©2011 Galesburg Broadcasting Co.
Read the latest local sports stories by clicking here
|Scots Send Five to National Championships
|Monmouth College will send five track and field athletes in eight events to the NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships this weekend at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio.
While not the most representatives the Fighting Scots have ever sent to the meet, their field ranks among the best. Three of the Scots are ranked among the top five in the nation, including one with the NCAA's best performance.
Headlining the Scots' entries is senior Luke Reschke (Geneseo, Ill./Geneseo). The eight-time All-American has the nation's best time in the 400-meter dash by a half-second. He ran the school-record 46.75 - which equaled the Division I automatic qualifying time - two weeks ago at the Midwest Conference Championships. Reschke propelled himself into the national field of 17 runners in the 200-meter dash by clocking a 21.57 at a meet last week. Prior to last week, he was on the outside looking in with the nation's 18th best time in the 200.
Tyler Hannam (Woodhull, Ill./AlWood) is within striking distance in the men's high jump. Fresh off his first All-American award indoors, the junior is ranked second heading into the championships. His best height of 6'10-3/4" is just a quarter-inch behind the nation's leaders.
Another Scots junior high jumper, Nick Byom (Gilson, Ill./Knoxville), has cleared 6'9". The mark ties him for ninth, a quarter-inch ahead of eight others.
Monmouth's school-record holder in the men's javelin, Dan Higgins (Oak Lawn, Ill./Oak Lawn), is ranked fifth. The senior's career-best throw of 208'7" is less than eight feet out of second. The leader has a 14 foot advantage on his closest competitor.
Gloria Lehr (Knoxville, Ill./Knoxville) will have the busiest week of the five athletes. The senior qualified in three of her four throwing events - shot put, discus and javelin - as only the hammer throw came up short. Lehr's best performance heading into the weekend is in the discus, where her season-best 147'4" effort ranks her 10th. She is 13th in the shot put at 43'11-3/4", less than four feet behind the leader. Her javelin mark of 133'7" ranks her 16th, just eight feet shy of a top eight finish and All-American status.
The meet runs Thursday through Saturday and Monmouth will have at least two competitors in action each day. Higgins and Lehr in the men's and women's javelin will lead the Monmouth contingent on Thursday. Reschke will run in the 200 prelims Thursday, and Friday will race in the prelims of the 400. The finals of the two races will be held Saturday. Also Friday, Lehr will compete in the shot put. Lehr wraps up her busy week Saturday in the discus while Hannam and Byom round out the Scots' competition in the high jump.
Lehr, Byom and Higgins are looking for their first All-American awards. Monmouth has had an athlete earn All-American status - indoor or outdoor - every year since 1985.
(Monmouth College Athletics)