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Men’s track and field team wins SBU Bearcat Invitational

The men’s track and field team travelled to Bolivar, Mo. to compete in the Southwest Baptist University (SBU) Bearcat Invitational on Friday, Apr. 2 and Saturday, Apr. 3.  

The Pitt State men won the competition with 185 points. Central Missouri took second place with 114 points.  

“I thought they did really well,” said Head Coach Russ Jewett. “We had a pretty balanced attack, had some national qualifying performances, and competed well as a team.”  

Louis Rollins, graduate student in science technology, thought the meet showed a lot of improvement in the team.  

“Overall, I think the team performed really well at the SBU Invitational,” Rollins said. “Just about everyone who competed achieved a personal best in their respective events. Comparing our performance as a team at SBU versus our meet prior at Emporia State, I think we made huge strides forward as a team. Having a successful meet like this as a team this early in the season can create a snowball effect on the rest of our outdoor competitions and hopefully, we can keep the great performances coming.  

On day one of the competition, Brett Thompson won the javelin with a new personal best for the third consecutive week in a row. Thompson was named the MIAA Athlete of the Week as well as the USTFCCCA Division II Athlete of the Week. Thompson is the seventh performer all-time in NCAA Division II history. Jerrod Toogood and Josh Hudiburg secured PRs in the javelin. Konner Swenson placed third in the hammer throw while Braden Zaner raced to a fifth place standing in the 5,000 meters.  

On day two of the competition, Trey Mooney won the decathlon with a personal best 7,268 points. Mason Strader won the 1,500 meters with the third best time in PSU history, while Connar Southard placed second. The 4x400m relay of Matthew Morris, Rollins, Colin Webber and Bailey Stone placed second and the 4x100m relay of Sam Tudor, Wright-Rose, Marcus Huntley and Makai Blades placed second. Louis Rollins placed second in the 110-meter hurdles with a personal best time and Raymond Brass placed third. Cameron Wright added a third-place finish, and a PR, in the pole vault. Hunter Jones placed third in the decathlon with a personal best 6,826 points. Swenson placed fourth in both the discus and the shot put. Tevin Wright-Rose raced to fourth place in the 100-meters.  

“…Trey Mooney… won the decathlon with a national qualifying mark,” Jewett said. “He did a great job… Mason Strader won the 1500 with a provisional qualifying mark, lifetime best. Bryce Grahn won the steeplechase with a… provisional qualifying mark… Probably the highlight is Brett Thompson. He won the javelin with an automatic qualifying mark… named MIAA athlete of the week. We just got notice that he was named USTFCCCA Division II athlete of the week… He’s thrown farther each of the three weeks he’s competed and just kind of on a tear right now… I’d mention Louis Rollins in there too. He’s had his ups and downs with injury, and he got second… in the 110 hurdles with a strong provisional qualifying mark and he’s overcome a lot to do that. So, really proud of him…”  

A few of the same competitors stood out to Rollins.   

“For the men’s team there were quite a few athletes that had big time marks,” Rollins said. “Brett Thompson… and Trey Mooney… both captured auto-qualifying marks for nationals and both moved into the… (number two) spot in the PSU all-time record book for their events. Outside of those two men, we had numerous guys also post provisional-qualifying marks with hopes to improve on.”  

The track and field Gorillas are staying home this weekend. The 13th Annual David Suenram Gorilla Classic is on Saturday, April 10 at Carnie Smith Stadium.  

“…What we expect this weekend is just to kind of keep building momentum, keep… (competing) as a team, and to take care of ourselves,” Jewett said. 

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