COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Though they didn't score team points Friday, Belmont University's 400-meter hurdlers are set up for a haul on Saturday on the final day of the Ohio Valley Conference Outdoor Championships.
Bruins will make up half of the field in the 400 hurdle finals after four Belmont track and field athletes finished in the top eight of the preliminaries Friday at Tennessee Tech's Tucker Stadium. All four are guaranteed to add to the Belmont men's team point total, which stands at 41 through two days of competition, good for fourth place.
Senior Caleb Corprew (Midwest City, Okla.) led the foursome by taking second in the prelims in 54.35 seconds, while sophomore Alex Miller (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and senior Christian Crenshaw (Memphis, Tenn.) were third (55.27) and fourth (55.35), respectively. Then Belmont got a bit of surprise in eighth.
"We were expecting three, but KV (Khristian Vickers) was a longer shot, ninth coming in," said Belmont Associate Head Track Coach Cameron Harvey. "He stepped up and ran his best time, a lifetime PR (of 56.96), and he got in there. The 400 hurdles crew is ranked 20th in the nation and it's very cool to have them all run together in the finals tomorrow. That's big points for the guys."
Kudos to Caleb Corprew for tying the school high jump record even though he's a hurdler by trade! Selfless act for the team nets him sixth place and 3 team points at OVC Championships! #itsbruintime pic.twitter.com/cjfP77zftr— Belmont Runners (@BelmontXCTF) May 12, 2018
Corprew was also first in the 110-meter hurdle prelims in 14.50 seconds, and the hurdles specialist even stole a few team points for Belmont in the high jump. In just his second ever collegiate meet in the event, Corprew tied the school record of 1.99 meters (6 feet, 6.25 inches) to finish sixth and earn three team points.
That record had been freshly broken by Belmont sophomore Drake Mitchell (Nashville, Tenn.), who did it during decathlon competition on Thursday. Mitchell wrapped up the multi-events on Friday to earn silver in his first ever decathlon with 6,110 overall points.
"A was a little bit intimidating, but not as much because I got to do the heptathlon at the conference indoor meet," Mitchell said of the seven-event slog seen in men's indoor track and field. "That prepared me for outdoor so I wasn't as nervous.
"It was my first college dec, so I couldn't have asked for anything more. Next year I'm pushing to get that school record (of 6,744 points)."
Mitchell was second after Day 1 as well and followed that up with personal bests in the javelin (41.92 meters) and 1,500 (5:25.03).
Junior teammate Ryan Lipe was third in the decathlon at 5,784 points. He took first in the decathlon pole vault with a vault of 4.00 meters (13-1.50) and set a PR in discus at 32.02 meters (105-1).
Senior Matt Walker (Southlake, Texas) got on the podium as well with a third-place finish in the javelin. He threw 52.61 meters (172-7), a personal best.
Junior Declan McManus (Worcestershire, England) and senior Matthew Blivin (Durham, N.C.) added points in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. McManus was fifth in 9:11.04 with Blivin not far behind in sixth in 9:26.09.
A few more Bruins set themselves up in good position for Saturday's finals with preliminary performances Friday.
Junior Nate Nammour was second in the 400 prelims while sophomore Ryan Teague (Double Oak, Texas) qualified by taking seventh. Nammour was also seventh in the 200 prelims. Miller too finished second in the 110 hurdle prelims with a big PR of 14.94.
"Overall I'm really happy with the guys – sprints, hurdles, multis, jumps. Everybody did what they had to do today if they want to win a team title," Harvey said.
Action resumes back at Tech's Tucker Stadium on Saturday at 11 a.m.
DAY 2 TEAM RESULTS
1. Eastern Kentucky 70
2. SE Missouri 54
3. SIU Edwardsville 51
4. Belmont 41
5. Eastern Illinois 35
5. Morehead St. 7
t-7. Tennessee-Martin 6
t-7. Tennessee State 6
BELMONT MEN'S RESULTS
Decathlon (10 of 10 events)
2. Drake Mitchell, so. — 6,110 points
(110H: 15.82, 3rd; Discus: 25.57m, 4th; PV: 3.10m, 5th; Jav, 41.92m*, 3rd; 1500: 5:25.03*, 4th)
3. Ryan Lipe, jr. — 5,784 points
(110H: 15.52, 2nd; Discus: 32.02m*, 2nd; PV: 4.00m, 1st; Jav: 38.41m, 5th; 1500: 5:24.91, 3rd)
7. Nate Nammour, jr. — 21.88
14. Ryan Teague, so. — 22.36
2. Nate Nammour, jr. — 47.96
7. Ryan Teague, so. — 49.14
12. Kaden Kieffer, so. — 49.55*
15. Andrew Garcia, jr. — 50.93
9. Christian Gonzales, so. — 1:55.52*
13. Ben Williams, so. — 1:57.24*
110 hurdles (prelims)
1. Caleb Corprew, sr. — 14.50
2. Alex Miller, so. — 14.94*
10. Drake Mitchell, so. — 15.67
11. Ryan Lipe, sr. — 15.77
400 hurdles (prelims)
2. Caleb Corprew, sr. — 54.35
3. Alex Miller, so. — 55:27
4. Christian Crenshaw, sr. — 55.35
8. Khristian Vickers, fr. — 56.96*
5. Declan McManus, jr. — 9:11.04
6. Matthew Blivin, sr. — 9:26.09
9. Taylor Vroon, fr. — 9:46.53*
6. Caleb Corprew, sr. — 1.99m (6-6.25)*^
9. Drake Mitchell, so. — 1.84m (6-0.5)
3. Matt Walker, sr. — 52.61m (172-7)*