods.”

Musese silenced the doubters in breaking the record. 

“Breaking the 14-year-old record was something I was planning to do in my first jump,” said Musese “I told most people that I was going to break the school record and they didn’t believe me. So, I proved them wrong and beat the record while I had a broken toe.”  

Head coach of the track and field team Paige Mills commented on Ben’s achievements in an email statement: 

“When I began coaching here in early January I heard we had a 15-meter All-American triple jumper that transferred in roaming around campus. I had to speak to him. It only took one conversation and he was all fired up to get to work. On his first fair jump of the day at his very first meet for us, Ben crushed a 14-year-old school record and qualified for DIII New England Championships also placing him in the top 20 nationally at the time. This was with no recent jump-specific work as Ben just finished his first season of soccer, his other passion, with the Owls. This is an incredibly gifted athlete we have here, with untapped potential in my opinion. We are all so excited to see how far Ben will fly…and snag some more AA’s along the way.” 

Athletic Director Philip Racicot was thrilled to hear about Ben’s accomplishment. 

“I’m really impressed with Ben’s first performance as a member of the track and field team,” said Racicot. “Breaking the school record in the triple jump the first time out is pretty special. Ben was an important member of the LEC Men’s Soccer Championship team in the fall and although we knew he had a strong background in track and field, I’m not sure anyone would have expected a record-breaking performance in his first meet. To be able to balance the demands of classes and two sports takes a lot of commitment and effort and we are fortunate to have student-athletes like Ben here at KSC.” 

Jeremy Landers can be contacted

at jlanders@kscequinox.com