FHSU 400-relay team wins MIAA championship
PITTSBURG, Kan. — Highlighted by one championship, one school record, five All-MIAA performances and nine provisional marks, the Fort Hays State men's track and field team placed sixth overall at the 2021 MIAA Outdoor Championships this weekend (May 8-9). The Tigers racked up 65 team points, including 62 on Sunday thanks to five podium appearances on the final day of the meet.
The 4x100m relay team of Xavier Robinson, Philip Landrum, Hayden Albright and Malcom Gardner opened the day with a first-place finish, combining for a provisional time of 40.86. The Tigers then ended the day with a second-place finish in the 4x400m relay. Albright, Jack Pakkebier, Nolan Churchman and Ethan Lang teamed up to finish that race in 3:13.76, earning All-MIAA honors in the process.
The Tigers had three other third-place finishes on Sunday, all of which came on the track. Landrum picked up his second All-MIAA honor of the day with a third-place finish in the 200m dash finals, crossing the line in 21.48. Aaron Mangan rallied over the final stretch to place third in the 800m run, completing the two laps in 1:57.62. Grant Bradley got the Tigers going early in the day when he placed third in the 3,000m steeplechase with a provisional time of 9:07.11.
Fort Hays State occupied three of the top seven spots in the decathlon, with Matthew Pieper smashing his own school record with a two-day total of 6,975 points. The senior placed fourth in the event, improving his school record and provisional mark by 237 points. Pieper now sits in 12th on the national performance chart.
Before running in the 4x400m relay at the end of the day, Churchman opened the day with the final five events of the decathlon. The true freshman placed fifth with a personal-best and a provisional total of 6,763 points, nearly 700 points better than his previous personal best. Jack Pakkebier also cleared the provisional threshold with his 10-event total of 6,456 points, also a new personal-best by exactly 200 points.
Robbie Schmidt grabbed the Tigers four team points with his fifth-place finish in the 5,000m run finals, crossing the line in 14:44.18. Malcom Gardner also finished fifth in his finals race, earning four team points in the 200m dash with a time of 21.63.
Caleb Carrasco was sixth in the 800m run finals, less than one second behind Mangan with a time of 1:58.48. Guillaume Plagneux finished seventh in the 1,500m run with a time of 3:56.73.
The Tigers also earned a pair of points in the field events, including an eighth-place finish in the high jump from Lucas Broxterman after he cleared the 6-4 bar and in the triple jump after Robinson cleared a distance of 47-1.
Gilbert Peters advanced to the finals in the discus throw before placing ninth in the event thanks to a personal-best toss of 164-11, good for an NCAA DII provisional mark. Peters also placed 12th in the shot put with a heave of 51-10.5.
Pittsburg State won the team title with 172.5 points.
The Tigers will send some student-athletes to the Loper Twilight next weekend (May 15-16) before selections for the NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships are announced on Tuesday, May 18.