CHARLESTON, Ill. – On the day the Belmont University men's track and field team finished with its most points ever at an Ohio Valley Conference Indoor Championship, Associate Head Coach Cameron Harvey couldn't help but think about the few points his squad let slip away.
A program record 100 points and a fourth-place finish Saturday at Eastern Illinois University's Lantz Fieldhouse could have been so much more.
"As weird as it sounds, we did better than we did last year and everyone was still a little disappointed in the end because we feel we could have done significantly better," Harvey said. "Nobody's happy with just being there anymore and mediocrity. They don't need the push; they're there to compete and to win."
The Bruins bested last year's upstart sixth-place finish and 74 team points and placed five individuals on the podium on the OVC Championships' second day, led by gold medalist Ben Weisel (Nashville, Tenn.) in the mile.
The junior used patience and a burst at the end to surpass the field in a first-place time of 4:10.09, just 0.05 seconds off his career best. It was more than enough in this race, though. The silver medalist was nearly 3.5 seconds behind his pace.
"Once I was in there near the leaders for the last lap, I knew I was going to be faster than everybody else in the final 200 (meters)," said Weisel, who surged ahead with just over 150 meters to go. "I still didn't know how much of a gap I had. I thought there was someone with me, so I was gunning all the way to the line."
Weisel's performance earned 10 team points for Belmont. He added two more with a seventh-place finish in the 800 meters (1:59.81).
A day after breaking his own school record in the 60-meter hurdle preliminaries, senior Caleb Corprew (Midwest City, Okla.) came up just short of giving the Bruins two golds in the finals of his event. He finished second in 8.17, which had been the school mark before his 8.12 time Friday.
Including his work with Belmont's relay team and his first ever college high jump event Friday, Corprew accrued 15 total points at the conference meet.
Junior Corey Claiborne (Alpharetta, Ga.) was one of three bronzes for Belmont, taking third in the shot put with a throw of 16.77 meters (55-0.25). Three Bruins scored points in the event along with sixth-place junior Stephen Gibson (Tuscola, Ill.) and eighth-place freshman Cal Widener (Elmhurst, Ill.)
Junior Nate Nammour (Tampa, Fla.) added a third-place finish in the 400 meters in 49.31 and Sophomore Drake Mitchell (Nashville, Tenn.) was third in the heptathlon with 4,595 points. His junior teammate Ryan Lipe (Franklin, Tenn.) finished fourth in the heptathlon and eighth in the 60 hurdles despite pulling his hamstring midway through the day.
Lipe scored 14 points overall for the weekend across three events.
Senior Matt Edwards (Glamorgan, Wales) added a fourth-place finish in the 3,000 meters in 8:27.34 and junior Declan McManus (Worcestershire, England) was seventh. Senior Matthew Blivin (Durham, N.C.) was also seventh in the mile and Belmont's 4x400-meter relay team took seventh as well after a dropped baton put the group well off the pace.
Eastern Kentucky captured first place with 136 points, ahead of defending champion Eastern Illinois' 124 and third-place SEMO's 118.
With the conclusion of the indoor season, the Bruins will now break until their outdoor campaign begins next month. Belmont will next compete at Georgia Tech's Yellow Jacket Invitational on March 16-17.
- Eastern Kentucky 136
- Eastern Illinois 124
- SE Missouri 118
- Belmont 100
- Tennessee St. 82
- SIUE 77
- Tennessee Martin 20
Heptathlon (4 of 7 events)
3. Drake Mitchell, so. — 4,595 points
(60H: 8.99, 4th; PV: 3.24m*, 7th; 1000: 3:01.13, 3rd; 60: 7.42*, 3rd; LJ: 6.55m, 2nd; SP: 11.58m*, 2nd; HJ: 1.94m, 2nd)
4. Ryan Lipe, jr. — 4,280 points
(60H: 8.67, 2nd; PV: 3.24m, 8th; 1000: 3:23.18, 8th; 60: 7.33*, 3rd; LJ: 6.73m*, 1st; SP: 10.26m, 5th; HJ: 1.73m, 5th)
3. Nate Nammour, jr. — 49.31
7. Ben Weisel, jr. — 1:59.81
4. Matt Edwards, sr. — 8:27.34
7. Declan McManus, jr. — 8:33.63
12. Taylor Vroon, fr. — 8:44.57*
17. Kaden Eaton, sr. — 9:01.25
1. Ben Weisel, jr. — 4:10.09
7. Matthew Blivin, sr. — 4:18.61
14. Anthony Didion, sr. — 4:34.50
2. Caleb Corprew, sr. — 8.17
8. Ryan Lipe, sr. — 20.75
3. Corey Claiborne, jr. — 16.77m (55-0.25)
6. Stephen Gibson, jr. — 16.06m (52-8.25)*
8. Cal Widener, fr. — 15.59m (51-1.75)