Running at the U.S. Naval Academy in a tri-meet with Navy and Delaware State University Saturday, some of the younger runners brought home top honors for the men’s track & field team en route to a second place, 94-point finish behind Navy.
Sophomore middle-distance runner Cullen Davis and freshman middle-distance runner Steve Flynn highlighted the afternoon for the Owls with two key victories.
Davis paced the field in the 1000-meter run throughout, and took the top spot with a time of two minutes and 29.67 seconds.
Temple took the top two spots in the mile-run, with Flynn winning it at 4:20.33 and sophomore distance runner Matthew Kacyon right behind him, crossing at 4:20.47 as the runner-up. For Flynn, the victory was his first in a Temple uniform.
“They both had good runs,” Coach Eric Mobley said. “They were competitive and were one of the few bright spots of today.”
Freshman middle-distance runner Nathan Emanuel earned points with his fourth place finish in the 800-meter run, crossing with a time of 2:02.25.
Sophomore sprinter/jumper Darryl McDuffie turned in sixth and seventh place finishes in the 60-meter and 200-meter dashes, finishing with times of 7.22 and 22.95 seconds, respectively.
Junior jumper Gabe Pickett highlighted Temple’s field events, winning the triple jump with a distance of 14.37 meters. Sophomore jumper Derek Holland followed with a third place finish in the event, jumping a length of 13.66 meters.
“[Pickett] has definitely been stepping up as a team leader for us,” Mobley said.“He was a little under the weather today, but overall he’s one of those guys we look to in order to help talk to the team and get them going.”
Other notable field event performances include thrower Elan Jackson, who threw for a distance of 11.51 in the shot put, yielding the freshman a fifth place finish.
Freshman jumper Jamal Williams added a fourth place performance in the long jump with a distance of 6.48 meters, and freshman Thomas Sternberg turned in a fourth place finish in his Temple pole vaulting debut, vaulting for a height of 4.05 meters.
A Temple 4×4 meter relay unit consisting of senior Damian Myers, junior Lionel Wilson, junior Alex McGee and junior Carlton Stafford crossed at 3:24.11, the fastest time in that event for the Owls all season despite a third place finish.
Despite some sporadic top finishes, Mobley deemed his team’s overall performance as “O.K.” with need for improvement before the quickly approaching “championship” season that starts with the Atlantic 10 Conference Championships Feb. 16-17.
“We had a couple good first place finishes, but overall this was not what I wanted for the meet,” Mobley said. “We wanted to see a little more enthusiasm and fire and we lacked some competitive spirit.It was just okay today.”
The Owls will venture up to State College next weekend for the Penn State National Open on Jan. 25-26.
Andrew Parent can be reached at email@example.com or on twitter @daParent93.