Chico State racks up five All-America honors at championships
ALLENDALE, Mich. -- J Patrick Smith placed about 10 exclamation points to the final day of his soon-to-be-legendary Chico State career, successfully pulling off the trifecta Friday by winning his third consecutive national decathlon crown -- in record fashion -- at the NCAA Track & Field Championships. An achievement for the ages, to be sure, but Smith was just the biggest of several Wildcat All-America performances on a wildly successful day at Grand Valley State Track and Field Stadium
Smith, along with teammates Teddy Elsenbaumer and John Brunk, all reached the All-America podium while also notching the top three decathlon point totals in Chico State history. Smith topped the 16-man field with a school-record 7,645 points during the 10 decathlon events, with Elsenbaumer a close second with 7,438 points. Brunk snagged his second decathlon All-America honor with 7,351 points, good for sixth place overall.
Later in the day, Alex McGuirk and Michael Souza added to the 'Cats' All-America count with outstanding efforts in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and high jump, respectively. All told, Chico State racked up five All-America performances Friday, giving the Wildcat men seven over the first two days of the meet with a chance for two more on Saturday.
|DII TRACK & FIELD CHAMPIONSHIP|
|Men's Highlights | Women's Highlights|
|Women's Final: Lincoln wins seventh championship|
|Men's Final: St. Augustine's cruises to title|
|Padilla: Lincoln (Mo.) grabs lucky No. 7|
|Padilla: St. Augustine's Cato, Usian Bolt fast friends|
|Day 2 Women's Recap: GVSU leads field with 34 points|
|Day 2 Men's Recap: Chico State earns five All-Americans|
|Padilla: Strong day for Chico State in decathlon|
|Padilla: New Mexico Highland's Slack has style|
|Day 2 Recap|
|Day 1 Men's Recap: Adams State earns first day lead|
|Day 1 Women's Recap: GVSU takes strong lead|
|Day 1 Recap|
|Padilla: Hixson has hometown success|
|Padilla: Lavong hopes to lead Adams State|
|Padilla: Windle searches for fifth national title|
|Live Championship Scoring|
|How they got here: Participants named|
While Smith was the top Wildcat decathlete Friday in the 110 hurdles (14.78 seconds) and the javelin (168-feet-01), it was Brunk who actually turned in the best all-around day. Like Smith, Brunk made his final day as a Wildcat a memorable one, posting personal bests in the 110 hurdles (15.66 seconds) and a winning time of 4:23.90 the 1,500 (4:23.90). Brunk also matched his PR in the pole vault, clearing 15-feet-01 on the way to a sixth place finish.
Elsenbaumer was among the top seven finishers in four of Friday's five decathlon events, with his top performance being a second place showing in the discus (a career-best heave of 140-feet-04). Elsenbaumer's first All-America honor is sweet redemption for last year's national meet heartbreak, when he was just five agonizing points shy of finishing in the top eight in the 2013 NCAA Track & Field Championships.
McGuirk, who earlier in the year set a new Chico State record in the 3,000 steeplechase, struck All-America gold Friday afternoon, notching a fourth place finish with a time of 8:53.64. The effort gave McGuirk his first career All-America award.
Barron Maizland also ran for the Wildcats in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, stopping the clock at 9:11.95 for a 12th place finish.
Souza capped off Chico State's amazing day Friday with an eighth place showing in the high jump, clearing the bar at 6-feet-08.75 to cap off his Chico State career with his first-ever All-America honor.
The NCAA Track & Field Championships wrap up Saturday, with both McGuirk and Isaac Chavez having a chance to win their second All-America of the meet. The two Wildcat distance runners will compete in the men's 5,000, scheduled to get underway at 8:05 p.m. ET.