The men's track and field team had a great start to the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship. 5 athletes competed today, and each had great performances.
Starting the day early in the 10000, co-captain Ben Decker '18 and Ryan Cox '20 braved hot track conditions to each beat their seeds. Decker weathered numerous surges to finish 5th overall in 30:49.26. This finish marks Decker's first, well-deserved, All-American honors. Cox moved up through the pack, picking off stragglers to finish 14th overall in 32:15.25. This was Cox's first individual NCAA Championship, and the sophomore is well-positioned for a great future.
In the 1500, Tristan Colaizzi '20 ran a patient race, hanging in the middle of the pack until the final lap. In the last 100 Colaizzi bore down on an auto-qualifying spot (top 4), outleaning two competitors at the line to finish 4th in 3:55.32, thereby qualifying for the finals.
In the decathlon, co-captains Tobias Muellers '18 and Tommy Riley '18 had fantastic first days. Although the day started a little inauspiciously, with the first event, the 100 meters, run into a heavy tailwind, both picked themselves up very well and threw down. In that 100, Riley ran an 11.61 clocking into a 3.2m/s wind, for 4th overall. Muellers finished in 11.80, 10th overall. In the next event, the long jump, each had great performances. Muellers had a personal best jump of 6.98m, 2nd overall. Riley, meanwhile, was just off his personal best, jumping 6.71m, for 6th overall. In the shot put, both Riley and Muellers had massive personal bests. Riley threw 12.19m, a personal best by half a meter, for 4th overall, while Muellers threw 11.88m, also a personal best, for 6th.
The high jump typically is a weaker event for both Muellers and Riley, yet they handled the challenge with aplomb. Riley cleared 1.81m, while Muellers surprised, jumping a personal best 1.84m. Closing out the day in the 400, Muellers won the event by a second and a half, running 48.57. Riley was 10th overall, in 51.84. At the end of day one, Muellers sits 2nd overall, while Riley is 6th.
The Ephs will return to competition tomorrow for the conclusion of the decathlon and the prelims of the 800, in which Kevin LaFleche '20 will be competing.