GULF SHORES, Ala. - Goabaone Mosheleketi won the NAIA National Championship in the men's triple jump on Saturday during the final day of the 2017 NAIA Track & Field National Championships held at Mickey Miller Blackwell Stadium.
The junior from Lobatse, Botswana soared a program-record distance of 16.12 meters to beat out the second-best mark of 15.54 meters. He becomes the 29th individual national champion in Lindsey Wilson history and the seventh individual within the track & field program to capture a national title. Mosheleketi is the first Blue Raider to win a track & field title since current head coach Jamaine Gordon did so back in 2005, who also took home the national championship in the triple jump.
Mosheleketi was in the driver's seat from the start of the event after his first leap was 15.63 meters, which would have won the title if he did not attempt another jump. He bettered his distance to a 15.98 before the field was cut to nine finalists. The high-flying Mosheleketi continued to get better as the day went on, turning in a 16.02 before sealing things with a 16.12 on his fifth attempt, .20 meters shy of the NAIA Championship record.
Mosheleketi smashed Gordon's previous school record of 15.72 meters, earning 10 team points in the process for the Blue Raiders.
As a team, Lindsey Wilson accumulated 47 total team points at the national championships to secure fourth place, the highest-ever finish for the men's program. The previous best finish for the Blue Raiders came last season when Lindsey Wilson placed 11th.
Mosheleketi's title was just one of many outstanding performances for LWC on the final day of competition as a total of eight NAIA All-American honors were collected, including the 4x100 meter relay team nearly earning the top spot on the podium after finishing as the national runner-up.
The quartet of Holt Keeling, DeQuan Robinson, Kevin Hallmon and Mosheleketi, who had to fill-in at the anchor position after an injury, combined to run a program-record 40.46 seconds in the finals to finish as the national runner-up. After qualifying for the championship race with the fifth-fastest time in the prelims on Thursday, the Blue Raider squad came up just shy of the title after finishing behind only Indiana Tech at 39.83 seconds.
Each Blue Raider earns NAIA All-American honors for their finish in the event. Both Keeling and Hallmon were also on the 2016 4x100 relay team that finished as the national runner-up a season ago. They become the first Blue Raiders to earn All-American honors in a relay event in two different years. The relay team picked up another eight points towards Lindsey Wilson's men's team total.
Anthony Thompson earned his first-career NAIA All-American honor after finishing in fourth place in the men's triple jump. The junior leapt a distance of 15.12 meters to join Mosheleketi on the podium and collect another five points towards the Blue Raider men's total.
Thompson also had a strong start to the event as his best leap came in his first attempt. Despite strong leaps on his fifth and sixth jumps, including a 15.09 on his final, he was unable to surpass his initial leap.
Hallmon and Robinson added to their NAIA All-American accolades after placing third and fourth, respectively, in the 200 meter dash finals.
Hallmon started in lane sixth after posting the fifth-best time in the prelims, while Robinson started in lane seven with the sixth-best qualifying time. Robinson had a great jump out the blocks and Hallmon had tremendous closing speed down the stretch, but neither was able to catch national champion Moriba Morain, who set a new NAIA Championship record with his time of 20.32 seconds, breaking a record that had stood since 1985. Hallmon clocked in at a program-record 20.78, .04 seconds behind second place, and Robinson followed immediately after in fourth at 20.84 seconds.
Cameron Murphy also earned NAIA All-American honors on the day after finishing in sixth place in the men's 400 meter hurdles. Starting in lane two, Murphy eventually caught up to the pack, but slipped slightly behind and was unable to pull any closer to the front runners as he finished in 54.22 seconds. He earns his first career NAIA All-American honor and picked up three points for the Blue Raiders.
In all, the Lindsey Wilson men's program collected 10 total NAIA All-American honors at the 2017 Outdoor Championships, the most in a single season. For his performances throughout the championships, including one national title and a pair of runner-up finishes, Mosheleketi was named co-Most Valuable Performer along with Jackson Thomas from Bacone (Okla.).
British Columbia took home the team national title with 71 points. Indiana Tech finished second with 64 points followed by Wiley (Texas) in third with 57 points and the Blue Raiders in fourth with 47.