|by Brent Harris • May 5, 2007|
Overcoming injuries was a common theme in the final day of competition for the Wabash team at the 2007 North Coast Athletic Conference Men's Track and Field Championships. The Little Giants battled to a third place finish in the conference finals behind seven All-NCAC performances.
The most dominate effort came as no surprise when All-American Geoff Lambert blew away the rest of the field in his 800-meter victory The conference record-holder in the event after winning last year's race, Lambert hit the NCAA provisional qualifying mark for the second time this season by winning the event in 1:52.27. He crossed the line three seconds ahead of the next closest competitor.
Andrew Rode spent much of the outdoor season on the shelf with injuries. He saved his best effort for conference finals, clearing 6 feet, 3-1/4 inchest to win the high jump title, earning his first conference championship.
Bart Banach appeared to be cruising to his second NCAC Sprinter of the Year Award. The junior speedster won the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.00, pulling away from the field at the line. He joined Bobby Kimp, Richard Roomes, and his younger brother, Brent Banach, to finish fourth in the 400-meter relay before preparing for the 200-meter dash. Bart raced out to a quick start and was leading the field once again before a pulled muscle in his leg forced him to stop and walk to the finish line to score his final point of the competition.
Roomes made sure that wouldn't be the only point the Little Giants scored in the 200. The junior picked up his pace and passed two runners near the finish line to take second in the 200 to earn All-NCAC honors.
Nathan Bates had won the 400-meter dash in his first three seasons and was ready to try and add an unprecidented fourth outdoor title to his resume. Bates found himself in a battle with Ohio Wesleyan University's Nathan Osborn down the stretch, falling to Osborn in the final moments of the race to finish second with a time of 49.04. Osborn,who went on to win Sprinter of the Year honors after posting the winning time of 48.67 in the 400 and winning the 200-meter dash.
Freshman Emmanuel Aouad had been sick all week to add to the medical woes of the Wabash team. He managed to add to his growing list of NCAC honors with a second place finish in the 400-meter hurdles (55.16) and a fourth place finish in the 110 hurdles (15.31). Aouad also scored a fifth in the triple jump with a distance of 43 feet, 1-3/4 inches.
Junior Justin Sparks took fourth in the hammer throw with a distance of 138 feet, 4 inches. Hugh Jackson was fourth in the 1500-meter run (4:00.93). Sam Compton-Craig added two more points to the team score with a seventh place finish in the steeplechase (10:11.36).
The quartet of Roomes, Bates, Aouad, and Lambert closed out the event with a second in the 1600-meter relay, finishing with a time of 3:22.17.
Wabash scored a total of 110 points. Allegheny defended its men's title with 211 points. Ohio Wesleyan was second (193). Wittenberg (79), Wooster (67), Denison (63), Oberlin (44), Ealrham (32), Kenyon (14), and Hiram (6) completed the team scoring.