Rio Grande Sports Information
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - It was somewhat ironic that in the place known as the "Steel City" that the University of Rio Grande men's track and field team forged its claim as the kings of the River States Conference.
Nineteen individuals posted scoring finishes, including a trio of first-place showings by Brandon Massey, to lead the RedStorm to a third straight team title at Saturday's 2017 RSC Championships, hosted by Point Park University at the RMU Island Sports Center.
Head coach Bob Willey's squad tallied 266 points to easily outdistance the host Pioneers, who finished runner-up for a third consecutive year with 183 points. West Virginia University-Tech finished third with 84 points.
The top six finishers in each event scored points, with the top three in each event earning all-conference honors.
Massey, a sophomore from Waxhaw, N.C., earned Outstanding Track Athlete of the Year honors after placing first in the 200-meter dash (21.71), 400-meter dash (49.11) and long jump (6.74m).
Freshman Connor Messer (Ashland, KY) was named the RSC Newcomer of the Year after finishing first in the pole vault (4.18m), second in both the high jump (1.96m) and javelin throw (44.84m) and sixth in the triple jump (12.64m).
Junior Clinton Campbell (Malta, OH) captured first place and met the "B" qualifying standard for the NAIA national championship meet in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 54.60. He also placed third in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.21.
The RedStorm also got four top five finishes from sophomore Nikola Andjelic (Split, Croatia), who was first in the javelin throw (48.34m), second in both the 110-meter hurdles (15.13) and pole vault (4.18m) and fifth in the triple jump (12.66m).
Sophomore Kameron Carpenter (Newark, OH) and senior Blake Freed (Uhrichsville, OH) both had a trio of top five outings.
Carpenter had a first place finish in the 10,000-meter run, which was actually shortened to 4,800 meters due to inclement weather. He finished in a time of 15:34.68, while also taking second place in the 5,000-meter run (15:59.60) and placing fifth in the 1,500-meter run (4:14.49).
Freed won the 3,000-meter steeplechase in a time of 9:58.89, while placing third in the 5,000-meter racewalk (39:10.34) and fourth in the 5,000-meter run (16:18.28).
Other top performances for the RedStorm included sophomore Mike Norris (Dayton, OH), who was second in both the 800-meter run (1:55.16) and the 1,500-meter run (4:03.64); freshman Zack Collins (Newark, OH), who was second in the hammer throw with a heave of 42.99m and third in the discus throw with a toss of 39.60m; freshman Ethan Greenawalt (Orlando, FL), who was second in the 5,000-meter racewalk with a time of 38:49.03; senior Matt Engstrom (Dover, OH), who was second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 10:09.66; senior Floyd Lowry (St. Paris, OH), who placed third in both the 110-meter hurdles (15.63) and the high jump (1.86m) while finishing fifth in the 400-meter hurdles (1:00.83); senior Isaac Andrews (Nelsonville, OH), who was third in the shot put with an effort covering 14.03m, fourth in the hammer throw with a toss of 41.18m and fifth in the discus throw with a heave of 38.71m; senior Dallas Guy (Buffalo, OH), who was third in the 10,000/4,800 with a time of 15:43.05; freshman Keshawn Jones (Mansfield, OH), who was third in the 800 with a time of 1:56.08; senior Austin Moore (Swedesboro, NJ), who placed fourth in the 400-meter hurdles after crossing in 59.77; senior Tim Warner (Pomeroy, OH), who was fourth in the 5,000-meter racewalk with a time of 40:00.31; sophomore Phil Colbert (North Philadelphia, PA), who placed fourth in the 800 with a time of 1:56.81; freshman Joe Beegle (Racine, OH), who was fifth in the shot put with a heave of 12.84m and sixth in the hammer throw with an effort of 37.17m; and freshman Adam Champer (Malvern, OH), who was sixth in the shot put with a toss of 11.69m.
Rio also received first place showings from its 4x400 and 4x800 relay units. The 4x400 - comprised of Colbert, Norris, Jones and Campbell - finished in 3:23.45, while the 4x800 quartet of Moore, Colbert, Greenawalt and Jones crossed in 8:05.43.
The RedStorm's 4x100 squad - junior Isaiah Chapman (Cincinnati, OH), junior Arthur Dunkley (Akron, OH), sophomore Daschle Facemyer (Pomeroy, OH) and sophomore Ben Martinez (Montpellier, OH) - took sixth place in a time of 50.79
Willey was named the RSC Men's Coach of the Year for the second straight year and IU East's Tyler Hoodlebrink was named the RSC Outstanding Field Athlete of the Year.
Some members of the RedStorm will return to action on Friday at the University of Indiana's Billy Hayes Invitational in Bloomington, Ind. for an attempt at qualifying for the NAIA national championship.