LEBANON — The McKendree University men's track and field team had a busy and successful weekend at the Saint Louis University Invitational.
The Bearcats turned in a second-place finish in the meet, collecting a total of 110.5 points. McKendree finished just 7.5 points behind Washington University for the overall title. Host Saint Louis University was third with 88 points.
The Bearcats will return to the track Thursday and Friday at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa.
McKendree had 10 different individuals that earned points during the meet. The Bearcats were particularly strong in field events, with three different athletes grabbing points in more than one event. Freshman Andrew Ellison (Lebanon) led the way as he placed in three different throwing events. Ellison won the discus throw, clearing a distance of 168 feet, four inches. Ellison then set a new team mark in the hammer throw with a toss of 137 feet, three inches to finish fourth overall at the meet. He topped the previous McKendree record of 123 feet, two inches set by teammate E.J. Rahar (Triad) back in 2011.
Ellison then capped his day by taking ninth in the shot put with a toss of 41 feet, three inches.
Rahar also collected three top finishes at the SLU Invitational. Rahar was third in the discus throw at 143 feet, eight inches and placed seventh overall in both the hammer throw (131 feet, three inches) and shot put (41 feet, 11 3/4 inches).
Junior Sterling Jackson finished in the top six in both the long jump and triple jump over the weekend. Jackson took third place in the triple jump with an effort of 41 feet, 7 1/4 inches , while he grabbed sixth place in the long jump with a leap of 21 feet, 1/2 inch.
Junior Chris Willhite (Triad) rounded out the list of top performers in field events for McKendree. Willhite was fourth in the shot put with a throw of 43 feet, six inches.
Freshman Zack Fieber (Nashville) set a new team record for McKendree during his fourth-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles. Fieber's final time of 57.79 seconds bested the old mark of 58.22 seconds set by Brandon Williams back in 2008.
In the 10,000-meter run, junior Blake DeLong captured second place for McKendree. DeLong crossed the finish line with a time of 31:36.20.
Three of McKendree's top sprinters placed in multiple events at the SLU Invitational. Freshman Donovan Friscia had the highest finish of the trio, taking third in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.22 seconds. Friscia also placed sixth in the 100-meter dash, crossing the finish line at 10.88 seconds.
Junior Jordon Hendersonwas fourth in the 100-meter dash with a final time of 10.80 seconds and grabbed seventh place in the 200-meter dash with an effort of 22.49 seconds. Freshman Cameron James (Edwardsville) also performed well, placing eighth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.50 seconds. James also took 12th place in the 100-meter dash at 11.08 seconds.
Both of McKendree's relay squads were right in the mix at the SLU Invitational. The Bearcats' 4 x 100-meter relay team was second overall with a time of 41.66 seconds. Friscia, Henderson, James and senior Nick Thompson formed the quartet for the 4 x 100-meter relay. In the 4 x 400-meter relay, the Bearcats were fourth in the event with a time of 3:21.69. Thomspon, Fieber, senior Josh Wilhelm (Wesclin) and sophomore Ryan Todd (Jerseyville) competed in the 4 x 400-meter relay for McKendree.