HUTCHINSON, Ka.—Day one of the 2017 NJCAA Track & Field Outdoor National Championships got underway at Gowans Stadium on Thursday beginning with the men's decathlon.
The Texans' Patrick Johnson currently sits in second with 3817 points, trailing only Iowa Central's Jared Seay who finished the day with 3921 points. Johnson shot out of the blocks and set a new personal best and stadium record in the 400 meters crossing the finish line at 48.68. South Plains' Jonathan Witt, who sits in eighth with 3136 points, finished fifth in the 400 meters with a time of 50.82.
"Our guys did a great job of competing and are well ahead of where they qualified," South Plains head coach Erik Vance said. "Patrick set new personal best in four of five events and you can't ask for a better performance stepping up at a national meet. Jonathan Witt is working through some injuries and came out ahead of where he was ranked coming in. With Patrick in second and Jonathan in eighth, we just need to keep rolling and they're doing a great job."
Johnson cleared 6' 2.75"(PR) in the high jump to take second, just behind Seay's clearance of 6' 8.75". Johnson used a pair of third-place finishes in the long jump and shot put competition, soaring 21' 10.75"(PR) in the long jump and had a final mark of 42' 10.75"(PR) in the shot put. Johnson ran an 11.19 in the 100 meters to take third, followed by Witt's fifth place finish and final time of 11.31.
The men's decathlon will continue at 9 a.m. on Friday beginning with the 110 hurdles, followed by the discus, pole vault, javelin and concluding with the 1500 meter run. The men's and women's 10000-meter run was scheduled for Thursday evening, but due to inclement weather was pushed back to 7 a.m. Friday morning.
"The 10k was moved to 7 a.m. due to threats of severe weather," Vance said. "It's going to be a challenge for the distance runners tomorrow morning running a 10k and potentially having to double back, but, our athletes train hard and they'll be ready for it. Everything else is supposed to be on schedule, so we're just praying for good weather and hopefully can get some things done."
Live results from the entire meet can be found at the link below. Also, be sure to follow the South Plains Athletics twitter page @spctexans for up to the minute results.
Live results link: https://trackmeet.io/meets/317