ROME, Ga. -- Lee University added five NCCAA All-Americans in two events on the final two days of the NCCAA Track & Field Championship at Barron Stadium to run its three-day total to six in three events. The top three performers in each event earn All-American honors.
Mike Walker improved upon his qualifying time (9:21.56) by six seconds, finished second in the 3000 meter steeplechase and gained All-American status for the second time in two days. His time of 9:15.36 was just behind Kevin Brown of Roberts Wesleyan College (9:12.94).
On Friday, Walker ran the first leg with Adam Gullette, Terris Elliott and Emmanuel Kipchumba the final pieces of the 4x800 meter relay. The foursome earned All-American honors with a second place finish. Their time of 7:45.79 trailed only Emmanuel College (7:42.91).
"Our men's team ran a new school record by six seconds," said Lee head coach Caleb Morgan. "We were competitive in every leg. Emmanuel College just had a little more than we did. Three out of the four legs ran personal bests on the day it counts most and we couldn't have asked for much more."
Ashley Matthews started the weekend with a second place performance and NCCAA All-American status in the 10000 meter run.
Kipchumba just missed a second NCCAA All-American honor in the 800 meter run. His time of 1:57.78 was just 0.72 seconds shy of third place. Gullette was ninth (1:58.73) and Justin Knuth was 15th (2:00.27). Jihad Ragge (Shorter University) took home the win at 1:55.90.
Patrick Shultz joined Walker in the 3000 meter steeplechase and placed 12th (10:12.81). Walker also placed seventh (15:30.48) in the 5000 meter run. D'Andre Smalley of Emmanuel was first (14:59.44).
Terris Elliott and Keenen Hindes took on the 1500 meter run. Elliott finished 17th (4:12.08) and Hindes was 19th (4:16.92). Enock Bar of Roberts Wesleyan posted a time of 3:56.47 to win the race.
Four Lady Flames finished in the top 30 of the 800 meter run. Jessica Childers was 13th with a time of 2:22.24. Emily Bryan placed 20th (2:24.23), Storyie Miller was 26th (2:27.62) and Breanna Prugh crossed the line at 2:34.51 (30th).
Matthews ran her second distance event of the weekend on Saturday and finished 14th in the 5000 meter run. Kelsey Bruce (Dallas Baptist University) was the winner at 17:47.11.
The Lady Flames 4x800 relay team of Prugh, Bryan, Childers and Miller placed second with a mark of 9:34.86. Azusa Pacific University won the race with a mark of 9:10.80.
"Our women had a good effort, but it wasn't enough today," said Morgan. "We were disappointed with fifth. This is a resilient group who is very competitive. They will bounce back and run well in their open events tomorrow."
The Flames finished with 30 points and claimed 12th place. The Lady Flames tallied 12 points and earned 15th place. Shorter University won both the men's and women's team championships.