May 28, 2010
Marion, Ind. - The Shorter College men's track team proved last year that it was a team to be reckoned with on the national stage.
One day into the 2010 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships, the Hawks have proven that they are a team on a mission.
Bolstered by several school records, Shorter finds itself in a position to score in every single event in which it had a qualifier after Thursday's opening competitions on the campus of Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Ind.
Shorter, which placed fifth in last year's national championship meet in St. Louis, Mo., was clicking on all cylinders in the preliminary rounds and saw each athlete that took the stage on Thursday advance in his respective event.
The Hawks looked especially menacing in the 400 meter hurdles, an event in which Shorter has a chance to have two athletes point in the same event for the first time in men's program history.
National 400 hurdle favorite Nick Dodson was incredibly impressive in his first run of the 2010 Championships, cruising to a win in his heat in a time of 52.05, the best time of any competitor in the event on day one. Dodson has settled for runner-up finishes in the 400 hurdles in each of the last two years, but this season, entered the national meet with the nation's best time.
Terrence Scruggs also blew away the competition in his heat of the 400 hurdles, running a 52.45 and securing a spot alongside Dodson in the semifinals. Scruggs and Dodson have a chance of ensuring that Shorter has two of the top three spots in the 400 hurdles.
Several other Hawks were imposing in their outings on Thursday.
Shaun Kennedy won his heat in the 100-meter dash with a new school record time of 10.41. He advances into Friday's semifinals.
Montez Valentine looked strong in winning his heat of the 200-meter dash, also setting a school record of 21.12 and advancing to the semifinals.
Randy Dameron, just a freshman, placed fourth in his heat in a time of 48.82 to qualify for the 400-meter dash semifinals.
Peter Limo qualified for the 1,500-meter finals with the fourth fastest time in the event.
The Hawks saw their relay teams turn in gutsy efforts as well.
Shorter's 4x100 relay squad of Dodson, Kennedy, Valentine and Dameron posted the fastest time of any team in Marion heading into the semis. The foursome ran a blistering 40.53 to put itself in prime position for major points.
The Hawks' 4x800 meter squad pulled off an even more impressive feat. After having to replace a member of the unit just hours before the race, Shorter's Allen O'Neal, Limo, Eliud Ng'etich and new addition Anthony Taylor qualified for the 4x800 finals and set a new school record of 7:35.
It was Taylor's first time ever running with the group and his leg kept the Hawks in line for a finals appearance.
Competition continues today in Marion at 1 p.m. Fans can view the meet live by going to the Indiana Wesleyan University athletics homepage.