The PSU men’s track and field team came away with fourth place at the 2021 NCAA Division II Men’s Outdoor Track and Field National Championships.
Pitt State gathered 37 points throughout the competition to tie for fourth place with Ashland University. Grand Valley State came away with the championship (76 points), followed by West Texas A&M University (55 points) and Angelo State University (43 points).
Levi Wyrick, a graduate student in educational leadership, said it was a “great weekend” for the team.
“Well, we did great,” Wyrick said. “Getting a fourth-place trophy (is) super exciting. Our goal was to get a trophy and so to show up and get that done during a championship weekend was a big deal. So, that was pretty awesome.”
The team worked together to achieve the fourth place standing according to Joshua Hudiburg, who graduated in the spring with a master’s degree in leisure and service management.
“Our team performed great..,” Hudiburg said. “We ended up scoring 37 overall team points on the men’s side, earning us a tie for fourth place as a team. Trey Mooney started the team off strong in the decathlon with a runner-up finish, setting the tone for the rest of the team. One thing that made this men’s team special is that we all truly supported one another.”
The team matched the track and field program’s all-time best ever performance at the outdoor national competition. Prior to this year, the Gorillas placed fourth in NCAA outdoor competition in 1999.
“Everybody did great,” Wyrick said. “Everyone did what they needed to do, ran some great races (and) threw well… It was more of just a team effort…”
Trey Mooney finished as the national runner-up in the decathlon with 7,189 points. Joshua Hudiburg placed second in the javelin while Brett Thompson placed third in the discipline. Louis Rollins claimed fifth place in the 110-meter hurdles while Mason Strader placed fifth in the 1,500-meters. Wyrick became a two-time All-America performer in the hammer throw with his sixth-place toss. Jerod Toogood placed seventh in the javelin and Konner Swenson placed seventh in the shot put. The 4×100 meter relay of Makai Blades, Rollins, Bailey Stone, and Sam Tudor finished in ninth place. Bryce Grahn finished tenth in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase. The 4×400 meter relay team of Graham Hudelson, Stone, Tudor, and Matt Wilson placed tenth.
“It felt great to celebrate with my teammates Brett Thompson… and Jerod Toogood…,” Hudiburg said. “We’ve all dedicated our lives to track (for) the past… (five to six) years, and it was great to see it pay off for all three of us.”
Wyrick was happy with his sixth-place toss in the hammer throw.
“…I’d had a couple good weeks before this, so I was looking to continue that and I threw just a little bit off my PR and I got sixth in a really tough competition,” Wyrick said. “… (I’m) pretty excited about my throw (and) pretty excited about how it went.”