Feb. 25 – YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - The Bethany College men’s indoor track & field team earned their second-straight title as they placed first at the Presidents’ Athletic Conference Championships hosted by Youngstown State University on Thursday evening. The Bison had the top-three individual scorers in the meet as they totaled 119.5 points.
Umar Moore (Coraopolis, Pa./Moon), Kyle Minger (Richmond, Ohio/Edison Local), and Andre Butler (Poolesville, Md./Poolesville) were all crowned during the PAC Championships, along with being the top three individual scorers at the Championships, respectively.
Moore was named Meet MVP and Co-Field MVP, marking the second-straight year he has earned the awards. He broke two of his own PAC Championship records in the long jump and the triple jump, winning the long jump with a final distance of 23-02.75 and the triple jump with a record 45-01.00. The senior's distance in the long jump currently ranks seventh in the nation. Moore also placed fourth in the 60-meter dash finals with a time of 7.16.
“Umar was huge today, he knew that he had to go win his events,” remarked Coach Andy Upton. “He was not only successful at the Championships but he made an impact on the national scene as well. Still, the biggest accomplishment Moore had today was probably scoring in the 60-meter dash. If he doesn't score in the 60, we don't win today.”
Butler was named Track MVP as he had a solid all-around day for the Bison. Butler captured the 200-meter crown with a time of 22.24. Butler then earned second in the prelims of the 60-meter dash (7.08) before finishing eighth in the finals. The junior standout went on to finish third in the 400-meter run (49.67).
Coach Upton went on to say, “With Butler, the day didn't start exactly how he planned. From that point forward, he excelled in all of his events and did a great job for us. To do everything that he did at that high of a level was incredible. He had a great season and capped it off with some great performances today.”
Minger earned the PAC title in the 400-meter dash with a meet record time of 49.35, winning the event for the fourth consecutive year. Minger then placed third in the 200-meter dash (22.64) and fifth in the high jump at 5 ft. 10 inches.
The men’s team earned 17 points on the 400 alone as Khallid Young (Pittsburgh, Pa./Penn Hills) placed eighth (51.74) as well.
Jordan Castro (Wahiawa, Hawaii/Leilehua) and Ryan Donnelly (Pittsburgh, Pa./Penn Hills) competed in the one-mile run and the 5000-meter, placing in the top ten in both events. Castro posted a third-place finish in the mile and fifth in the 5000, while Donnelly finished behind Castro, finishing fourth in the mile (4:31.74) and sixth in the 5000 (16:08.10). Donald Bierhals (Cabot, Pa./Knoch) also earned points for the Green & White as he took home seventh in the mile (4:37.73).
Marshall Murray (Pittsburgh, Pa./Penn Hills) finished fourth in the men’s 800-meter (1:59.58) while Austin Davis placed sixth (2:00.70).
Ed Maxwell (Germantown, Md./Seneca Valley) ran to a sixth-place finish in the 60-meter hurdle final (8.96) after posting an 8.89 in the qualifier.
Aaron Frye (Vandergrift, Pa./Kiski Area) and Wyssme Despagne (Riverdale, Md./Parkdale) performed well in their respective field events, as Frye tied for third place in the high jump (5 ft, 10 inches) and Despagne took home fourth in the long jump (6.41 m).
The men’s 4X400 relay team of Butler, Young, Murray, and Minger finished the day with a PAC Championship record (3:23.14) in the 4X400 relay. The mark also shattered the school record which was set earlier in the season.
With the consecutive titles, the Bison become the first Bethany team to win back-to-back championships since men’s basketball in 2010-11 and 2011-12
“The back-to-back titles are huge for not only the program but for the group of seniors as well,” Coach Upton said. “We had some clutch performances as the title came down to those last couple races. Our senior leadership helped give us the lift we needed, and I’m glad we were able to pull it off”.