Butler men win three medals at Day 1 of NJCAA Indoor Nationals

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The Butler men had three mdedalists in field events, while the sprinters had a strong performance in preliminary events during Friday at the NJCAA Indoor National Track and Field Championships at JDL Fast Track.

Butler finished with 11 points, good for eighth place in the overall standings after the first day. Iowa Central sits atop the Day 1 leaderboard with 55 points, while South Plains, TX was second with 41.5. Central Arizona (40), Iowa Western (24) and Mesa, Ariz. (19) rounded out the top five.

Sophomore Mohammed Abubakar had the top Grizzly finish of the day, placing third in the long jump competition. After fouling on his first attempt, Abubakar had his top jump of the day at 7.34 meters. Freshman teammate James Hambrick finished seventh at 7.18 meters, giving Butler eight points in the event.

In the high jump, freshman Landon Cuskelly placed sixth with a clearance of 2.00 meters. Cuskelly, who was the NJCAA's Central Region Field Athlete of the Year, cleared the bar on his second attempt.

Freshman Quintaveon Poole was one of many highlights during preliminary events for the Grizzly sprinters, which qualified a total of seven runners between the 60, 200 and 400 meter events. Poole cruised to a top time of 47.90 seconds in the 400, while Trevions Rouchon (49.20) and Antonio Coleman (49.41) finished fifth and sixth - giving Butler three finalists for tomorrow's race.

In 60-meter dash preliminaries, freshman Xavier Atkins won his heat with a time of 6.72 seconds, while sophomore Eli Hall-Thompson finished seventh overall at 6.81 seconds to qualify for tomorrow's finals, which will run at 12:35 p.m. Atkins had the third-best preliminary time behind two Mississippi CC runners - Meridan's Kendrick Smith (6.65) and Hinds' Keitavious Walter (6.66).

Hall-Thompson and Poole also qualifed for the finals in the 200 meter dash, as both Grizzly sprinters won their respective heats. Hall-Thompson ran a time of 21.45 seconds to finish second overall in preliminaries, while Poole was fourth overall at 21.71. Antwon Smith of Western Texas had the top preliminary time of 21.38 seconds.

Freshman Jhibri Greer was fourth overall during preliminaries of the 60-meter hurdles, as he finished second in his heat with a time of 8.09 seconds.

Sophomore Shevon Blair also qualified for the 800-meter finals, finishing ninth in prelims with a time of 1:56.94. Blair finished 10th in the 1,000 meter run, just missing the final cut at 2:34.76.

The Grizzly men have a total of 13 entries for tomorrow's finals, including both the 4x800 and 4x400-meter relay events. Field events begin at 10:00 a.m. CST, while field events start at 11:00 a.m. CST.