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Mitchell reaches record at OVC Championships

Mitchell reaches record at OVC Championships

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – As if a school record high jump wasn't impressive enough, Belmont University's Drake Mitchell achieved the feat Thursday in the midst of competing in four other events during the men's multi-event portion of the Ohio Valley Conference Outdoor Championships.

Mitchell's leap of 1.99 meters (6 feet, 6.25 inches) edged the Bruins' record in outdoor competition, and the sophomore sits in second place half way through the decathlon at Tennessee Tech's Tucker Stadium in Cookeville, Tenn. Mitchell has accumulated 3,665 points through five events on the first day of the OVC track and field championships.

Belmont sits in fourth place after the first day with 14 team points.

Mitchell (Nashville, Tenn.) cleared 1.99 on his third and final attempt at the height, eclipsing the previous Belmont record of 1.98 set by Jacob Spalding last season. Mitchell is now tied with Spalding, who jumped 1.99 in 2016, for the overall mark in Bruins' history.

Along with his high jump record, Mitchell also set personal bests in the long jump (6.66 meters) and the 400-meter run (51.19 seconds). He finished second in four of the five events on the day.

Junior Ryan Lipe (Franklin, Tenn.) checked in at fourth in the decathlon with 3,031 points. He set a PR in the shot put at 10.66 meters.

"The decathletes have set themselves up in a great position going into Day 2 and we're just working on keeping them healthy for tomorrow and Saturday," said Belmont Assistant Track coach Joe Frye.

In the open competition, Belmont's Stephen Gibson (Tuscola, Ill.) set a personal record by more than two meeters in the hammer throw. His 56.80 meters (186-4) was good enough for sixth. Junior teammate Corey Claiborne (Alpharetta, Ga.) scored team points as well by taking eighth in the event in a PR 51.71 (169-8).

The top eight finishers in each event contribute to a team's overall point total.

In his first career 10,000 track race, senior Matt Edwards (Glamorgan, Wales) took fourth in 31:22.79, one of two Bruins to score in the event. Junior Chase Ballard (Columbus, Ind.) finished seventh in 32:13.10.

"Stephen had a fantastic series in the hammer, making for a great way to start the championships," Frye said. "Matt Edwards ran really well in the 10K and earned fourth, and he'll be back on Saturday to close his weekend with the 5K."

The OVC Outdoor Championships continue Friday back at Tucker Stadium.



1. Eastern Kentucky 18

2. SIU Edwardsville 17

3. SE Missouri 14

4. Belmont 11

t-5. Morehead St. 7

t-5. Eastern Illinois 7

7. Tennessee-Martin 4



Decathlon (5 of 10 events)

2. Drake Mitchell, so. — 3,665 points

(100: 11:20, 2nd; LJ: 6.66m*, 2nd; SP: 11.22m, 3rd; HJ: 1.99m*^, 2nd; 400: 51.19*, 2nd)

4. Ryan Lipe, jr. — 3,031

(100: 11.70, 4th; LJ: 5.91m, 4th; SP: 10.66m*, 4th; HJ: 1.81m, 3rd; 400: 55.16, 5th)


6. Stephen Gibson, jr. — 56.80m (186-4)*

8. Corey Claiborne, jr. — 51.71m (169-8)*

13. Cal Widener, fr. — 42.84m (140-7)

-- Ryan Sheldon, fr. — FOUL


4. Matt Edwards, sr. — 31:22.79*

7. Chase Ballard, jr. — 32:13.10

14. Daniel White, fr. — 33:52.23*

*Personal record

^School record