Alliance, Ohio – April 30, 2010 – On day one of the 2010 Ohio Athletic Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships, hosted by Mount Union College, senior Julius Higginbotham (Elyria, Ohio / Elyria) of the Heidelberg University men’s track and field team soared to his second straight championship in the long jump.
Higginbotham’s leap of 23’1.75” was an automatic qualifying leap for the 2010 NCAA Division III Championships hosted by Baldwin-Wallace College May27-29 and earned him all-league honors for the fourth straight season. Higginbotham is coming off an All-American performance in the indoor long jump and will be making his first appearance in the outdoor event.
Even more impressive was the depth that the Berg showcased in the long jump. Backing Higginbotham was Nate Davis (Dayton, Ohio / Stivers) and Joshua Lynch (Dayton, Ohio / Meadowdale). Davis took home third place, and subsequent All-OAC honors, with a jump of 22’9.25”. Finishing in eighth was Lynch, leaping 21’6.75”.
Also securing points in the field events was Josh Bowmar (Marengo, Ohio / Highland). Bowmar took home All-OAC honors, with a third place finish after recording a throw of 184’11”. His mark also set a new school record, topping the previous record of 183'9" set by David Mayer in 1988. In the finals, Bowmar set new personal best marks and in his final throw he moved atop the record board.
On the track, finals were raced in the 10,000-meter run and the 4x800-meter relay. The distance crew did not let the Berg down. Leading the way was Devin Butcher (Bowling Green, Ohio / Bowling Green) in the 10,000-meter run. Butcher finished runner-up in a time of 32:47.64. It was his third straight all-conference honor in the event, and his highest finish at the championships.
Backing Butcher was John Gogle (Sunbury, Ohio / Big Walnut). Gogle ran a solid race and picked up valuable points with a sixth place finish. He clocked a time of 33:36.65.
The group of Jamie Martin (Wooster, Ohio / Triway), Terrence Horton (Pickerington, Ohio / Pickerington), Shondell Thomas (Westerville, Ohio / Central) and Mark Childs (New Albany, Ohio / New Albany) teamed up to take home runner-up honors in the 4x800-meter relay. They finished in an All-OAC honor time of 7:43.95.
After six scored events, the Berg sits in first place in the team race with 42 points. In a close second with 41 points is Baldwin-Wallace College. In a tie for third with 31 points is Ohio Northern University and Mount Union.
In the preliminary races today, Heidelberg has qualified in four events. Running in the 100-meter final will be Higginbotham, Gibril Kamara (Westerville, Ohio / Central) and Paris Hilliard (Lorain, Ohio / Admiral King). Higginbotham has the top qualifying time of 11.03. Kamara is fifth at 11.19 followed by Hilliard in seventh at 11.31.
Hilliard also qualified in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.74, which ranks sixth.
Heidelberg has a trio set to race in the 400-meter dash final. Horton leads the way followed by Bowmar and Joe Yoder (West Liberty, Ohio / West Liberty Salem). Standing third is Horton with a time of 49.61 and Bowmar is fourth at 49.27. Yoder is in seventh at 50.11
Representing the Berg in the 400-meter hurdles will be Lance Kitchen (Urbana, Ohio / Liberty). Kitchen crossed the finish line in 57.31, which is sixth heading into the finals.