The University of the Cumberlands (UC) Men’s Track and Field team was in action in their own territory as UC hosted this year’s 2014 Mid-South Conference (MSC) Track and Field Championships. With 8 teams competing this year, the Patriots knew they were going to have to work hard to come away with a victory. The men did just that as they excelled over the two day event to win the Mid-South Conference team title.
Starting with the track events, it was Steven Johnson (Atlanta, GA) who made it to the top podium in the 100 meter dash finishing 1st with a time of 10.85 seconds. He also would also come away with a victory in the 200 meter dash as he ran a time of 22.03 seconds. Erik Willis (Richmond, IN) would be the top finisher for UC in the 400 meter dash as he crossed the line in 3rd place with a time of 50.31 seconds.
Brendan Kelly (Lexington, KY) would earn himself a spot on the top podium two times in single races as he won the 800 meter run with a time of 1:55.84 and the 1500 meter run with a time of 4:00.31. In the 5000 meter run, it was Samuel Meredith (Louisville, KY) finishing in 2nd place with a time of 15:33.23. In the 10000 meter run, UC’s top finisher was Jacob Nathanson (Greer, SC) as he finished in 5th place with a time of 34:35.11. In the 5000 meter race walk, it was Sam Beal (Beavercreek, OH) finishing 2nd with a time of 29:05.11.
In the 110 meter hurdles, it was Eric Phillips (New Castle, KY) crossing the line first for UC in 7th place with a time of 23.79. Aaron Harrison (Courtland, OH) would finish in 4th place for UC in the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 57.34. Nathanson would also earn a top finish for UC in the 3000 meter steeplechase event finishing in 4th place with a time of 10:23.22.
UC’s 4x100 meter relay team of Adam Colebrooke (Freeport, Bahamas), Ford, Johnson, and Allante Novene (Chattanooga, TN) would finish in 1st place with a time of 41.51, nearly a full second in front of Georgetown. The 4x400 meter relay team of Colebrooke, Willis, Kelly, and Harrison would earn a 1st place finish with a time of 3:21.12, .60 seconds ahead of Georgetown. In the final relay event, the Patriots’ team of Devin Gray (Carrollton, KY), Harrison, Meredith, and Kelly would finish in 2nd place in the 4x800 meter relay race with a time of 8:12.01.
In the field events, Slade Klinksiek (Lexington, KY) would win the men’s pole vault competition with a vault of 3.95 meters. In the men’s shot put event, it was Cameron Smoak (Williamsburg, KY) continuing his great freshman year as he won the shot put throwing a distance of 14.30 meters. Courtney Freeman (Riverdale, GA) would earn a 2nd place finish in the discus throw with a toss of 42.53 meters. In the hammer throw, it was Christian Brislenn (Franklin, OH) setting a new meet record with a win in the competition, throwing a distance of 48.30 meters. Finally in the javelin throw, it was Dallas Defoor (Gainesville, GA) earning a victory with a throw of 50.19 meters.
The Patriot men finished the championships with 233 total points, running away with the MSC Championships by 101 points over closest competitor Lindsey Wilson College.
All first place finishers at the MSC Championships earned First Team All Mid-South Conference honors. Johnson, Kelly, Colebrook, Ford, Novene, Willis, Harrison, Klinksiek, Smoak, Brislenn, and Defoor all were awarded that honor. Also announced at the meet were the Academic All-Conference honorees. Thirty-four student athletes from the MSC earned the honor as the Patriots placed 5 members on the team including Christian Brislenn, Carson Newman (Jefferson, GA), Christopher O’Dell (Williamsburg, KY), Donald Whyte (Miamisburg, OH), and Erik Willis. In order to be nominated by an institution, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.25 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved at least sophomore academic status.
Now, numerous Patriots will continue to train as they have made marks to compete in the NAIA Outdoor National Championships. Those will be held in Golf Shores, Alabama on May 22nd-24th. Qualifiers for UC will be competing next week on May 3rd at Indiana University.