HPU’s Smith Places 15th in NCAA Championship Steeplechase

Posted by Press Release on June 13, 2014 at 6:29 am under College | Comments are off for this article

EUGENE, Oregon — Senior Jacob Smith (Brockville, Ontario/Thousand Islands Secondary) of the High Point University men’s track & field team placed seventh in his semifinal heat and 15th overall in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the NCAA Championship on Thursday evening at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. Smith finished in a time of 8:53.42.

Smith led the early laps and was in contention to advance for most of the race. Through the middle of the race, Smith was still in the top five before fading to eighth with two laps to go. After a gap developed, Smith was able to bridge it going into the final lap and moved up to seventh. His final kick, however, wasn’t enough to catch the lead group.

The top five runners from Smith’s heat advance to the final on Saturday.

Smith qualified for the NCAA Championship with his victory in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the NCAA Preliminary on May 30 in Jacksonville, Fla. Smith won his heat with a career-best time of 8:44.01.

It was Smith’s second appearance in the NCAA Championship. He qualified in 2012, finishing 16th in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Smith redshirted the 2013 season to train for his fifth year of eligibility in 2014.

High Point has had four runners under 8:50 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in the past two seasons: Smith and senior Patrick Crawford (8:49.48) this year and Dakota Peachee (8:43.04) and Benji Szalai (8:43.65) in 2013.

Peachee ran his HPU-record time while placing fifth at the NCAA Championship to earn All-America honors. Szalai ran his career best when he finished sixth in the European Under-23 Championship. Szalai has two seasons of outdoor eligibility remaining after redshirting this year.

Smith finished his collegiate career as a six-time Big South individual champ in track and field. He also won the 2012 Big South cross country title.

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