Sprinters, hurdlers help St. Augustine's cruise to 11th outdoor championship
PUEBLO, Colo. -- With a strong finish in the final day of competition, Saint Augustine's blew away the rest of the field with a 48-point victory en route to its 12th outdoor national championship, its first since 2010.
The Falcons garnered 99 points on the final day to run away with the men's team crown. Saint Augustine's has now won 33 men's and women's indoor and outdoor titles combined and 11 men's outdoor titles under legendary head coach George Williams.
The Falcons scored 105 points, the third-most points by a winning men's team since 2007. Ashland was second with 57 points and Adams State was third with 44 points.
The outdoor title comes on the heels of the indoor crown won by the Falcons in March 2013. It is the first time a team has swept both championships since 2005. The last time the Falcons were indoor and outdoor champions was 2001.
The Falcons won four men's events and scored significant points in several others to win easily. They had winning teams in the 4x100 and 4x400 relays, Dane Hyatt won in the 400 dash and Jermaine Jones took the top honor in the 200 dash.
The men's 4x100 set the tone with a sizzling performance in its event. The foursome of Ramaan Ansley, Taffawee Johnson, Burkheart Ellis Jr. and Jones ran 38.91 seconds to break the DII national record, which they set Thursday in preliminaries. The Falcons ran a 39.01 in the preliminaries to break the previous mark held by Abilene Christian for 29 years. Abilene Christian ran 39.20 in 1984.
The Falcons are the first DII team in history to run the 4x100 in less than 39 seconds. Grand Canyon was second in 39.58 and Lincoln (Mo.) was third in 39.95.
Despite the thrilling 4x100 win and a fifth-place finish by Ty'reak Murray in the men's 110 hurdles, the Falcons didn't take the lead until the 400 dash when the Falcons took four of the top six spots with Hyatt leading the way. Hyatt won in 45.41 while Ellis Jr. was third, James Quarles was fifth and Josh Edmonds was sixth. The Falcons scored 23 points in the 400 to move into first place with a 44-30 advantage ahead of Adams State.
The Falcons widened their lead in the 100 dash. Johnson was second, Jones was third and Daniel Jameison was eighth. The Falcons scored 15 more points for a 58-34 lead ahead of Grand Canyon.
The Falcons never looked back from that point. Marcelis Lynch finished sixth in the 800 and Elhadji Mbow was second in the 400 hurdles. DeJon Wilkinson was fourth in the triple jump.
The Falcons sealed the title in the 200. Jones was first with a time of 20.57 and teammates Johnson and Edmonds were third and fourth, respectively. The 4x400 squad of Edmonds, Quarles, Ellis Jr. and Hyatt capped the meet by winning the last event in 3:04.89.