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Former Track Athletes Fare Well In College Championships

By Staff | May 28, 2014

A number of area graduates competed in the Mountain East Multi Track and Field Championships last month at Glenville State College. Magnolia alum Cameron Benson’s javelin toss of 192’5″ for West Liberty University was a provisional national qualifier that placed him 40th in Division II.

Wheeling Jesuit University athlete Nathan Harshberger (Magnolia) placed 10th in the 10,000 meter run with a time of 34:52.90. This past fall during cross country Harshberger helped lead his school to the Mountain East Conference Championship. He placed 26th at the conference meet in Pipestem State Park in 28:52.9 on the hilly 8K course. It was the third conference title in his four years competing at Jesuit. They finished second by one point his sophomore year.

Two weeks later, Jesuit placed eighth of over 25 teams at the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional and was the top team from the Mountain East, held at Lock Haven, Pa., University. On a fast, flat 10K course, Harshberger finished 84th in 33:52.9, a personal best. He was also number 12 finisher among Mountain State East runners, and passed the 8K mark in 26:58, another personal best.

River graduate Donald (D.J.) Duke, who competes for Ashland University, is ranked second nationally in the shot put. His toss of 61’7.75″ was an automatic qualifying mark. He competed at the Division II National Meet on May 24 at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich.

Among other area athletes who distinguished themselves was WLU’s Brendan Kacor (Magnolia), who finished ninth in the 200 meters in 22.97; third in the 400 meter in 50.26, while he and his fellow 4×100 meter relay team finished fifth in 43.53 and third in the 4×400 meter relay event in 3:27.86.

Nate Taylor (Tyler) came in third in the 100 meter event with 11.45 and in the prelims ran a 10.97. Taylor placed third in the 200 meter event in 23.19 and also topped that in the prelims at 22.53. His 4×100 meter relay team placed fifth with a time of 43.53 and he placed ninth in the long jump with a leap of 20’8″.

Joseph Semple (Tyler) and his 4×100 meter relay team placed fifth in 43.53.

Jared Hinkle (River) placed second in the shot put with a heave of 44’7″.

West Virginia Wesleyan College placers Aaron Estep (Tyler) placed third in the 1,500 meter run with a time of 4:07.01. He also came in 12th in the 5,000 meter run with a time of 10.03.24, as well as third place in the steeplechase with a time of 9:54.97. Hunter LeMasters (Tyler) claimed fist in the pole vault at 13’7.75″, and third in the javelin with a toss of 157’6″. Haylea LeMasters (Tyler) placed sixth in the 100 meter hurdles in 18.11 and 17.23 in the prelims. She also placed third in the pole vault at 8’3.23″. Makayla Clegg (Tyler) placed ninth in the 100 meter hurdles with a 17.98 and sixth in the high jump at 5’0.25″. She also took fifth place in the Heptahlon (seven events) with 2,733 points. Cassidy McCullough (River) placed fifth in the 100 meter dash with a time of 13.07 and 12.94 in the prelims. She also finished fifth in the 400 meter hurdles in 1:10.25 and 1:08.45 in the prelims. McCullough and her 4×100 meter relay team finished first in a time of 40.01.

The only other local runner in cross country, Aaron Estep, was injured during the fall and did not compete.