NEW ORLEANS – Following a record-breaking weekend at the Liberty University Open, the Bridgewater Eagles men's track and field team leapfrogged four teams to move into third place in the latest United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) South/Southeast Region rankings released on Wednesday morning.
Bridgewater was one of three teams to climb in the poll and is ranked second among Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) programs in the latest ranking of region's track and field squads.
Four records fell over the weekend for the men's track and field team as the Eagles competed against and upended a number of Division I programs at the Liberty University Open.
In the first day of competition, the Eagles took down the program's 4x800 meter relay record by more than 15 seconds. Bridgewater's quartet of freshman Nevin Heckman, sophomore Luke Sohl, senior Ryan Speray and senior Tim Wisniewski crossed the finish line in a time of 8:00.27 to break the school standard in the event. Wisniewski's anchor split was the fastest of the group. The Eagles finished second overall in the event and snapped a 24-year old Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) record in the process. Prior to Bridgewater's record-setting performance, the old record was held since 1989 by Lynchburg College with a time of 8:01.64.
School record number two of the weekend fell in the mile run as sophomore Luke Sohl eclipsed the old standard in the event. Sohl crossed the line with a time of 4:20.48 to finish in fourth place overall. The Burke, Va. native was the top Division III finisher in the field and snapped Bridgewater Hall of Famer Douglas Coleman's record of 4:20.50 which stood since 1972.
Freshman Nevin Heckman also set a new school record for the Eagles in the 500 meter dash. Heckman crossed the line in a time of 1:08.08 to finish as the top Division III competitor in the field in third place.
The final record of the weekend was snapped with senior Tim Wisniewski's performance in the 1,000 meter run. Wisniewski crossed the finish line in fifth place in a time of 2:33.80 to snap a five-year old school record.
Bridgewater also has a number of athletes ranked in their event in the latest regional individual rankings.
Sohl's record-setting performance in the mile run places him in second place in the region, a mere 18-hundereths of a second out of the top spot. Senior Ryan Speray is also ranked in the event with his 4:29.01 securing the number six spot.
Bridgewater's distance medley relay unit of Heckman, Gunther, Keith Thomas and Sohl sits atop the region by 21 seconds with a time of 10:34.47.
Freshman Pete Monteleone is tied for sixth place in the region in the high jump with a height of six feet, one half inch. Monteleone is also ranked in the long jump with his jump of 21 feet, 11 ½ inches placing him in second place in the event.
Jacob Kroko is ranked in fifth place in two events. Kroko is in fifth in the shot put with a throw of 43 feet, 10 inches, while also cracking the top five in the weight throw with a toss of 47 feet, 3 and ½ inches.
Bridgewater is back in action this weekend at the Armory Collegiate Invitational in New York City.