ATLANTA, GA. -- The Trine University men's track & field team began the outdoor season with the two-day Emory (Ga.) University Invitational in Atlanta, Ga.
As a team, the Thunder finished with an overall score of 27 points to place in a tie for 14th overall of 28 teams. Tennessee Wesleyan University finished first in the team standings with 78 points and was followed by Taylor University who finished with 77.50 points. Albany (Ga.) State University rounded out the top three schools with 65.50 points.
Trine had a solid meet in the distance running events highlighted by a first-place finish in the 1500-meter run by senior Nick Zak (Saint John, Ind./Hanover Central) who outpaced 39 total runners in heats 1-4 with a mark of 4:02.25. Fellow senior Jonathan Phillips (Royal Center, Ind./Pioneer) also competed in the race and finished in the top-10 in seventh place after running a time of 4:03.60.
Phillips also competed in the 3000-meter steeplechase and posted the third quickest overall time of 9:59.40. Teammate Neil O'Brien (Whiteland, Ind./Roncalli) also ran in the event and crossed the tape in eighth place in a time of 10:07.73.
In the 5000-meter run, Trine had three runners place in the top-10, including two in the top-five, led by sophomore Levi Neuzerling (Noblesville, Ind./Noblesville) who placed second after running a mark of 15:23.26. Sophomore Derek Miller (Shipshewana, Ind./Westview) placed fifth in a time of 15:35.17 and junior Vilis Vuskalns (Indianapolis, Ind./Beech Grove) was ninth after crossing the finish line in a time of 15:41.64.
Rounding out the top efforts in the running events was turned in by sophomore Jack Beakas (Auburn, Ind./DeKalb) who ran a time of 32:14.64 in the 10,000-meter run which was the third fastest time among a field of 22 competitors.
In the field events, the best overall mark was recorded in the hammer throw by senior Nick Gerber (Goshen, Ind./Goshen) who won the event with a best throw of 173' 5.00". Sophomore Nicolas Kane (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) also competed in the hammer and placed 12th following a toss of 137' 5.00".
The duo also competed in the shot put and recorded a pair of top-10 efforts with Gerber placing sixth with a distance of 44' 2.50" and Kane was 10th at 42' 0.50".
Kane went on to compete in the discus as well and placed eighth after a best throw of 121' 8.00."
Seniors Jacob Payne (LaPorte, Ind./LaPorte) and Ryan Haarer (Goshen, Ind./Northridge) both competed in the pole vault and both cleared the bar in a height of 13' 7.25". Payne would finish ninth overall and Hareer was 10th by judges decision.
Trine will next compete in the Hanover Invitational hosted by Hanover College next Saturday, Mar. 30 in Hanover, Ind. The meet is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.