Butler men qualify four sprinters for finals at NJCAA Indoor

Butler men qualify four sprinters for finals at NJCAA Indoor

PITTSBURG, Kan. - The Butler men's sprinters had a solid performance on the track during Friday's Day 1 of the NJCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships at Pittsburg State University's Robert W. Plaster Center.

In preliminaries, sophomore Andre Ewers qualified for Saturday's finals with a runner-up finish in the 200-meter dash (20.93 seconds) and took third in the 60-meter dash (6.65 seconds). Sophomore Quintaveon Poole also was second in the 400-meter dash with a time of 46.52 seconds.

Ewers and Poole came into the indoor meet with the top times among NJCAA sprinters in the 60m and 400m events, respectively.

Sophomore Akeem Sirleaf also qualifed in the 200-meter dash by finishing fifth (21.30 seconds), while freshman Travis Collins was a qualifier in the 60m dash (6.71). Butler missed out on having three finalists in the 60, as freshman Kyandre Lyons set a personal-best time of 6.76 seconds, but finished ninth in preliminaries.

The Grizzlies scored seven points during the opening day of the two-day meet. Sophomore Landon Cuskelly placed fifth in the men's high jump, while Butler's distance medley relay finished sixth during Friday's competition.

Cuskelly cleared the bar on his final attempt at both 2.05 and 2.10 meters (6' 10-3/4"), but fell short of his top clearance (2.20) by going out at 2.15. Sophomore Mason Buckmaster had a personal-best clearance of 2.00 meters (6' 6-3/4") to finish 11th, while freshman Tyson Penn was 13th overall (2.00m).

The distance medley relay team of Joel Santiago, James Hambrick, Derrick Reid and Boniface Kiptoo finished with a time of 10:27.48 to score three points with the sixth-place finish.

In the 5,000-meter run, freshman Eliud Koech was one spot out of placing, as he finished ninth with a time of 9:04.63. Freshman teammate Emmanuel Biwott was 14th (15:36.09) in the event.

Sophomore Jhibri Greer (60m hurdles, 8.16) and Sirleaf (400m dash, 47.76) finished 10th in their respective events, while freshman Boniface Kiptoo was 11th in the 1,000-meter run (2:36.24).

The men's 4x800-meter (12:45 p.m.) and 4x400-meter (4:30 p.m.) will open and close Saturday's finals for the Grizzlies. Along with individual finalists in the 60m (Ewers, Collins), 200m (Ewers, Sirleaf) and 400m (Poole) events, Butler will have Boniface Kiptoo in the 1 mile run.

In field events, Elijah Smith and Tyson Penn are competing the triple jump, with both ranking among the NJCAA top 10 this season.