(Geneva, Ohio) The final day of the 2014 NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships saw the Cornerstone men's team score in the first to and second to last events of the day to finish twelfth in the team standings.
The mile run begins the day's events and Louis Falland gave the large crowd at the Spire Institute track an exciting race to watch. After an aggressive 61 second 400 meters to start the race, Falland ran the last 400 meters in 59 seconds winning a tremendous dual with Mattew Clowes of Concordia, Oregon in 4:06.95.
While Falland waited on the infield along the homestretch to receive his national championship plaque, Deon Fox stepped into the blocks for the 60 meter hurdle finals. Seeded last in the semi-finals, Fox's incredible race in the semis moved him to the seventh seed in the finals. The venue was nearly silent as the announcer requested quiet for the start. As the starter called the eight men to the set position, there was a noticeable movement just before the gun. Immediately the recall starter fired a second then a third shot and the usual murmur rose from the crowed. Top seed, Nickola Shingles of Central Methodist was shown a red card by the official and disqualified for a false start.
With an empty lane in the middle of the track the race got underway. "I was frozen in my blocks for the second start," said Fox. "There was no way I was going to get a DQ." The rest of the field didn't seem to share that sentiment as the top six were all faster than the Friday's semis. Logan Moore of Siena Heights got the win in 7.93. Fox couldn't have been happier with his 8.31 in seventh. "I came here without any expectations and to leave with as an All-American is unbelievable," he said.
Watching both races from the infield was Cornerstone junior, Ross Raymond, warming up for the shot put at his first national meet. "I was trying to treat this like any other meet, but it was hard," he said. "Those races helped me keep my head clear and it was great to focus on my teammates. Watching Lou and Deon got me fired up, but it wore off before my throws."
Raymond stayed fired up enough to break his school record for the fourth time this season. His second attempt measured 50-8.75. Seeded twentieth, Ross finished sixteenth.
The distance medley completed the day for Cornerstone. Seeded fifth, there seemed unlikely the men could duplicate their school record from Thursday night since this would be Falland's fourth mile race in less than 44 hours. They did, however want to avoid finishing last.
Jared Holmberg, William Russell and Tyler Grey each ran close to their splits from the semi-final, but the race in front of them was going much faster. Falland got the baton ten seconds behind the next closest team, which turned out to be Oklahoma Baptist. For the first two laps, Louis made little headway, but then as Embry Riddle and Emmanuel started to pull away the OBU anchor began to slow. Ironically, that happened to be Adam Godwin, the man who outkicked Falland one year earlier to win the mile at this meet. "I hate losing," said Falland, "after taking second it motivated me the whole year. It took me awhile to be convinced he was beatable. Once I got that through my head I had a lot more confidence in myself." Louis pulled even with Godwin on the last lap and the pair came off the last turn shoulder to shoulder. Godwin clearly didn't want to be beaten and kicked hard on the homestretch to stay in front. Falland came at him again and Godwin yielded just before the finish. Cornerstone got seventh in 10:15.11 to OBU's 10:15.70.
The two points for seventh gave Cornerstone 24 for the meet. The Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference proved to be the strongest in the NAIA putting four teams in the top twelve and five in the top 24. Indiana Tech took the team title with 82 points over Wayland Baptist with 69. Siena Heights scored 47 for fifth, Aquinas tied for tenth with 29 ahead of Cornerstone's 12. Davenport tied for 24th with ten points.