Bluffton Men Claim Third at Championshipsby Nate Smith
[Complete Meet Results]
Bluffton's men's track and field team claimed their highest finish ever in the HCAC Championships with a third-place standing in the 2003 meet. The Beavers had numerous personal-best performances, along with season-bests, as they put together their most impressive showing in a number of years.
Sophomore Troy Baumer had one of the top all-around days for Bluffton, as he led the team with 17.5 points in the championships. Baumer finished 2nd in both hurdle races, with personal-best times in both. He ran the 110 high hurdles in 15.80, and the 400 intermediate hurdles in 56.17. He also ran anchor for the 4x400 meter relay, which finished in a time of 3:24.66, one of the best times in school history. Baumer was joined on that relay by freshmen Al Pearson and Dan Rosebrock, and sophomore Jason Lehman. All three also enjoyed individual success in the meet. Pearson placed 2nd in the 400 meters (50.67), Rosebrock placed 2nd in the 800 meters (1:58.63), and Lehman placed in three other events for the Beavers. Lehman claimed a 4th-place finish in the 200 meters (22.73), 5th-place in the long jump (20-3), and 6th-place in the triple jump (38-0).
Lehman and Pearson also ran the middle legs on the 4x100 meter relay, which recorded one of the top times in school history. That team included junior Ryan Nusbaum and freshman Ben Dodds, and finished 3rd in a time of 42.91. Nusbaum also placed 3rd in the 100 meters (11.33) and 6th in the 200 (22.97). Dodds qualfied for the finals in both short sprints, placing 6th in the 100 (11.62).Bluffton also gained points from the distance events, as sophomore Andy Schiefer placed in two races, and senior Steve Borga capped his Bluffton career in the 10,000 meters. Schiefer gained 6th-place finishes in both the 1500 meters (4:29.44) and the 3,000 meter steeplechase (10:48.20), while Borga claimed a 6th-place finish in the 10,000 meters (36:05.48) for the second consecutive year.
The top finish in the field events for Bluffton belonged to freshman Jeremy King, as he finished 2nd in the high jump at 6' 2". Sophomore Fred Yoder also placed 4th for the Beavers in the pole vault (12-6), while freshman Jeff Lehman paced Bluffton in the throws with two 6th-place finishes. Lehman placed in both the hammer throw (120-10) and the shot put (42-6.25). Kevin Bicker had the best throw of the day for Bluffton in the discus (113-2, 11th), while Baumer had the top throw for the Beavers in the javelin (134-5, 10th).
The HCAC Championships marks the conclusion of the regular season for the Beavers, the most successful season since Bluffton has joined the HCAC. The Beavers graduate just two seniors from this year's team.