Track and field
Bearcats DeLong finishes 11th
LEBANON -- Three members of the McKendree University men's track and field team were in action Friday at the NCAA Division II Indoor Nationals in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Senior Blake DeLong led the way for the Bearcats as he raced to an 11th-place finish in the 5,000-meter run that was contested late Friday afternoon. DeLong crossed the finish line in a final time of 14:37.51. He was a little more than 31 seconds behind Kevin Batt of Adams State University, who took top honors. DeLong competed in a field of 17 runners.
In the 60-meter dash, the McKendree duo of senior Jordon Henderson and sophomore Cameron James (Edwardsville) were among the top contenders heading into Friday's preliminary heats. However, Henderson and James did not qualify for Saturday's final in the event. James turned in the top time of the duo on Friday with an effort of 6.84 seconds. Henderson, who won the 60-meter dash at the Great Lakes Valley Conference Indoor Championships two weeks ago, was clocked in a time of 6.92 seconds.
McKendree will have its lone female representative at the NCAA Division II Indoor Championships competing on Saturday. Senior LaTia Jefferson (Belleville East) will be among 17 student-athletes taking part in the triple jump, which will be contested Saturday afternoon at the JDL Fast Track.
Two Bearcats reach semifinals
CLEVELAND --- Senior Brenden Murphy and junior Julian Smith both reached the championship semifinals in their respective weight classes on Friday at the NCAA Division II Wrestling National Championship.
McKendree finished day one in a tie with University of Indianapolis for ninth place in the team standings with 26.5 points.
Murphy had two wins over ranked opponents to reach the championship semifinals at 133 pounds. He defeated No. 3 Nathan Rodriguez of Ouachita Baptist University in a 7-4 decision in his opening match, and followed with a 6-2 decision victory over No. 5 Isaiah Hurtado of San Francisco State University in the quarterfinals. Murphy will take a 41-9 record into his championship semifinal match against No. 4 Casey Rowell of University of Central Oklahoma.
Smith, ranked No. 3 at 197 pounds, edged Kenny Breaux of Lindenwood University, 3-2, in his opening match, and picked up a 9-7 decision win over Paco Retana of Colorado Mesa University to reach the championship semifinals. Smith will square-off with No. 2 Carl Broghammer of Upper Iowa University in the semifinals on Saturday. Smith lost a 3-1 match in sudden victory to Broghammer earlier this season.
Graduate student Kyle Williams (Mascoutah) dropped to the consolation bracket at 149 pounds after a loss in the championship quarterfinals to No. 1 Frank Cagnina of University of Central Missouri, but won his consolation match to stay in the running for All-America honors. Williams defeated Alex Annunciation of California Baptist University by major decision, 14-4, but was pinned by Cagnina in his next match to fall out of championship contention. Williams earned a 3-0 decision over Andrew Bannister of Notre Dame College (Ohio) to advance to the consolation quarterfinals where he will face No. 7 Cameryn Brady of Indianapolis.
Junior Nick Haferkamp lost his opening match at 165 pounds, but bounced back with two wins to reach Saturday's consolation quarterfinals. Haferkamp, ranked No. 4 entering the tournament, dropped an 8-6 decision to Bionojel Candelaria of Kutztown University (Pa.) in the opener, but beat No. 5 Mark Mabry of Adams State University, 9-5, in his first consolation match. He followed with a close 8-7 decision win over No. 6 Kyle Begin of Southwest Minnesota State University, and will face No. 7 Ty Loethen of Central Missouri in the consolation quarterfinals on Saturday.
Junior's Luis Alba and John Vogt both had their seasons come to an end on Friday night. Alba went 0-2 at the tournament, dropping a 15-0 tech fall to No. 4 Patrick Martinez of Nebraska-Kearney in the opening round, and then being pinned by No. 8 Blaze Shade of University of North Carolina-Pembroke to end his season with an overall record of 33-16.
Vogt entered the tournament ranked No. 3 and advanced to the championship quarterfinals with a 12-6 win over John McArdle of LIndenwood, but lost a 9-7 decision to No. 8 Garrett Lineberger of Notre Dame to fall to the consolation bracket. Vogt dropped his next match to Mark Fiala of Nebraska-Kearney, 8-0, to end his season with an overall record of 29-14.