Track team places at home

Moses Manga, junior, blazes down the lane during the home meet.

Moses Manga, junior, blazes down the lane during the home meet.

Walking away from its first home track meet, the men’s track team took 11 first-place wins Friday and Saturday at the MSSU/RadioShack Open.

Matt Campbell, junior, automatically qualified for NCAA Division II nationals with his winning pole vault of 16-8.75, the highest pole vault clearance in the NCAA-II this season.

“Once we get to the national meet we do well,” said Tom Rutledge, men’s head track and field coach. “That’s every track athlete’s goal.”

Kyle Rushing, junior, received a provisional for the national meet with a winning high jump of 6-8.25.

Michael Stewart, senior, also received a provisional mark with a first place leap of 47-3.75 in triple jump.

Freshman Chris Farmer took two first place finishes in both the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.08 and the 200-meter dash in 23.11.

Farmer said the results exceeded his expectations at a first meet.

“When everyone is two times as tall and two times as muscular as you, it’s hard to be confident,” he said. “It was a small meet, and I knew I could run.”

Also running in the 60-meter dash was Moses Manga, junior, who took third with a time of 7.23.

In the 400-meter dash, Neil Hombs, senior, took first with 51.23, followed by David Downs, freshman, with a time of 51.76; and Matt Nicholson, freshman, at 52.48.

Lucas Plocher, junior, won the mile with a time of 4:36.15. Brandon Wheeler, freshman, came in second place with 4:45.96.

Plocher also won the 800-meter run with 2:05.36.

Leigh Drish, freshman, came in first in the 600-yard run with a time of 1:19.62. Rustan Crockett, freshman, finished third in 1:23.16.

In the 3,000-meter run, Craig Rhoads, senior, claimed second in 8:36.97, and Paul Koehler, senior, earned third in 8:50.91. Meanwhile, Kyle Davis, freshman, received fourth with a time of 8:51.41.

Sam McDonald, freshman, finished second place in the 60-meter hurdles in 9.02.

The Lions 1,600-meter relay team came in first with a time of 3:27.91. The distance medley also earned first place with a time of 10:35.71.

Russell Ellis, freshman, came in fourth in the pole vault with 14-11.5. In the long jump, Sam McDonald, freshman, came in fifth place with a jump of 9-.5.

Nick Vince, freshman, threw the shot put 48-8.75 to earn second place. Adam Sims, freshman, threw 43-3.75 for fourth place.

Mike Hines, junior, threw 50-11 for third place in weight throw. Lucas Clark threw 49-11.75 to gain fourth place.

It was Hines’ first time competing in weight throw since he learned it in late October. His goal is to hit 50 feet.

Hines was also disappointed he didn’t throw shot due to an arm injury. When it heals, he would like to throw 55 feet in shot put.

“They did an outstanding job with only four days of preparation before the meet,” Rutledge said. “I was very pleased. It’ll be good for some of us to get the rhythm down since we’ll be going every weekend until June.”

The Lions will compete Jan. 21 and 22 at the University of Arkansas.