The University of the Cumberlands (UC) Men and Women's Track and Field teams traveled this week to SPIRE Institute Track and Field Sports Complex in Geneva, OH to compete in the NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships. With only four athletes for UC qualifying for the meet, the Patriots wanted to go in and make a big impact on the events and they did just that.
The Patriots had a pair of freshman qualify for the Championships. Sam Beal (Beavercreek, OH) participated in the 3,000m race-walk competition. Being the first event of the day, Beal captured a 10th place finish in a time of 15 minutes and 57 seconds. The other freshman to make the big meet was Donnie Gay (Garfield, GA) who sprinted in the 60m dash. Gay ran one of his fastest times of 6.99 seconds, which earned him a 21st place finish. Beal and Gay were grateful for the opportunity of gaining experience from a National Championship as freshman. They both look forward to competing in the outdoor season.
On the women's side, senior Darcy Mascotti (Bellbrook, OH) and junior Danielle Hoop (Owenton, KY) qualified for the meet. Mascotti chose to participate in the 1 mile run along with the 3,000m run, while Hoop chose to run in the 1,000m and 5,000m run. On day one of the competition, Hoop ran in the preliminaries of the 5K event where she ran a time of , but was the first spot out of making the finals . , Mascotti ran the preliminaries of the 1 mile run where she ran the fourth fastest preliminary time of , automatically advancing to finals . In the meantime, Hoop didn’t let her 5K performance affect her other event as she ran the third fastest preliminary time of in the 1,000m run, also advancing to finals .
During the finals, Mascotti was competing in the first event of the day in the women’s 1 mile run. Mascotti not only finished 3rd and captured All-American status, but also broke her own school record running an amazing time of 4 minutes and 53 seconds, beating her previous record by two seconds. Hoop was next in the 1,000m finals, also finishing 3rd capturing All-American status. Hoop’s time was the same as her preliminary time of 2 minutes and 54 seconds. If two third place finishes weren’t enough, Mascotti captured one more 3rd place finish in the 3,000m later that day. Mascotti broke another school record by running a time of 10 minutes and 1 second, beating Hoop’s previous record by five seconds.
Between these two ladies, together they finished 15th out of 49 scoring teams with a total of 18 points. Mascotti and Hoop are each now 6-time All-Americans between track and cross-country.
Assistant Coach BJ Temple commented, "We came here to do what was needed to be done, and ran fast."
The Patriots look to take this drive into a great outdoor season. The outdoor season will begin on Friday March 21st as the Patriots will travel to participate in the UNC-Charlotte 49er Classic.
For more information on the Patriots Track and Field programs along with other Patriot athletics, please visitwww.cumberlandspatriots.com.