Butler men sprint to Region VI outdoor title, win eight events

Butler men sprint to Region VI outdoor title, win eight events

GARDEN CITY, Kan. — The Butler men's track and field team sprinted its way to the title at the Region VI Outdoor Championships on Saturday.

Held at Garden City's Broncbuster Stadium, fourth-ranked Butler took home the regional title with 181 points, outscoring No. 3 Barton by 32 points. Coffeyville finished third with 97 points. For the first time in school history, the Grizzlies have won both the Region VI indoor and outdoor titles.

In addition to the Region VI championship, Butler also won the Jayhawk West championship.

Sophomore Eli Hall-Thompson received the High Point Total award with 22.5 points, while sophomore Nolan Hesse was named the Male Track Athlete of the Year.

The Grizzlies won a total of eight events - including winning the 100, 200 and 400-meter dash events and both the 4x100 and 4x400m relays. Butler also had four runner-up and four third-place finishes during the three-day meet.

Hall-Thompson (100, 200, 4x100) and freshman Quintaveon Poole (400, 4x100, 4x400) led the Grizzlies with three first-place finishes each, while Hesse was a double-winner in both the 5,000 and 10,000-meter events. Freshman Landon Cuskelly also placed first in the high jump.

Hall-Thompson followed up last week's 10.20-second performance at Oklahoma's John Jacobs Invitational with a personal-best 10.15 to win the 100-meter dash. The time now ranks Hall-Thompson tied for first among NJCAA sprinters this season. Xavier Atkins placed second at 10.37 seconds, while Akeem Sirleaf was fifth at 10.55, giving the Grizzlies a total of 22 points in the 100m event.

Butler dominated the 200-meter dash, placing 1-2-3 with Hall-Thompson winning his second individual event with a time of 20.69 seconds. Akeem Sirleaf followed at 21.01, while Poole finished third at 20.08. The sweep put the Grizzlies in command of the team standings, putting Butler ahead by 21 points with three events remaining.

The Grizzlies then won the final two track events, beginning with Hesse's win in the 5,000-meter run. Hesse, who won the 10,000-meter event on Friday, edged out Colby teammates Steve Cherigat (16:06.20) and Dustin Nading (16:06.79) with a time of 16:05.63. Freshman Jacob Hesse was fifth at 16:23.44, giving him two top-five finishes as he placed third in the 10,000.

Butler's 4x400-meter relay team of Antonio Coleman, James Hambrick, Trevions Rouchon and Poole then cruised to a first-place finish with a time of 3:16.84, beating runner-up Barton (3:17.56).

The Grizzlies' first top finish of the day came in the 4x100-meter relay, with Poole, Atkins, Sirleaf and Hall-Thompson running a winning time of 40.06 seconds, also edging out Barton (40.53).

In the 400-meter dash, Poole ran a 47.18 time for victory as he beat out Garden City's James Liburd (47.76). Poole also won the Region VI indoor title back in February.

Cuskelly won the high jump with a clearance of 2.11 meters (6 feet, 11 inches) on his third attempt. With three jumpers remaining, Cuskelly was the only finalist to clear the bar at 2.11, giving him the both the Region VI indoor and outdoor titles.

Sophomore jumper Mohammed Abubakar had a pair of top-three finishes on the day, including a runner-up finish in the long jump. Abubakar, who had a top jump of 7.35 meters (24 feet, 1 1 1/2 inches), was edged out by just a quarter of an inch by Garden City's James Haley (7.36m). Teammates Elijah Smith (7.07 meters) and Hambrick (6.92) placed fifth and eighth, respectively.

Abubakar and Smith placed third and fourth in the triple jump, with only a two-inch difference separating the teammates. Abubakar reached 14.73 meters (48 feet, 4 inches) in his final attempt, while Smith leaped 14.68 meters (48 feet, 2 inches) during his first attempt in the finals.

Freshman hurdler Jhibri Greer also placed second in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.58 seconds, while freshman Colin Reichenberger was eighth (14.97). Reichenberger also finished seventh in the pole vault as he cleared 3.87 meters (12 feet, 8 1/4 inches).

Freshman Emmanuel Biwott took fifth in the 3,000m steeplechase (10:37.37), while sophomore Shevon Blair was sixth in the 1,500-meter run (4:17.68).

In field events, sophomore Kavan Mark finished sixth with a throw of 52.27 meters (171 feet, 6 inches) on his final attempt. Freshman Mason Buckmaster had a seventh-place finish in the high jump, clearing 1.91 meters (6 feet, 3 1/4 inches).

On Friday, Nolan Hesse won the 10,000-meter run with a time of 34:30.61, while Jacob Hesse (34:39.84, third) and Emmanuel Biwott (34:55.23, fifth) also placed.

The Grizzlies also had all three athletes place in the decathlon, with Reichenberger finishing third 5,365 points. Josh Sharp placed fifth, while Keaton McGuire was sixth.

Reichenbeger won the 110-meter hurdles, took second in the 100-meter dash and placed third in the pole vault, javelin and 1,500-meter run. Sharp won both the 100-meter dash and long jump events, while McGuire took first in the javelin and was runner-up in the high jump.

The 4x800-meter relay team of Blair, Ismael Ramirez, Hambrick and Rouchon placed eighth (8:51.29).

Next up for Butler will be the NJCAA National Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which will be held in Levelland, Texas on May 17-19.