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SAU Men Fourth at Track Nationals

March 3 Track and Field All-Americans

The SAU men's track and field indoor national qualifiers with the school-best fourth-place trophy

March 2017


Led by St. Ambrose junior Anthony Peters third collegiate national title and a number of better than seeded finishes by Fighting Bees national indoor track and field qualifiers, the St. Ambrose men's squad scored a fourth place finish at the NAIA Championships March 2-4 in  Johnston City, Tenn.

The trophy-earning effort was the best national finish in SAU track and field history, exceeding last year's 11th place performance.

The battle for a top four finish went to the final race of the meet, the 4x400 relay, where a crew seeded 14th entering the nationals posted a fifth-place finish. When Wayland Baptist's anchor was passed at the wire in the final heat of the relay, St. Ambrose moved into fourth for good.

The Bees were aided by a runner-up finish in the 400 by Michael Ohioze, who was seeded 16th entering the race and also were sparked by sophomore Cole Connell's fourth-place finish in the heptathlon. He came to Tennessee seeded 17th and was able to compete only when a rival coach failed to properly register his heptathlete.

Peters, nearly nabbed a collegaite record in the 3,000 meter race walk, following a win at last year's indoor meet. But junior Emilio Mancha's second-place finish behind Peters was an unexpected boost for the Bees. He was seeded sixth entering the meet.

"One-two is unreal," St. Ambrose head coach Dan Tomlin '05, '10 MBA said.

So was fourth overall. Based on seedings, the Bees were projected to finish 16th.

"You have no idea how improbable this is," Tomlin said. "It's the stuff dreams are made of. Nope. I can't even dream this big. It doesn't seem real to me."

The SAU women's team also exceeded expectations with five top 10 finishes. Every Bees competitor who qualified for the national meet earned All-American status.

Also at the meet, the Fighting Bees men's squad won the Champions of Character team award for their sport.

Read a Dispatch/Argus report on the historic nationals performance here.

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