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South Plains men poised to to take sixth straight track crown
 May 17, 2013


HUTCHINSON, Kan. – Homestanding Hutchinson is the Day 2 team leader of the 2013 NJCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Gowans Stadium.

But powerhouse South Plains is lurking as Chris Bean’s men’s team is searching for its sixth-consecutive team championship when the finals take place on Saturday.

The Texans had a pretty good day on Friday and will take a staggering 16 athletes into Saturday’s finals. Iowa Central’s seven finalists are the next closest amount by a single team.

Hutchinson, who is missing head coach Pat Becher, who suffered a heart attack on the opening day of the regional championships, is the team leader after 8 of 22 events. The Blue Dragons have 37 points, while Iowa Central is second with 32 points, Neosho County and Colby tied for third with 27 points and South Plains fifth with 24.

The Blue Dragons didn’t have anybody advance to Saturday’s finals, while the Texans have multiple finalists in six events. Hutchinson collected 24 points on Friday with third-place showings from Jake Brinkman, who set a school record in the javelin with a fourth-place showing. One day after his national championship in the hammer, Skylar Arneson was third in the shot put and HCC’s 4x800 relay team also finished fourth. Chris Peters posted the sixth-best Decathlon score in team history to finish fourth and Karson Becker took seventh in the Decathlon to help the Blue Dragons on Day 2.

Mesa’s Pau Tonnesen completed his quest to repeat as the NJCAA national decathlon champion. Tonnesen led from wire-to-wire scoring 7,102 points in his repeat performance.

Tonnesen won the discus  (140 feet, 719 points), was second in the pole vault (14-9, 760 points), was third in the javelin (150-3, 527 points), was fourth in the 110 hurdles (15.34, 809 points) and close out with an 11-place performance in the 1,500 meters (5:24.09, 453 points).

Tonnesen outdistanced South Plains’ Juan Vasquez by 525 points.

Neosho County made its charge up the leaderboard with a 1-2 finish in the javelin. John Ampomah won with a throw of 235-9. Emron Gibbs was second with a throw of 225-1.

Hagerstown’s Grant Smith captured the shot put championship with a throw of 57 feet, one-quarter inch.

Iowa Western’s Latario Collie-Minns won the triple jump national total with a lead of 53 feet, 1 ¼ inch.

Central Arizona won the 4x800 meter relay with a time of 7:36.23.

Field events on Saturday begin at 9 a.m. and the championship finals on the track begin at 1 p.m. Live video will begin at 12:50 p.m. on NJCAATV.

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