Collegiate Conferences Men’s Highlights

Texas A&M senior Devin Dixon captured the SEC 800. (ERROL ANDERSON/THE SPORTING IMAGE)

THIS QUICKIE COLLECTION of men’s stories is dedicated to the best of the indoor collegiate conference action, which of course turned out to be the yearly climax. Here they are in alphabetical order (see sidebar for listing of team winners of all Div. I conferences):

ACC: Big Points For Florida State

Bob Braman’s Seminoles started the final day of the ACC Championships with a sweep of the podium spots in the 60H, won by Trey Cunningham with a meet record 7.60. It was the Florida State senior’s third straight win, a first in meet history. Said Braman, “A real key was the fact we had our best Friday ever,” said Braman after handily collecting his 13th loop title. “We had that big day in the long jump [sweeping the top 4 places], and then that momentum carried over until today. The hurdles obviously were huge for us, but the real key was we just kept punching here and there, getting those points where we didn’t necessarily see them coming.”

The best individual mark came from Notre Dame’s Yared Nuguse, who treated the home crowd with his 3:55.62 on the oversized 320m oval. The previous fastest in meet history was a legal-track 3:56.4 by North Carolina legend Tony Waldrop back in ’74.

Big 10: Big Putting By Liskowitz

The best individual mark at the Big 10 came from Michigan’s Andrew Liskowitz, who upped his shot PR twice in taking over the yearly collegiate lead at 68-11¾ (21.02). The biz school grad student just slipped by his previous undercover best of 66-7 (20.29) with a 66-7¼ (20.30) on his second attempt before getting his big one—good for No. 19 on the all-time collegiate indoor list—in the fifth stanza. He finished off by unleashing his second-best throw ever, 67-6 (20.57). The team title went to Ron Helmer’s Indiana squad, beating Iowa 120½–107.

Big 12: Iowa State’s Long Wait Over

You have to go all the way back to ’94—when the Big 12 was still the Big 8—to find Iowa State’s men listed as the conference’s indoor champs. The host Cyclones came out ahead of Texas Tech by 10 points. The drought wasn’t quite so long for head coach Martin Smith, who won the ’10 title while at Oklahoma. The Cyclones were led by a pair of double winners, Roshon Roomes capturing the 600 (1:08.66) and 800 (1:48.39) and Edwin Kurgat the 3000 (8:10.48) and 5000 (14:01.15). For good measure, Kurgat also took 3rd in the mile (4:14.28) on the oversized 300m oval.

Mountain Pacific: Successful Defense For BYU

Last year BYU won its first ever MPSF men’s title, and now it’s two in a row. “What a great effort from the team,” Cougar head Ed Eyestone said. “That’s the cool thing about being in such a deep conference, we get to compete against some of the best athletes in the country. I think our athletes came together and got to see how much of a team sport track & field truly is. I’m glad that our guys are able to celebrate this conference championship.” BYU athletes won 4 events (Michael Bluth 400, Talem Franco 800, Brandon Garnica 5000, Rickey Fantroy TJ) in edging Arizona for the team title by 4 points, 80–76.

SEC: One More Time For The Hogs

“We got back on the top rung again,” coach Chris Bucknam said following Arkansas’s win at the SEC. “I hope Razorback nation and the state of Arkansas are happy that we won the toughest conference in the country; we won the championship. It feels good to be able to give that back. Winning this league is a huge accomplishment.” Arkansas handily turned back LSU 106–88 in winning for the 23rd time.

The best individual mark of the meet went to Carey McLeod in the long jump. The Tennessee soph upped his yearly collegiate-lead 26-10½ (8.19). He also took 2nd in the triple jump at 54-1¼ (16.49) as Florida’s Clayton Brown reached 54-1¾ (16.50). ◻︎