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Battling Bishops repeat as NCAC Champs

Ohio Wesleyan utilized four, top-8 finishes in the 200 meter dash to take the lead away from Wabash College.  That lead would not be relinquished by the Bishops as they rolled to their third straight North Coast Athletic Conference Indoor Track & Field Championship from the Mitchell Center in Granville, Ohio.

The Bishops trailed by just two points heading into the 200 meter dash and they came out of the event leading by 15 thanks to a first, fourth, sixth and eighth place finishes.  Overall, Ohio Wesleyan ended the day with 165 points while Wabash finished as the runner-up with 141 points.  Third place went to Allegheny College with 83 points and fourth-place was occupied by Oberlin with 79 points.  Positions five through nine were held by Wittenberg (66.5), Denison (44), Earlham (32), Wooster (30), and Kenyon (21.5).

Ohio Wesleyan's Jake Eldridge was named the meet's Sprint/Hurdle Athlete of the Meet after winning the 55 meter dash and both the 4x200 relay and the 4x400 relay.  His teammate, David Burke, was the Men's Field Athlete of the Year.  He won the triple jump and placed fourth in the long jump and the high jump.  The Middle Distance/Distance Runner of the Year was Allegheny's Tony Dipre who set a conference record in the mile.  Coach of the Year went to Ohio Wesleyan's Kris Boey.

The speediest event of the day was the mile where Dipre not only set a new record with a time of 4:10.84, Denison's Dee Salukombo also broke the previous mark, crossing in 4:12.23.  In third place, Wabash's Kevin McCarthy posted a time of 4:15.18.  Dipre's time was an NCAA automatic qualifying time while Salukombo and McCarthy's times were both provisional.

In the distance medley relay, Dipre ran third and helped his Gator teammates to a time of 10:35.79 and the victory.  Running along with him was Mike Vlah, Alex Gorski and Chris Marker.

In the sprints, Eldridge won the 55-meter dash with a time of 6.57 seconds and teammate Steve Brown of OWU captured the gold in the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 7.65.  He edged Wabash's Emanuel Aouad by one one-hundredth of a second.  Both times were provisional qualifying times.

The Bishops continued their stronghold on the sprints with a win by Silas Joliff in the 200 meter dash (22.51).  The Little Giants would get on the podium when Wes Chamblee won the 400 meter dash in 50.47 seconds.  The title in the 800 meters would be awarded to teammate Jake Waterman who picked up right where former Wabash star Jake Lambert left off in 2008.  The freshman posted a time of 1:54.12 to top Andrew Mahone of Allegheny.

In the men's 3000 meters, Salukombo, a cross country All-American for the Big Red, cruised to a win over Pat Meyers of Kenyon in 8:41.86.  This was the sixth time a Denison male has won the 3K but the first time since 2000.

Both the 4x200 and 4x400 relays went to Ohio Wesleyan.  Eldridge, Joliff, Sean Patrick and Stephen Haynes combined for the win in the 4x200 while Matt Martin and Bryce Mathias subbed for Patrick and Haynes in the 4x400, resulting in a win.

In Saturday's three field event finals, Wittenberg's Josh Colbert set a provisional distance with his leap of 23'00.75" in the long jump.  In the high jump, Tiger freshman Aaron Hartzell took home first place by clearing 6'4.25".  That was the highest height cleared by an NCAC jumper since 2004.

The final field event title went to Wabash's Matt Knox who became the second Little Giant to win the pole vault when he cleared 14'5.50".