Lions win first track and field conference title in 48 years
LUBBOCK, TEXAS – A&M-Commerce captured its first LSC Track and Field Championship since 1967 and its first indoor title in school history, as the men compiled a score of 245 points to win the 2015 title.
"It was truly a team effort," said head coach Tom Dibbern, "Some scored the big points, some scored the little points, but they all added up. We scored in every event, and that was huge."
The Lions carried a day one lead into the final day of competition, and picked up right where they left off with multiple victories to lead to the program's 18th track and field title in school history. Breakout freshman Devontae Steele eviscerated the triple jump with a personal best mark of 15.40 meters. The jump not only won the event outright and improved upon his provisional qualifying mark, but also became the second-best performance this year in all of Division II.
A&M-Commerce dominated the heptathlon as Matt Rich, Hendrik Nungess and James Lundy swept the podium with scores of 5249, 5133 and 4782 respectively. A Lion placed first in six out of the seven events. Nungess' mark broke his previous personal best of 5036 by nearly 100 points. Rich meanwhile would go on to place fifth in the 55 meter hurdles with a time of 7.65 seconds. He was closely followed by DJ Richardson, who finished sixth with a time of 7.69 seconds.
Luis Romero had an excellent day in not one, but two events. The junior started things off with a win in the one mile run with a time of 4:16.54, with Dorian McCradic following yesterday's win in the 5k with a third place finish in the mile (4:17.35). Romero followed that up with a second place finish in the 800 meter run with a time of 1:53.42, as well as a third place finish in the 3k with a time of 8:52.13.
Tyler Rambo set a career best in the shot put with a lob of 17.26 meters, with teammate Hendrik Nungess finishing fourth. Rambo's mark improves upon his previous provisional qualifying mark, and becomes the eighth best in Division II.
In the 55 meter dash, John David Rollins logged a fifth place finish on the effort of a 6.48 second run.
The Lions ended the day with a dominant win in the 4x400 meter relay. A team of Dexter, Lee, John David Rollins, Ravi Dubose and Soren Gnoss crossed the finish line with a time of 3:13.66, not only improving on their provisional qualifying mark, but setting the eight fastest mark in the country. Lee didn't stop there, as the sophomore also won the 400 meter dash with a time of 48.10 and finished third in the 200 meter run with a time of 21.71. Lee's time in the 400m was a personal best, and improved upon his provisional qualifying time.
"Those guys were on a mission and they competed like champs," said Dibbern.
The victorious men now return to Commerce. Though their next indoor meet, the NCAA Championships in Alabama, won't be for another two weeks, they must first begin their outdoor season at the Tarleton State Invitational. That meet is scheduled for Thursday, March 5 in Stephenville.