PITTSBURG, Kan. - With two runner-up and four third-place finishes on Saturday, the Butler men placed fourth overall at the NJCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, which was held at Pittsburg State University's Robert W. Plaster Center.
Butler edged out Hinds (Miss.) by one point for fourth place, as the Grizzlies scored 53 points. Iowa Central won the meet with 124 points, while South Plains (Texas) was second at 104.5 points. Barton finished third with 70.5 points.
"I was very proud of our effort today," said Butler head coach Ryan Turner. "Our men have established themselves as one of the top junior college programs in the nation. Any time we can bring a team to top-five finish at a national championship, I always consider that successful."
The Grizzlies opened the day with a second-place finish in the 4x800-meter relay, as the team of Derrick Reid, Joel Santiago, Jake Taylor and Boniface Kiptoo completed the race in 7:47.01. Butler was in sixth place before the anchor leg, but managed to edge out Iowa Central by 0.3 seconds.
Butler then followed with a pair of top-3 finishes in the 60-meter dash finals, with sophomore Andre Ewers taking second with a time of 6.65 seconds. Freshman Travis Collins (6.683 seconds) was right behind Ewers in third place, nudging out Barton's McKinley West (6.689).
Ewers also had a third-place finish in the 200-meter dash (21.11 seconds), finishing behind Hinds (Miss.) sophomores Keitavious Walter (20.94) and Correion Mosby (21.04). Akeem Sirleaf took seventh with a time of 21.42 seconds.
Sophomore sprinter Quintaveon Poole placed third in the 400-meter dash at 46.54 seconds, as the top two finishers - Western Texas' Sean Bailey (45.59) and Hinds' Tyler Terry (45.87) - both beat the national mark of 46.10.
Butler ended the meet by placing third in the 4x400-meter relay (Sirleaf, James Hambrick, Ewers and Poole) with a time of 3:11.54. Hinds won the event at 3:08.71 and was originaily ruled disqualified due to a lane violation, but was awarded the first-place medal.
Freshman Tyson Penn was the Grizzlies' other placer on Saturday after taking fifth in the triple jump. Penn's top jump came on his second attempt in the preliminary round at 14.77 meters (48' 5-1/2").
The Grizzlies came into Saturday after scoring seven points the previous day, as sophomore Landon Cuskelly placed fifth in the high jump (2.10 meters) and the distance medley relay team (Santiago, Hambrick, Reid and Kiptoo; 10:27.48) finished sixth.
Butler will not have much of a break after concluding the indoor season, as the Grizzlies host the Butch Reynolds Invitational this Thursday at BG Products Veterans Sports Complex. Field events begin at 11:00 a.m., while running events will get underway at 1:00 p.m.