Geneva, OH—The men's track and field team got off to a very solid start today at the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship. Competing for the Ephs today were co-captain Tobias Muellers '18 and Tommy Riley '18, both in the decathlon.
Riley had been the last seed coming into this meet, having scored 6371 points at Division III New Englands. But in the first event of the day, the 100-meter dash, he did not act like the last seed, braving the windy and wet conditions to run the fastest time of the day, 11.36, into a 1.1 m/s headwind, scoring 782 points. Muellers, ranked 5th coming into the meet, was 4th in the 100, running 11.47 to score 759 points.
In the second event of the day, Muellers and Riley continued their strong showing. This time, it was Muellers' turn to shine, jumping 6.92m, nearly a foot longer than any other competitor, to score 795 points. Riley jumped 6.54m, the 8th best jump of the day, scoring 707 points. After 2 events, Muellers was 1st in the standings, and Riley was 2nd.
Over the next two events, the shot put and the high jump, other competitors made their moves, but Muellers and Riley competed well. Muellers put the shot 11.51m for 577 points, and cleared the bar at 1.66m for the high jump, scoring 512 points. Riley threw 10.53m for the shot and tied his personal best in the high jump, clearing 1.84m, scoring 518 and 661 points respectively.
Muellers turned in an incredible performance in the 400-meter dash, running 48.95, scoring 864 points. In such miserable conditions, no other competitor even broke 50 seconds. Riley had a good performance himself, running 52.26, scoring 713 points. At the end of the day, Muellers was 4th in the standings, and Riley 8th, both in scoring position and far ahead of their seeds.
Head coach Ethan Barron was impressed with his athletes' performances. "Tobias and Tommy competed beautifully today," he said. "With the conditions and other factors, today was more of a mental test than anything else. And they excelled. Both have put themselves in great position to move up on their seeds. But we're in no way complacent with where we're at. We're going for more tomorrow."
Muellers and Riley conclude the decathlon tomorrow. First-year Magnus Heweyer '20 will also be competing in the shot put.