Shelley Bags Two Records, Beidleman One (And a Near Miss) at Coastal Carolina
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.--Twelve members of the Hood College men’s track & field team represented the College at the Coastal Carolina University Invitational held Friday and Saturday at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
The meet featured 47 teams from all levels across the eastern half of the United States. Hood College was one of a handful of NCAA Division III schools to participate.
The high finish on the day was recorded by the Blazers' 4 x 800 meter relay team consisting of Justin Cifuentes, Stephen McNamara, Matt Dyjack and Jordan Acton. They combined to run 8:22.50, good for seventh place.
However, the lead story of the weekend for the Hood distance program was the performance of Brett Shelley. Shelly came into Friday evening's 5000 meter race as the 31st seed. He left with a new school record 15:48.79, good for 13th place. Running under the lights with nearly perfect 65-degree conditions, he and teammate Dan Jacobs destroyed the old record of 16:20. Jacobs ran 16:06.64, good for 21st place.
Shelley returned on Saturday afternoon to carve six seconds off this school record in the 3000 meter steeplechase, turning a 10:12.71 to record a 10th-place finish.
"Just a nice, nice performance by Brett," said head coach Brent Ayer. "The 5000 was beautifully run and evenly split. The distance guys and Mike (Beidleman) really had it going this weekend. I'm not real enthusiastic about this 5000/steeple double and I liken it to Brett as 'robbing a bank'. You may get away with it once but; as a long-term proposition, it is not a good career plan."
Beidleman, running against stacked fields of nearly 70 sprinters, lowered assistant coach Ola Komolafe's 100-meter school standard running 11.24 to place 21st against mainly Division I and II sprinters. Komolafe's previous record of 11.27 was run at Coastal last year. Later in the afternoon, Beidleman blistered his heat, running a personal best 22.56 in narrowly missing Komolafe's school record of 22.55. The time earned him 18th place.
"There is not much doubt that Mike will rewrite our sprinting record book," observed Ayer. "The remaining records were set in late April at championship meets. He is way ahead of schedule. All he needs is to remain healthy and get some breaks from the weather."
McNamara also narrowly missed claiming a school record in running 4:13.04 for 1500 meters. The 26th-place performance brought him just short of Blair Ames' 4:12.29 school record. Justin Cifuentes added a personal best 4:27.59.
Tyree Wilson sprinted to a 1:00.74 personal best over the 400-meter hurdles. Jamone Davis and Todd Welch set new personal marks at 200 meters. Steven Powell and Nick Slawson also represented Hood at the meet.
"Overall, I thought the men ran well," concluded Ayer. "To go out against really tough competition and run personal records as Brett, Dan, Justin, Mike, Todd, Tyree and Jamone did speaks well for where we are at the moment. The purpose of this meet was to go someplace fun and be exposed to running in a huge meet against significantly better talent. You do enough of these and, while you may not be thrilled with the place finishes, you most likely won't be intimidated the next time you face tough competition."
The men's track & field team returns to action on March 23-24 at the Battleground Relays hosted by the University of Mary Washington.