Men's Track Travels to UMO for Trojan Relays

Chris Sielkowski in steeplechase
Chris Sielkowski in steeplechase

MOUNT OLIVE, NC- The NC Wesleyan College men's track and field team returned to D-2 Mount Olive to compete in the Trojan Relays against a group of talented teams from a variety of Divisions of the NCAA, JUCO, and NAIA. 

"The weather was great and the wind was perfect to assist the short sprinters," said head coach Marshall Leonard.  The men finished the day by beating one D1, two D2, two D3 and one NAIA team (12th out of 21 teams).

During this meet there was a number of student athletes that ran personal bests and also set new school records.  The meet was highlighted by a group of NCWC runners that participated in events that were new to them and that they have only practiced for a few weeks.   One of the more exciting and new events was the steeple chase that was ran by sophomore Philly Barungi and freshman Chris Sielkowski, who finished 4th and 5th places while setting a new school record of 11:05. This race is just short of 2 miles, and each runner must jump over a hurdle barrier 4 times each lap, and 1 barrier has a water hole that they must jump in.

Junior Keyonte Williams competed in the 400 meter hurdles for the first time in his career, and he showed a lot of promise as he won his heat and set a new school record of 1:03.68 to finish 12th.  The previous record holder is his teammate Cameron Achilles who set the record at the USA South Conference Championships in 2019.

The men's 4x100 team competed with a new group of athletes that had never raced together (Blaise Gourley, Joseph Turner, Luis Ross, and Francisco Rodriguez).  "The most important part of this race is the blind handoffs to each other.  The men did a great job at working on it for the past 2 weeks and the hard work paid off, as each handoff was near perfect."

 This group of runners are now the 3rd fastest in school history (45.1 seconds) and are now the 4th fastest team in the conference.

In the 400 meters, Maleik Small performed great as he won his heat, ran a personal best time of 53.44 and now holds the 3rd fastest 400 meter time in school history.

Gourley and Ross also each raced in the 100 meter dash and both improved on their personal best times. Gourley finished in 11.7 seconds while Ross came in at 12.1.

"Each week these guys have gotten faster, and it is a result of practicing hard and the right way." said Leonard.

Bryant Lazare joined the Track team at the conclusion of his football season, and he competed in the Triple Jump.  This was his 1st competition and second time jumping since his junior year of high school.  He jumped 39'1'' which ranks 2nd in school history and is ranked 6th in the conference.

The men ran two 4x400 teams and they finished in 5th and 6th place at the meet.

The track teams will next race in Lynchburg, VA next weekend.