Written by Staff Reports
Saturday, 25 February 2012 09:39
Appalachian State University men’s track and field fell to Western Carolina in one of the closest Southern Conference Indoor Championships in the 76-year history of the championship on Friday at the Birmingham CrossPlex. Western Carolina (155) topped the Mountaineers (154.5) by a half of a point for the closest championship since 1964 when VMI and West Virginia tied
with 44 points apiece. The last time the title was decided by less than a two points was in 1934 when North Carolina (32) topped Virginia (31) by a point.
Going into the 4x400m relay the Mountaineers (148.5) held a two-point lead over Samford (146.5) and a three and a half point advantage over the Catamounts (145). ASU finished the relay in third with a time of 3:19.10 and was just over six-tenths of a second behind runner-up Citadel to hold on the small lead. WCU won the relay and the championship with a time of 3:15.08.
Juniors Alex Taylor and Chris Moen were the Apps’ workhorses by recording five top-four finishes in four distance events. Taylor finished runner-up in the 800-meters and third in mile to earn a pair of all-conference accolades. Moen earned a second-place finish in the 3,000-meters and fourth-place finishes in the mile and 5,000-meters. Will Raby broke the school record in the 5,000-meters with a time of 14:30.43, good for third-place and finished in sixth in the 3,000-meters. Senior Sean Soderman grabbed a seventh-place finish in the 3,000-meters (8:29.38) and a eighth-place finish in the 5,000-meters.
The one-two punch of senior AJ Dohanic and freshman Stanley Broaden dominated the 60-meter hurdles. Dohanic took the title with a time of 8.01, while Broaden finished in second-place with a mark of 8.21.
Junior Landon Powell took a pair of fourth-place finishes in the 60-meter dash (6.95) a 200-meters (21.93). Dennis Moore clocked a season-best (6.97) to earn a sixth-place finish in the 60-meters, while Justin Thomas record a season-best of his own (7.04), good for eight-place.
Jared Stalling won the shot put 55-8.25) on the first day of the meet and finished runner-up in the weight throw (59-1.50). This was the first year that the Mountaineers didn’t take the weight throw title since 2001 when VMI’s John Chisholm won it. Nick Sansotta threw 47-6.50 to finish third in the shot put and take all-conference and all-freshmen recognition. Zane Lail finished in sixth with a mark of 43-10.50 in the shot put, while senior Caleb Poplin finished sixth (52-4.50) in the weight throw.
In the jump events, Jamal Tiller took home a pair of runner-up finishes in the triple jump (48-11.75) and in the long jump (22-11.75). Patrick Hill placed fifth in the triple jump (44-9.50), while Darius Purcell finished in eight-place (21-4.25) in the long jump.
Purcell broke his own school and conference record with a mark of 7-2.50 in the high jump and was just one and three-quarters of an inch from becoming a NCAA automatic qualifier. The defending champion blew his competition away by over six inches to claim is second-straight title. Freshman Daryl Saunders cleared the 6-8.75 mark to take fourth-place and earned all-freshman honors, and Tyler Davis finished in seventh with a jump of 6-4.75.
Appalachian concludes its indoor season, but Coach Weaver will take a handful of the team's top performers to Virginia Tech next weekend in hopes of qualifying for nationals.
Photo Courtesy: Chris Moen, Southern Conference Athletics