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Hawks again take second at nationals

ST. LOUIS -- Less than a half an hour of bad luck cost Dickinson State the chance to win its fourth NAIA men's track and field national championship on Saturday.

ST. LOUIS -- Less than a half an hour of bad luck cost Dickinson State the chance to win its fourth NAIA men's track and field national championship on Saturday.

In a short span, the Blue Hawks' 400-meter relay team - entering the finals with the national meet's top time - dropped the baton on the second exchange and saw national champion triple jumper Dominic Goodman injure his ankle and eventually get disqualified for jumping out of turn.

"I look back and over the last four or five years, we've had a lot of things go our way," DSU coach Pete Stanton said. "Even these first two days, I thought everything was matching up perfectly for us. But in about a 20-minute time period ... it turned south on us."

In the end though, DSU finished second for the second straight season - the Blue Hawks have either won the title or taken second the past six seasons - and walked away with three event national championships.

Asuza Pacific won its 14th national championship with 61 team points. DSU was second with 57. Oklahoma Baptist, last season's national champion, scored 55.

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DSU sprinters Allan Ayala and Ramon Miller ended the meet as champions in two events.

Ayala won the 400 hurdles with a time of 51.11 seconds. Miller cruised to a victory in the 400 at 46.517. Both were members of the team's 1,600 relay team, along with John Ingraham and Sean Pickstock, that flew to the finish line in 3:09.20.

All three titles followed the team's short run of misfortune early in the day.

"Those instances showed me a lot about the character of our team," Stanton said. "Rather than putting their head down and blaming bad luck, they came back and made a run to go win the national championship anyway."

Ingraham and Pickstock helped the Blue Hawks make a run for the title too.

Ingraham placed third in the 200 at 21.52. Pickstock followed Miller to sixth place in the 400 at 47.58.

Goodman, the returning national indoor champion in the triple jump, ended up 14th at 45 feet, 9 inches despite jumping 47-11 before having that jump disqualified.

However, DSU freshmen Antillio Bastian (47-11, fifth) and Kurt McCormack (47-4¼, seventh) picked up some points in the event.

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On the women's side, DSU junior Christa Hofland placed in her second event of the meet. The Dickinson High graduate claimed seventh place in the shot put with a toss of 43-1¾. On Thursday, Hofland placed seventh in the hammer throw.

The Blue Hawk women tied the school record for most points scored in a national meet with 18.

"It was as good a national meet as we've ever had with the women," Stanton said.

While Stanton said he won't forget this meet for a long time, he knows taking second place in the nation is nothing to stew over.

"We would have all liked to have won the national championship, especially when it's right in your grasp, but we didn't get the breaks," Stanton said. "You have to take the good with the bad. We didn't get the breaks. That was the bottom line."

NAIA National Championships

At St. Louis

Men

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Final team scores (top five): 1, Asuza Pacific 61. 2, Dickinson State 57. 3, Oklahoma Baptist 55. 4, Doane 51. 5, Concordia (Ore.) 47.

Finals

200: 1, Tyrell Cuffy, King College, 21.01. 3, John Ingraham, DSU, 21.52.

400: 1, Ramon Miller, DSU, 46.517. 6, Sean Pickstock, DSU, 47.58.

400 hurdles: 1, Allan Ayala, DSU, 51.11.

400 relay: 1, Doane 40.86. 8, Dickinson State (Ross Loeffler, John Ingraham, Ramon Miller, Michael Sands), DNF.

1,600 relay: 1, Dickinson State (Allan Ayala, John Ingraham, Sean Pickstock, Ramon Miller) 3:09.20.

Marathon: 1, Juan Mejia, California State-San Marcos, 2:27.44. 26, Sal Bautista, DSU, 2:44.00.

Triple jump: 1, Illiyan Chamov, Lindenwood, 48-11¾. 5, Antillio Bastian, DSU, 47-11. 7, Kurt McCormack, DSU, 47-4¼. 14, Dominic Goodman, DSU, 45-9.

Women

Final team scores (top five and DSU): 1, Wayland Baptist 80. 2, Simon Fraser 69. 3, British Columbia 66. 4, Azusa Pacific 64. 5, Oklahoma Baptist 51. 18, Dickinson State 18.

Finals

Shot put: 1, Aubrey Baxter, Black Hills State, 51-0¾. 7, Christa Hofland, DSU, 43-1¾.

High jump: 1, Ruky Abdulai, Simon Fraser, 5-8¾.

13, Valdeana Bain, DSU, 5-3. Crystal Eneas, DSU, nh.

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