Ben Harmon and Alden Black Power Outdoor Track & Field at NCAA Champs
RESULTS | PHOTO GALLERY | INTERVIEWS
Delaware, Ohio, May 27, 2011 — The Washington University in St. Louis men’s outdoor track and field team moved into a tie for third place in the team standings thanks to a pair of All-America finishes from seniors Ben Harmon and Alden Black on the second day of the 2011 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships on the campus of Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio.
Harmon completed the grueling decathlon with his all-time best performance in the event, capturing third place with 6,950 points. Black earned All-America honors for the first time in his career placing second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase on Friday night with a school-record breaking time of 8:54.61.
With 20 team points, Washington University sits just three points behind the program’s all-time best finish of 23 points in 1988, when the Bears posted an 11th place showing at the NCAA Outdoor meet.
Harmon was in fourth place in the decathlon entering Friday’s competition and remained in that spot through the first four events before leap frogging Christopher Newport University’s Richard Roethel in the final event of the day, the 1,500-meter.
Harmon still trailed Roethel by 105 points as they headed into the 1,500, but posted a time of 4:37.58 to add 696 points to his grand total, which was worth a net gain of 120 points on Roethel, who posted a mark of 4:57.22 for 576 points.
It marks the third time in his career Harmon earns All-America honors in the decathlon, after a fifth-place showing in 2008 and a fourth-place finish in 2009. He ends his career as a six-time All-America, garnering more NCAA top-eight finishes than any men’s student-athlete in school history.
Harmon’s other marks from Friday’s competition included 31.59 meters in the discus, 15.52 in the 110-meter hurdles, 46.83 meters in the javelin and 4.70 meters in the pole vault. He took three attempts at 4.80 meters in the vault, which would have marked a new personal record, but came up just short.
Black ran an impressive 3,000-steeple race, maintaining pace with the leaders until the final 400-meters when national champion Kent Pecora of Dickinson College accelerated away from the pack. Black’s second-place mark broke his own school record of 8:57.10, set just two weeks ago at the North Central College Dr. Keeler Invitational.
Washington University had three student-athletes qualify for finals on Saturday, juniors Dan Davis and Tyler Jackson in the men’s 110-meter hurdles and junior Liz Phillips in the women’s 800-meter run.
Davis and Jackson were placed in the second heat of the 110-hurdles, which Davis won with a time of 14.33, ranking second overall heading into Saturday’s final. Jackson finished third in the heat but his time of 14.57 was the seventh-fastest overall. Both hurdlers were All-Americans in the 55-meter hurdles at the 2011 NCAA Division III Indoor Championships and will be looking for the first All-America finish of their careers in the 110-hurdles.
Phillips will now be competing in two championship finals on Saturday thanks to her school-record breaking time in the 800-meter preliminaries on Friday. She won the first heat with a mark of 2:11.05, slipping 0.04 under the school record of 2:11.09 she set just last week and will also run in the 1,500-meter on Saturday.
The Washington University women’s team fielded competitors in the pole vault and 3,000-meter steeplechase finals. Freshman Anna Etherington cleared 3.39 meters to finish in a tie for 13th place in the pole vault and freshman Sarah Fisher came in 21st in the 3,000-steeple with a time of 11:13.88.
In addition to Phillips, Davis and Jackson, Washington University will see senior Dave Spandorfer and junior Michael Burnstein compete in the 5,000-meter final as the 2011 NCAA Division III Championship draws to a close on Saturday, May 28, in Delaware, Ohio.