May 29, 2010
Marion, Ind. - The Shorter College men's and women's track teams stand in fourth and seventh, respectively, after two days of competition at the 2010 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships held on the campus of Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Ind.
Shorter is seeking its highest finish ever on both sides, hoping to improve upon last year's record finishes at the national championships when the Hawks placed fifth and the Lady Hawks seventh in St. Louis.
Shorter's men have tallied 22 points - meet leader British Columbia has 39 followed by Concordia (Ore.) (36) and Wayland Baptist (26) - after the first two days, getting several strong performances to either score, during Friday's action or get into position to score in Saturday's finals.
Brown, the 2008 NAIA Indoor National High Jump champion and 2009 NAIA Outdoor National High Jump runner-up, placed third in this year's event, clearing 6-11 before failing to execute at 7-1.
It marked the second consecutive year that Brown has jumped the same height as the eventual champion, but because of a higher number of attempts at the last completed height, was not declared the champion.
Scott, the only Shorter athlete to advance out of the semifinals in the 110 meter hurdles, made the most of his opportunity, running a 14.09 in the final that secured him a runner up finish. Scott crossed the line just four hundredths of a second behind winner Armond Smith (14.05) of Union College (Ky.).
Shaun Kennedy turned in an impressive fourth place finish in the 100 meter dash, barely missing out on a national championship with a time of 10.50.
Dana College's B.J. Lawrence took home the 100-meter title in a time of 10.43, but Jamal Forbes of Dickinson State and Kome Okiomah of Baker edged out Kennedy for second and third place, respectively, by the narrowest of margins, turning in times of 10.48 and 10.49.
The foursome's performance gave Shorter three points that it did not acquire one year ago - the Hawks' 4x800 squad did not make the finals in St. Louis last season.
The Hawks did suffer an unexpected setback with one of their relay teams.
Shorter's 4x100 unit of Nick Dodson, Kennedy, Montez Valentine and Allen Huntley missed the final handoff with a comfortable lead in its semifinal heat and will miss out on the finals after posting the event's No. 1 time in the preliminaries.
While the Hawks will miss out on those points, they did get redemption from a previous setback as the men's 4x400 team of Taylor, Valentine, Dodson and Terrence Scruggs cruised to a finals qualification with a time of 3:11.97.
The 4x400 team will now have a chance to point for Shorter after shockingly failing to make the finals at the 2010 NAIA Indoor Nationals a couple months ago.
Also looking good heading into Championship Saturday is Shorter's 400-meter hurdle duo of Dodson and Scruggs.
Dodson, the event favorite after two straight runner-up finishes and after posting the nation's fastest time in the event this season, heads into Saturday's final as the top-seed after running a 51.71 in the semis.
Scruggs will be right on Dodson's heels and hopes to help the Hawks have two pointers in the same event for the first time in men's history. He enters the finals as the No. 3 seed after his 52.1 in the semifinal heat.
On the women's side, Shorter's Lady Hawks are in prime position to challenge for a top-three finish with 17 points and several athletes ready to compete in their respective event finals on Saturday.
The Lady Hawks are 15 points back of current leader Azusa Pacific. Lindenwood University (26), Wayland Baptist (23), Concordia (Neb.) (22) and British Columbia (22) round out the top-five.
Woods placed sixth in the women's triple jump with a leap of 39-2.25. Woods began training in the triple midway through the 2010 season and secured some valuable points for Shorter with her performance.
Sewell finished eighth in the 100-meter dash in a time of 11.97, narrowly missing out on All-American status - the top six in each event are honored as such.
Plenty of points are there for the taking for the Lady Hawks after some quality efforts on Friday afternoon.
Sophomore Justyna Mudy has an opportunity to bring double-digit points to the Lady Hawks' cause, as she will attempt to defend her national championship in the 3,000 meter steeplechase while also running in the 5,000 meter final after cruising to a fourth place finish in the prelims.
Ashlie Stewartson eased her way into the finals of the 400 meters with a time of 55.56 in the semifinals and Kennisha Holden will represent the Lady Hawks in the 400 hurdles after her time of 1:01.7 propelled her into Saturday's final.
The Lady Hawks' two relay teams are in a position to score as well, as the women's 4x100 squad of Woods, Stewartson, Sewell and Tamara Francis ran a 46.42 to easily qualify for the finals.
Shorter's 4x400 unit of Stewartson, Mia Jones, Tia Moreland and Francis squeaked into the finals with an eighth-place finish in the semis (3:50.67), but with a new opportunity on Saturday, could score some precious points.
Saturday's final events begin at 1 p.m. ET and fans can view all of the action live and free of charge by visiting the Indiana Wesleyan University athletics website at http://www2.indwes.edu/NAIA/.