Marion, IN – Eight members of the Bryan College Track & Field program will compete in the 59th Men’s NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championships hosted by Indiana Wesleyan University starting today. The Championship will host 241 programs and over 1400 athletes from the United States and Canada from May 27th to May 29th.
The Lions will be lead by senior and three time NAIA All-American and 2010 AAC 800 Meter Run Champion Josh Bradley. Bradley (Lakeview Ft. Oglethorpe High, GA) will compete in the Men’s 800 Meter Run preliminary round on Thursday afternoon at 4:30pm where he comes into the event ranked 7th at 1:51.04. He will also be a key member of the Men’s 4 x 800 Meter Relay on the same evening.
Starting the day for Bryan will be sophomore Bryson Harper (Sequatchie County High, TN), 2010 AAC 1500 Meter Champion, as he runs in the 1500 Meter Run semi-final at 1:55PM. Harper will join Bradley on the relay along with freshmen athletes Jason McLeod (Circle Christian, FL) and Alex Stephens (Cleveland High, TN) in the Lion’s 7th ranked 4 x 800 Meter Relay squad. Drew Thompson (Oakland High, TN) and Colby Smith (Rhea County High, TN) are alternates for the relay that begins at 7:00pm.
Thursday night, the 2010 AAC 10k Champion Zach Buffington (Ooltewah High, TN) will run the 25 lap race at 9:20pm. Saturday morning junior Hunter Hall (Brentwood High, TN) will compete on the roads of Marion in the Marathon. It will be Hall’s first attempt at the 26.2 mile distance that is scheduled for a 6:00am start.
Day 1 Review
Marion, IN – The opening day of the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championship produced two school records for the Bryan College track program and advanced athletes to Friday’s action.
Zach Buffington, a junior who prepped at Ooltewah High, finished 8th in the 10,000 meter final on a warm and humid evening on Indiana Wesleyan’s Outdoor Track Complex. Buffington was 18th at the halfway point in the 25 lap race before moving through the field to finish in a new school record of 31:57.65.
Senior Josh Bradley (Ringgold, GA) breezed through the opening preliminary round of the men’s 800 meter run with his 2nd place finish in section two with a 1:51.58. Teammate Bryson Harper was 7th in the first section of the men’s 1500 meter run and failed to advance to Saturday’s final with his 3:58.64.
Harper, a sophomore and former Sequatchie County High standout, lead off the evening’s 4 x 800 meter relay that saw the Lions set a new school record of 7:38.10 and move the group into Friday’s final. Freshmen athletes Alex Stephens (Cleveland, TN) and Jason McLeod (Ocoee, FL) ran well to get the baton around to Bradley who anchored for the quartet.
Bradley will compete in the 800 meter semifinal Friday afternoon at 3:30pm before coming back once again to help the 4 x 800 meter relay compete at 6:20pm. The Lions stand in 16th place after the first day of competition.
“It was a solid first day for our athletes. Josh looked comfortable in his efforts. I’m super excited for Buffington. He has learned a lot in the last few years and is starting to apply that when he races. Harper just missed the final in the 1500, but came back and gave us a nice lead off leg in the relay. Our freshmen stepped up with their efforts and the best part is they are gaining valuable experience for future championships.” Stated head coach Rodney Stoker
Marion, IN – Day two of the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championship is complete and had mixed results for the Lion’s Track & Field program.
Senior Josh Bradley cruised into Saturday’s 800 Meter Final with a with a 2nd place performance in section one the men’s semi-final round. Finishing behind last year’s champion Silas Kisorio of Oklahoma Christian, Bradley crossed the line at 1:51.12. The nine man final will start at 4:40pm Saturday Indiana Wesleyan University’s Outdoor Track Complex.
The men’s 4 x 800 Meter Relay team finished 8th in the finals in 7:5.07, after qualifying the day before in a school record 7:38.10. The Lions currently are tied for 35th in the team standings with two points. Canada’s British Columbia has the lead with 39 while Concordia University (Oregon) is in the runner-up spot with 30 going into Saturday’s final day of competition.
“Josh looked great in the 800 semi. He is pumped about the opportunity in front of him and it should be a fast final, as it’s loaded. Our young guys didn’t have their best day in the relay, but with two freshmen and a sophomore I think we can learn a lot from the experience. Making the final shows they have a lot of success in front of them.” Said head coach Rodney Stoker.
Marion, IN – The final day of competition at the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championship at Indiana Wesleyan University’s Outdoor Track Complex produced another NAIA All-American performance and school record for senior Josh Bradley.
Bradley raced to a fourth place finish in the 800 Meter Run and took nearly a half a second from his old record in the process, crossing the line at 1:49.90. It was Bradley’s fifth two lap race in three days. Silas Kisorio of Oklahoma Christian University took the top spot for the second consecutive year at 1:49.27.
“Bradley made the final exciting and closed on the front guys the last 120 meters. He continues to be a great leader for our young group and I’m proud of his accomplishment today.” Said head coach Rodney Stoker.
Junior Hunter Hall finished 21st on Saturday morning touring the roads of Marion in the marathon championship running 2:46:28.
“Hall hung tough the last five and half miles as he cramped and couldn’t hold any fluids down. It would have been easy to call it a day as the temperatures jumped, but it shows what type of athlete he is becoming.” Commented Stoker.
Bryan ended the week tied for the 38th spot in the team standings.
“I’m proud of our group that competed this week. We have a great group of young men that continue to raise the bar for our program. The future is bright.”