Track and field: Burnham leads in Outdoor Championships

By , Director  |  Saturday, May 24, 2014 11:50 AM
Senior All-American Mallory Burnham focuses over a hurdle in 2013's preliminaries. This year, Burnham advances to Saturday's finals in three events. (Whitney Abrahamson/TommieMedia)

Senior All-American Mallory Burnham focuses over a hurdle in 2013’s preliminaries. This year, Burnham advances to Saturday’s finals in three events. (Whitney Abrahamson/TommieMedia)

DELAWARE, Ohio – Ten St. Thomas track and field athletes, including MIAC Outstanding Track Athlete senior Mallory Burnham, represented the Tommies Thursday and Friday in the first two days of the NCAA Division-III Outdoor Championships.

Burnham moves forward as a triple threat for the Tommies, competing in the 4×100-meter relay, 100-meter hurdles and 100-meter dash finals Saturday.

Burnham anchored the Tommie women’s 4×100-meter relay team, including juniors Erika and Angela Tipp and senior Christina Rozeske. The team finished sixth out of 16 in the preliminary round Thursday evening.

Burnham also placed fourth overall in the 100-meter hurdles in Friday’s preliminaries, only .12 seconds behind the leader. She sprints in the 100-meter dash Saturday after coming in sixth out of 22 in the preliminaries Friday.

Senior All-American Max Dunne placed sixth out of 20 after two competitive days in the decathlon. Dunne amassed 6,749 points and was seeded ninth going into the championship. His finish Friday added three team points to the Tommies’ overall score.

Men’s assistant coach Erik Diley said Dunne did “exactly what he had to do.”

“It was fantastic from start to finish for him,” Diley said. “Just really enjoyable event to be a part of, and what a way for him to finish out his career.”

Freshman Connor O’Neill took fourth place in the pole vaulting finals Thursday and broke the 28-year-old St. Thomas outdoor record with his 16-foot-4-inch pole vault, garnering 5 points for the Tommies’ team score. O’ Neill was seeded 15th going into the championships.

Originally seeded 19th, freshman Ryan Trapp ran the preliminary 800-meter run in 1:54.42, barring him from Saturday’s final round.

With a hammer throw of 55.62 meters, senior Bryan Thell placed 13th out of 20 competitors in Thursday afternoon’s finals.

Sophomore Emily Gapinski competed in the 1,500-meter run preliminaries, but fell short of making Saturday’s finals with her time of 4:42.3.

Tommie athletes will compete in four events Saturday, spotlighting Burnham in the 4×100-meter relay, 100-meter hurdles and 100-meter dash.

Diley said the atmosphere in Ohio is different for each of the Tommie athletes depending on experience, but emphasized his excitement with the team’s success so far.

“I’m at a loss for words right now. It’s just perfect weather and Max did so well. I’m excited to see what our girls are going to do (Saturday),” Diley said.

Baihly Warfield can be reached

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