EUGENE, Ore. – Hurdler Caleb Corprew capped his stellar Belmont University track and field career Wednesday by finishing 20th at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 400-meter hurdles semifinals.
Corprew (Midwest City, Okla.), the first member of the Belmont men's track team to represent the school on the national stage, ran a 52.80 at the University of Oregon's historic Hayward Field in his final race as a Bruin. The finish earned him honorable mention All-America honors.
The top two placers from each of three heats advanced to the event finals Friday, along with the next two best overall times. Corprew would have needed to run better than 50.49 to reach the finals this year, just a fraction of a second off of his personal best.
"I'm upset about the race, but there's too much to be proud of," Corprew said. "It's been a crazy ride, a really fun senior year and the last two months couldn't have gone any better up until today.
"It's a once-in-lifetime experience," he continued." "Coach Cam (Cameron Harvey) gave me some advice when we were headed to the track, to just take a second to take a deep breath, look around and soak that moment in. It's something I really won't get to experience again, and I'm glad I got to do it as a member of the Belmont Bruins."
A two-time Ohio Valley Conference champion in the 400 hurdles, Corprew made Belmont history by qualifying for the NCAA Championships two weeks ago when he ran a 50.50 at the NCAA East Preliminary Championships in Tampa, Fla. That time broke his own school record by an astounding 0.68 seconds, a bar he had set at 51.18 the previous day in the Regional prelims.
The 50.50 also met the qualifying standard for the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships later this month at Des Moines, Iowa.
Corprew's four years as a Bruin proved to be among the most productive ever for the track program. He leaves Belmont having won three total OVC titles, including both the 400 and 110 hurdles during this outdoor campaign. He set or tied six school records with four of them coming in the hurdles discipline.
He twice reached the East Regionals, placing 38th there last year as a junior before breaking through in this, his final and senior season. Corprew entered the NCAA Championships seeded 16th based on his time at Regionals.
"The place in the meet today doesn't really matter because you've got to put a lot of work in just to get here," said Harvey, Belmont's associate head track coach. "The best 24 guys in the country get here; that's a big thing to be proud of even if the race didn't go the way we wanted. It's a great experience I'm really glad he got to have."