|St. Augustine's wins track championship|
|Falcons earn Division II men's indoor title|
|Published Monday, March 11, 2013 7:14 am|
Chalk up another national championship for St. Augustine’s track and field.
Led by the strength of its sprinters, the Falcons earned the NCAA Division II men’s indoor title at the Birmingham Cross Plex on March 9.
The title is the latest achievement for the program, which has won 12 men’s indoor crowns and 32 national championships overall under coach George Williams.
“The kids stepped up,” said Williams, who is in his 37th season at St. Aug’s. “They wanted it and they got it. Everybody chipped in and did their part to win it.”
The Falcons scored 72 points; Ashland was second with 59.50 and Adams State finished third with 55. In the women’s division, Academy of Art was the winner with 59 points followed by Grand Canyon with 45 and Lincoln (Mo.) with 44.
The Falcons produced three national individual champions in the running events. Moussa Dembele won the 60-meter hurdles, Dane Hyatt captured the 400 meters and Jermaine Jones was the victor in the 200 meters.
It was Jones’ victory that helped the Falcons separate themselves from the pack. They entered the race tied with Ashland for the lead with 47 points, but Jones led three Falcon runners who scored in the event.
Jones won in 21.03 seconds and teammate Josh Edmonds was third in 21.36. Hyatt, who was eighth in 24.36, was the top seed in the 200 but ran injured.
The Falcons scored 17 points in the 200, which gave them the cushion they needed. They led Ashland 64-49.5 with two events left.
“Even though Dane ran hurt, Jermaine stepped up,” Williams said. “That race turned the whole thing around. Nobody could catch us then.”
With victory pretty much assured, the Falcons capped the meet with a second-place finish in the 4x400 relay, the final event. Even with the injured Hyatt sitting out, the Falcons still ran 3:10.63.
The Falcons, who entered the second day of competition with one point, got off to a brilliant start. DeJon Wilkinson placed second and David Shaw Jr. was sixth in the triple jump to give the Falcons 11 points in the first event. Wilkinson leaped 51-11 and Shaw Jr. jumped 49-9.75.
Then Dembele defended his top ranking in the 60 hurdles by winning a tight race. Dembele ran 7.84 to hold off Sabiel Anderson of Lincoln (Mo.), who was second in 7.85. Ty’reak Murray of the Falcons was third in 7.93, giving the Falcons 16 more points and moving them into second place with 28 points. The Falcons trailed Central Missouri by a point at the time.
Jones gave the Falcons their first lead when he finished fifth in the 60 dash in 6.78. His four points put the Falcons up 32-29 over Central Missouri after nine events. After Adams State surged ahead with a big showing in the mile run, the Falcons moved back in front after Hyatt won the 400 dash in 46.71.
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