COLUMBIA, Mo. - Competing in one of the toughest regions in the country, Mississippi State's men's track team finished tenth in the 2007 NCAA Mideast Track and Field Championships on Saturday at the University of Missouri. The Bulldogs will have at least nine individuals move on to NCAA Championships and will await word on at-large berths by the governing organization next week.
MState finished with 29 points at the Mideast Regional that hosted over 74 men's teams. Six of seven the Southeastern Conference teams finished in the top-10 with LSU claiming the Regional title. Teams from the Big 12, Big East and Conference USA were also among the leagues represented at Audrey J. Walton Stadium on the UM campus.
"This was a great day," said MSU head coach Al Schmidt. "To finish where we did in this region is outstanding. All the guys ran well today, especially Chris (Woods), Golden (Coachman) and Travis (McKay) had a personal record in the steeplechase."
State's 4x400-meter relay team clocked a season-best time of three minutes, 4.72 seconds to cap off the superb day for the Maroon and White. The foursome of Bruce Davis, Nathan Daniels, Arthur Davis and Ezra Jones finished third behind Kentucky and LSU. The time posted by the team fell 12 seconds short of breaking into the top-five all-time times in the 4x400 at MSU. They will advance to compete at the NCAA Championships on Sacramento, Ca., beginning on June 6.
In the 400-meter run, senior Bruce Davis placed runner-up with a career-best mark of 46.02. The Phenix City, Ala.-product finished just four tenths of a second behind Wisconsin's James Groce. His mark ranks fifth all-time in MSU track laurels. Davis will continue his career with a trip to the NCAA Championships. Senior Arthur Davis posted a time of 46.56 and placed seventh in the event. He will await word on an at-large bid into the 400-meter dash event at the national meet, due to his regular season time. MSU also had two individuals in the finals of the 800-meter run with Golden Coachman and Chris Woods finishing fourth and fifth respectively. In his last two outings, Coachman has finished third at the SEC Championships and fourth at the Mideast Regional.
Senior distance standout Travis McKay bested his personal-best time in the 3000-meter steeplechase with a time of 8:49.45 to finish seventh overall. His previous best was 8:52.23 set earlier in the year at the Mt. SAC Relays. The Edmonton, Alberta, Canada-native extends his season to the NCAA Championships with his finish at the regional level.
The Bulldogs will now prepare for the trip to Sacramento, Ca. for the 2007 NCAA Championships that will begin on June 6.