Men’s Track and Field Compete Well at Saluki Open
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Belmont men's track and field team opened the 2012 portion of its schedule over the weekend. The Bruins traveled to compete at the Saluki Open hosted by SIU-Carbondale and wrapped the two-day meet with 17 top-30 finishes.
Sophomore Erick Kigen (Eldoret, Kenya) was the top finisher for BU in the running events, taking second in the 800m with a time of 1:58.50. He also placed third in the Mile with a time of 4:16.29. Also grabbing top-five finishes were juniors Matt Miller (LaPorte, Ind.) and Josh Helton (Franklin, Tenn.), who finished third (8:40.98) and fourth (8:44.20), respectively, in the 3000m. Junior Brandon Mahaney (Lafayette, Tenn.), sophomore Evan Scruton (Columbus, Ind.) and junior Kyle Sullinger (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio) rounded out Belmont's presence in the top-24 of the event, taking seventh, 19th and 24, respectively.
Freshman Kurtis Gibson (Highbridge, England) snagged a sixth-place finish (1:59.20) in his collegiate debut in the 800m.
In the sprint events, freshman John Inniger (Arlington, Ohio) fared well in large fields, finishing 18th (23.12) I the 200m and 26th (7.38) in the 60m. Sophomores Zach Gray (Lee's Summit, Mo.) and Caleb Darnell (Lafayette, Tenn.) took 25th (23.34) and 33rd (24.16), respectively, in the 200m to round out the Bruin presence in the event.
Gray led the Bruins in the 60m Hurdles, taking 18th, followed by Darnell and sophomore Tyler Newkirk (Atchison, Kan.) in 20th and 23rd places, respectively.
On the field side, Newkirk was the top finisher, taking 14th in the long jump with a mark of 6.34m. Freshman Zach Hughes (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) placed 19th (12.80m) in the weight throw and 22nd (10.50m) in the shot put. Classmate Cole Phillips (Franklin, Tenn.) finished 30th (8.56m) in the shot put.
"Most of the guys competed very well in Carbondale," said Assistant Coach Dave Milner. "For the distance guys it was their first meet of the season - a rust-buster of sorts that served as a good gauge for us. But Erick Kigen was very impressive in the Mile, running 4:16 after just one workout on the track so far, and also Matt Miller and Josh Helton had very good runs in the 3000."
Belmont returns to action on January 21 at the Blue Raider Invitational, hosted by Middle Tennessee State.