At the Bryan Clay Invitational at Azusa Pacific University, sophomore Ryan Thomsen competed in his first full decathlon of the season.
He racked up a total of 6476 points over the course of two days to take seventh place. That score not only surpasses the NCAA Division II provisional standard, but it also ranks him first in the G-MAC going into the conference championship in a couple weeks. He earned a new personal best in long jump (6.88 meters) and a season best in shot put (10.73 meters).
Thursday night, junior Joey Humes took part in Azusa's distance carnival, as he was one of hundreds of elite runners to race under the lights. He finished the 5000 meter run with a new season-best time of 14:29.37, which is just under the NCAA Division II provisional standard and ranks him first in the G-MAC as well. On Friday at Azusa, freshman Ben Raffin cleared 4.80 meters in pole vault.
In Ashland, Ohio, the rest of the Chargers competed at the Ashland University Alumni Open on Saturday.
Despite a cloudy and rainy morning, the Chargers made the most of their day on the track.
The men's 4-by-100 meter relay was up next. Seniors Nathan Pando and Levi Wyse, junior Ian Brown, and freshman Jacob Schmidt raced together for the event. Although their handoffs weren't as smooth as they've been lately, the Chargers made up for it with speed as they still managed a second-place finish in 42.48 seconds.
Sophomore Jack Shelley battled in the 1500 meter run. He stayed in close contact with the pack and finished strong at the end, as he took fourth overall in 4:06.20.
Brown had a quick turnaround as the 110 meter hurdles followed next. He came in fourth with a new personal best time of 14.70. His time has improved with each race this season so far.
Fellow hurdlers freshman Kevin Curby and junior David Downey ran the 400 meter hurdles. Downey showed great determination after hitting a hurdle early in the race. He recovered well and raced hard to the finish to take second in his heat and seventh overall. His time was 56.80, which isn't far off his personal best. Curby took 11th in 57.84.
Pando had a banner day on the track. After running the 4-by-100 meter relay, he raced the 100 and 200 meter dashes. He had a season-best time of 11.02 in the 100 as he took third overall. He had a lifetime best in the 200 meter dash by nearly two tenths of a second. He finished second in 21.82.
Schmidt and Wyse ran the 100 meter dash as well. The two took fifth and eighth, respectively. Schmidt was just shy three one-hundredths of a second shy of his personal record of 11.10. Wyse finished in 11.39.
The 200 meter dash was a hectic race for the Chargers as lanes were reassigned just minutes before, but that didn't stop them. Brown earned his second personal best of the day as he came from behind to finish in 22.58 seconds. Wyse came in right behind in 22.60. The two took ninth and 10th, respectively.
Downey, Shelley, Curby, and Oquist teamed up for the 4-by-400 meter relay to round out the day. They came in sixth with a time of 3:36.77.
The Chargers will return to their home track to finish out their season. Only two weeks remain before the G-MAC Championship with the GINA Relays the week before.
PHOTO: Todd Lancaster
WORDS: Calli Townsend