Freshman Sean Duffy won the 1,500- and 800-meters in day two of Patriot League competition. (Photo courtesy New York Road Runners)
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The American men's track team won four gold medals at the Patriot League Outdoor Track and Field Championships this weekend. After winning the 4x800-meters on Friday, the Eagles claimed three first-place finishes on Saturday to finish fifth in the meet. Freshman Sean Duffy was victorious in the 800- and 1,500-meters while sophomore Matt Seymour won the 5,000-meter title.
Duffy, who won the 1,000-meters indoors, leaves the meet with three gold medals. After being a part of the winning 4x800-meters Friday night, he won two events on Saturday. In the 1,500-meters, Duffy followed Bucknell's Lou Palma and P.J. Ward for the first two laps. A group of five runners were tightly bunched heading into the final lap. Duffy broke away from the field in the final 200-meters as he cruised to victory in a time of 3:49.51.
The 800-meters was one of the more exciting races of the afternoon. Duffy and junior Sean O'Brien were in the fourth heat along with Army's All-American Clay Schwabe. A very tight pack was led by Bucknell's Eric Furst through the first 500-meters.
Schwabe moved to the outside to take the lead with 300-meters to go and O'Brien followed close behind and passed Schwabe with 200-meters left. As they came down the homestretch, Duffy moved up on the outside of O'Brien and Schwabe and pulled ahead, edging his teammate at the line by .11 seconds. Duffy finished in 1:52.38 and O'Brien ran 1:52.49. Running from the third heat, Jovens Colas was able to claim sixth place for the Eagles in 1:53.53.
Seymour was the other Eagle to grab a first-place finish at the meet in the 5,000-meters. A pack of four runners quickly moved to the front with Bucknell's Greg Costello, Navy's Brian Harrington, Army's Will Wyche and Seymour talking control of the race. The foursome came through the first mile in 4:36 and Wyche was dropped from the group. Harrington led the race for the next two laps before dropping out halfway through the race. The pace of the leaders slowed over the rest of the second mile before Costello took the lead at the beginning of mile three.
With 250-meters to go, Seymour began his kick, passing Costello and opening a small lead. Seymour continued to lengthen his lead before Costello charged back. Seymour was able to hold him off, winning the race in 14:42.61, .30 seconds ahead of Costello. Freshman Pat MacAdie ran a strong race, moving up through the field as the race progressed. He made a charge for sixth place, but fell just short, finishing seventh in 15:06.53.
In the 4x400-meters, the team of Colas, Mike Reilly, John Campbell and Ed Topolewski ran to fourth place in the event in the fourth-fastest time in school history of 3:19.78. Colas led off the team in 50.23 seconds and handed off to Reilly who came through in 51.04 seconds. The third leg was run by Campbell who ran an excellent leg and moved the team into fourth and brought the Eagles close to third in a time of 49.50. Topolewski anchored the team in 48.81 seconds as American finished in fourth.
Andy Ellerhorst had a solid meet for American, scoring in both the 200- and 400-meters. In the 400, Ellerhorst ran out of lane two and placed fifth in 49.62 seconds. In the 200-meters, he ran in the finals on the outside of the track in lane nine. Ellerhorst ran 22.32 seconds to finish sixth in the race.
Running the 3,000-meter steeplechase for only the second time this season, Carlos Hunt just missed scoring as he finished in seventh place in 9:20.71. Hunt's time moves him to second all-time and he is only five seconds off of the IC4A qualifying time.
The men's 4x100-meter relay ran together for the first time this season and placed sixth in the meet in 44.20. Campbell, Reilly, Topolewski, and Michael Edwards made up the team that moved to tenth all-time at American.
A number of athletes will continue to compete for the Eagles next weekend at the James Madison Invitational before the IC4A Championships May 17-19.