ATLANTA, Ga. – Despite three weeks off since his last competition during the indoor track and field season Belmont University's Corey Claiborne looked in prime shape Saturday at Georgia Tech's outdoor Yellow Jacket Invitational.
The junior Claiborne (Alpharetta, Ga.) took first in the discus throw and second in the shot put, part of an overall strong performance by Belmont's deep throws group. Claiborne threw 44.69 meters (146-7) in the discus, barely 3/4 of an inch short of his personal best, and he went 16.22 meters (53-2.75) in the shot put, the second-best mark in the Ohio Valley Conference through two weeks of outdoor competition this season.
Junior Stephen Gibson (Tuscola, Ill.) added a third-place finish in the discus and was fifth in the shot put, and freshman Cal Widener (Elmhurst, Ill.) was fourth in the shot. Senior Matt Walker (Southlake, Texas) set a PR of 52.47 meters (172-2) to earn third in the javelin.
"Corey had several long fouls in the shot and discus, and I think he along with the rest of the throws crew will start to find some big marks as we get into the rhythm of the outdoor season," said Belmont Assistant Track Coach Joe Frye, who coaches the throwers.
Belmont's sprinters also had a strong spring debut, led by junior Nate Nammour (Tampa, Fla.) in the 400 meters. His time of 48.15, which was eighth at the meet, is thus far best in the conference.
Sophomore Christian Gonzales (Orinda, Calif.) ran a personal-record time in the 800, finishing in 1:56.36 to take sixth. Seventh-place senior Anthony Didion (LaPorte, Ind.) also set a PR in 1:56.50. Those represent the second and third best OVC times this spring.
Other Belmont top finishers included sophomore Declan McManus (Worcestershire, England) and senior Matthew Blivin going fourth and fifth in the 2,000-meter steeple chase; senior Caleb Corprew (Midwest City, Okla.) and sophomore Alex Miller (Colorado Springs, Colo.) taking fifth and sixth in the 400-meter hurdles; and a pair of eighth-place finishes for sophomore Drake Mitchell (Nashville, Tenn.) in the 110 hurdles and long jump. His 15.61 in the hurdles was a PR.
It was a decent start to the season for the Bruins, but Belmont Associate Head Track Coach Cameron Harvey said he expects even more improvement in the next few weeks as the team hits its mid-season form.
"Even though we're only a few weeks removed from indoor conference, it's really a reset and rebuild for everyone," he said.
The Bruins will take another crack at the track this week a little closer to home at the Vanderbilt Black & Gold meet which begins on Friday.
BELMONT MEN'S RESULTS
3. Matt Walker, sr. – 52.47m (172-2)*
29. Seth Randall, so. – 11.39
24. Seth Randall, so. – 22.64*
20. Taylor Vroon, fr. – 4:05.78*
8. Drake Mitchell, so. – 15.61*
8. Drake Mitchell, so. – 6.48m (21-3.25)