NASHVILLE, Tenn. — On a day when Belmont University was often left wanting for highlights, the men's distance crew provided a spark Saturday at Vanderbilt's Commodore Classic indoor track and field meet.
Sophomore Kaleb McLeod (Soperton, Ga.) snagged a top-five finish in the 3,000 meters while senior Matt Edwards (Glamorgan, Wales) and junior Ben Weisel (Nashville, Tenn.) each set personal bests in the event.
They were the lone PRs among the Belmont men during Day 2 of the meet at the Vanderbilt Multipurpose Facility.
The distance group was split in two with Edwards (8:29.04) and Weisel (8:34.44), who finished eighth and 15th respectively, starring in the unseeded race earlier in the day. McLeod (8:25.15) and senior Luke Evans (14th, 8:33.40) did the heavy lifting for Belmont in the seeded race, the final individual competition of the day.
"For us in the unseeded, it was good for a first one because there was no pressure," said Edwards, who took first in the unseeded portion. "We sort of set the tone as well. The guys in the seeded race, seeing us run an 8:30, they know they can go out and do that now."
The Bruins also had three shot put throwers crack the top 10, with junior Corey Claiborne (Alpharetta, Ga.) following up his school-record performance in December with a respectable 15.33-meter (50 feet, 3.5 inches) toss and sixth place.
But overall coming off a holiday hiatus of more than a month since their last indoor meet in December, the Bruins underperformed compared to their potential and expectations, Associate Head Track Coach Cameron Harvey said.
"They're better than they showed today," Harvey said. "I expect the athletes to keep improving from here out with the ultimate goal of peaking come indoor conference time."
Belmont gets a chance at redemption next week. The Bruins head to the Samford Invitational in Alabama. Multi-events begin next Thursday with the rest of the meet to follow Friday and Saturday.
Belmont men's results
11. Ryan Lipe, jr. — 8.71
12. Drake Mitchell, so. — 8.87
14. Ryan Teague, so. — 7.18
15. Hayden Stover, fr. — 7.22
17. Jared DeVore, fr. — 7.31
18. Seth Randall, so. — 7.33
23. Andrew Garcia, jr. — 8.28
6. Corey Claiborne, jr. — 15.33m (50-3.50)
8. Stephen Gibson, jr. — 14.81m (48-7.25)
9. Cal Widener, fr. — 14.27m (46-10)
13. Matt Blivin, sr. — 4:18.40
9. Ryan Teague, so. — 49.88
16. Alex Miller, so. — 51.60*
18. Timothy Cody, fr. — 53.34
19. Khristian Vickers, fr. — 53.38*
-- Nate Nammour, jr. — DNF
17. Christian Gonzales, so. — 1:57.53
20. Sean Carroll, fr. — 2:01.03*
5. Kaleb McLeod, jr. — 8:25.15
8. Matt Edwards, sr. — 8:29.04*
14. Luke Evans, sr. — 8:33.40
15. Ben Weisel, jr. — 8:34.44*
21. Declan McManus, jr. — 8:39.01
28. Jackson Vroon, fr. — 9:10.60*
32. Daniel White, fr. — 9:40.23*
6. Belmont 3:29.37