CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The 2018 Javelina men's track and field team was crowned the 2018 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field national champions on Saturday at the Irwin Belk Complex. The Hogs achieved a team score of 65 points in addition to four individual national champions, as 113 total teams competed in this year's national meet with the Hogs besting them all.
"It's an extremely difficult meet to win," head coach Ryan Dall explained after winning the title, "people say there's never a perfect meet, but we had a perfect meet, you can't ask for more than that.
"Every single athlete performed great. We knew we had to compete hard, and today we did."
The first of four individual champions came in the form of the triple jump as Charles Greaves leaped to the 16.08-meter mark as the only competitor to clear 16 meters in the event. Greaves followed up as a member of the 4x100 meter relay team alongside Deon Hope, Javier Lopez and Todd Nicholas as the crew clocked in at 39.71 and led wire-to-wire on the way to the title.
Lopez also claimed back-to-back titles as he saw success in the 110 meter hurdles. In his final event as a Javelina, Lopez left it all out on the track and closed his colligate career by becoming a national champion at 13.71.
Richard Cervantes, in a decisive shot put competition, climbed out of the cellar after moving from 15th to first overall in a key victory over Nikolas Curtiss of Tiffin University. Cervantes reached 19.12 meters on his fourth attempt to claim his top spot on the podium.
At the first event of the day Vitaly Zhgun took on the javelin throw and came up big for the Hogs. The sophomore from Moscow sat in fifth place heading into his final throw before he heaved a beautifully-thrown javelin to the 68.55-meter mark, good for third place and All-American status while adding a huge six points for the Javelina men.
Robert Downs clinched the title with a three-point performance in the 800 meter run. In his first season in the Blue and Gold, Downs finished in 1:48.68 to claim his All-American nod.
The men's gained 14 points over second-place Ashland University, who finished the day up with a score of 51. Tiffin University wrapped things up in third with 50 points.
The women had a handful of All-Americans crowned as well with the 4x100 meter relay squad of Deana Richardson, Taylor Roberson, Keandria Taylor and Teandria Taylor finishing sixth with a time of 45.07.
The champion of the women's team title was Lincoln University with 60 points as St. Augustine's 48.5 points secured second, while LSC foe Angelo State finished third with 42.5.
The Javelinas' 2018 title defense will culminate at the 2019 NCAA Division-II Outdoor National Championships hosted at Javelina Stadium, in Kingsville, Texas.