Tiffin, Ohio - April 29, 2010 – The Heidelberg University men’s track and field team, and second-year head coach Keith Roberts Jr., will look to display its depth when it heads to Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio this weekend fo the 2010 Ohio Athletic Conference Track and Field Championships Friday, April 30 and Saturday, May 1 at Mount Union Stadium.
Friday’s competition will start at noon and Saturday’s begins at 10 am. All 10 OAC schools will compete for the league title. Tickets are available on site for $8 for a two-day pass, $5 for a day pass and OAC students are admitted free with a valid ID.
In 48 appearances in the OAC Championships, the Berg has placed in the top-five on 16 occasions; including taking home the title in 1999 and 2000. The Berg also has two runner-up finishes to its credit (1998 and 2009).
A total of nine all-conference performers return from 2009 including eight-time honoree senior Mark Childs (New Albany, Ohio / New Albany) and six-time performer Julius Higginbotham (Elyria, Ohio / Elyria). Childs will look to make it three straight all-league performances in the 800-meter run in his final campaign.
Higginbotham is one of the top-three qualifiers in the long jump, where is the defending OAC Champion. He has earned all-conference honors in the event every year. Higginbotham will also compete in the triple jump and will hit the track in the 100-meter dash .
The distance crew has inked a host of names on the qualifying list for the weekend led by the defending 3,000-meter steeplechase champion sophomore Jordan Karnes (Edgerton, Ohio / Edgerton). Karnes is the top qualifier this season and is backed by senior Jamie Kuess (Coldwater, Ohio / Coldwater), who is ranked second and senior Jake Lemon (Oak Harbor, Ohio / Oak Harbor), who stands fourth. Also on the list of steeplechase qualifiers is freshman Dustin Kuess (Coldwater, Ohio / Coldwater).
Extending the distance qualifiers for the Berg is senior Devin Butcher (Bowling Green, Ohio / Bowling Green). Butcher will be looking for his third consecutive all-league performance in the 10,000-meter run and is set to pick up his first all-league honor in the 5,000-meter run. Looking to provide depth in the 10,000-meter run will be sophomore John Gogle (Sunbury, Ohio / Big Walnut) and freshman Kevin Neel (Wellington, Ohio / Wellington). Also pushing for recognition in the 5,000-meter run will be freshman Bobby Over (Wadsworth, Ohio / Wadsworth) and Jamie Kuess.
Rounding out the list of top names on the distance circuit for the Berg is sophomore Jamie Martin (Wooster, Ohio / Triway) and junior John Distler (Mentor, Ohio / Mentor), who are inked on the list for the 1,500-meter run.
Providing a solid foundation for Childs to build on in the 800-meter dash will be sophomore Shondell Thomas (Westerville, Ohio / Central).
Higginbotham will be joined on the sprinting core with a host of speed. Aside from Higginbotham in the 100-meter dash, senior Paris Hilliard (Lorain, Ohio / Admiral King) and freshman Gibril Kamara (Westerville, Ohio / Central) will look to secure some points. Hilliard and Kamara will be joined by freshman Justin Burnett (Springfield, Ohio / Northwestern) in the 200-meter dash.
Three-time All-OAC performer junior Terrence Horton (Pickerington, Ohio / Pickerington) has the top qualifying time in the 400-meter dash. He will be joined by sophomores Josh Bowmar (Marengo, Ohio / Highland) and Joe Yoder (West Liberty, Ohio / West Liberty Salem), along with junior Seth Robertson (Burton, Ohio / Newbury). Yoder and Robertson each picked up two All-OAC honors a season ago. One of Robertson’s honors came in the 400-meter dash.
Looking to secure some points in the hurdle events will be freshmen Wes Walker (Columbus, Ohio / Hilliard Darby) and Lance Kitchen (Urbana, Ohio / Liberty).
Throughout the entire outdoor campaign Heidelberg has had a strong presence in the field behind Higginbotham’s senior leadership. Looking to push Higginbotham and score some extra points will be freshman Nate Davis (Dayton, Ohio / Stivers). Davis has already inked his name on the NCAA Division III provisional list in the high jump and long jump, and set the school record in the high jump as well. His school record jump of 6’9.5” in the high jump ranks second in the OAC and he also is standing second in the long jump. Davis will look to contend in the triple jump as well.
Making it a trio of contenders in the jumping events for the men is freshman Joshua Lynch (Dayton, Ohio / Meadowdale). Lynch will compete in the high jump, where he is ranked third, in the long jump and in the triple jump. He is the top qualifier in the triple jump for the Berg, sitting in the third position.
Junior Frank Medina (Wakeman, Ohio / Western Reserve) will lead the throwers. He has qualified in the shot put and the hammer throw. He is coming off a school record performance in the hammer. Backing Medina will be freshmen Dominique Washington (Flint, Mich. / Carmen-Ainsworth) and Ken Wulfhoop (Wellington, Ohio / Wellington).
Looking to move up in the rankings in the pole vault will be freshman Andrew Leis (Delphos, Ohio / Elida) and Bowmar in the javelin throw.
Heidelberg’s strong presence extends beyond the individual events. The Berg enters the weekend ranked in the top three in all three relay events, led by a top standing in the 4x400-meter relay. A week ago, the group of Bowmar, Childs, Yoder and Horton ran the top time in the OAC, as well as inked Heidelberg on the provisional list.