Tiger Men Take Lead Into Final Day
The Doane men enter action on Saturday holding a 10 point lead into the final day of the 2011 NAIA National Championship Track & Field meet in Marion, Indiana. The Tigers will send their top athletes into action as they look to capture the first national title on the men's side. Doane's women captured their first crown 10 years ago.
The Tiger men's track & field team put together a strong Friday afternoon and posted 39 points on the day to take over first place at the NAIA National Championships. The Tiger women have collected nine points and are tied for 19th.
Virgil Mitchell claimed the 110m hurdles title in a school record time of 13.84 seconds. His first two rounds were not pleasing to him but everything clicked in the finals.
"I knew after the second hurdle it was my race to win," Mitchell said. "I just needed to hang on at the end."
Mitchell said he was spurred on by his teammates. Their encouragement was the reason he wanted to do well.
"I wanted to win for my teammates. I didn't care if I won for myself but I see how much this team encourages and I didn't want to let them down."
Previous to Mitchell's 110m hurdles race, he saw the 4x100m relay team of Ben McCaleb, Thomas Hodges, Chris Busby and BJ Lawrence cruise to a school record time of 39.84 in the semifinals. They are the first Doane team to break 40 seconds in the race. They will enter finals tomorrow and excitement could be heard around the stadium as Doane and Shorter College are the front runners for that title. Shorter ran a time of 40.05 in a different heat.
BJ Lawrence took runner-up honors in the 100m dash with a time of 10.41 but that event has yet to be determined as final as there was an appeal to the finish after results were posted. Lawrence fell by .002 on the initial results. Final results may not be determined until Saturday morning.
Rob Keeney place third in the decathlon for the Tigers with 6,751 points. Keeney went back and forth with the top two competitors but was unable to make up ground late in the competition. He would have needed to top his school record to win the meet.
In the discus, Doane picked up points from three competitors. Zack Lindsley placed third, Darin Smith took fourth and Vince Krejci was fifth. Final marks are not currently available but place was announced at the throwing ring.
In women's action, Jillian Ourada earned All-American honors with a fourth place finish in the heptathlon. She totaled 4,859 points, finishing nine points out of third place.
Several competitors will go again for the Tigers on Saturday. BJ Lawrence takes the top time in the NAIA into the 200m dash semifinals. Doane's 4x100m relay team holds the top time entering finals. Virgil Mitchell posted a school record in the 400m hurdles with a time of 51.06 in the semifinals, the top mark. The Tigers also have athletes in the men's shot put, pole vault and triple jump who are in or near the top eight spots which earns points in the meet. Athletes finishing in the Top Six are named NAIA All-Americans.