KINGSVILLE, Texas – In spite of being seeded 17th in the 10,000 meters, Luke Greer blazed a trail into the hot Texas night and onto the podium at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships Thursday at Javelinas Stadium.
Greer finished fifth in the 10K run to become the first track athlete in school history to earn first-team All-America honors in the event. His All-America honors headlined a productive first day for Carson-Newman at the national championship meet.
"Luke did an amazing job in this heat and wind to finish fifth," Carson-Newman Director of Track & Field David Needs said. "He ran a well-planned and strategic race that allowed him to finish strong. I'm so proud of him and how well he represents us and competes on the biggest stages."
In addition to Greer's efforts, Devon Moore won his heat and turned in the third fastest time in the field in the 100-meter dash, while senior jumper Kris Potts-Howard put a bow on his career by earning second-team All-America honors in the long jump with a 12th place finish
Moore will compete for a national championship in the event Saturday at 6:40 p.m.
Potts-Howard started the day for C-N in the sand pit. He came up .07 meters short of his lifetime best leap with a 7.41-meter mark on his second attempt. That jump was just .27 meters away from putting him in the finals.
"Kris brought two of his four very best collegiate jumps today," Needs said. "Which was needed against a very talented field. We talked all week about being his best today - and he did that. He finishes his career as an All-American in the long jump and has represented us so well over his career."
Potts-Howard cleared 7.32 meters on his first attempt before hitting 7.41 on his second. He faulted on his third.
Moore the showcased his wheels in the 100. His wind-aided 10.26 is the second fastest time of his career. He finished .17 seconds in front of the next closest man in his heat, Lincoln's Javon Gray.
The sophomore enters Saturday's 100-meter final seeded third behind Mobolade Ajomale of the Academy of Art and Jonte Baker of Tiffin. Moore's run came with less wind than Ajomale and Baker, who finished one and two in the first heat of the day.
"Devon executed the plan perfectly for the preliminary rounds," Needs said. "He won his heat and was patient. It's a great start for him."
Greer turned in a 31:11.07 to get All-America honors in the 10K. He was less than 1.5 seconds out of a silver medal. Greer was the only runner in the field outside of national champion Zach Panning of Grand Valley State who ran every 400-meter split over the final 4,000 meters with a time that went below 1:15. He was in second through 8,800 meters, but ceded silver to Marcelo LaGuera of CSU-Pueblo, who turned in 400 splits of 1:07.38 and 1:08.20 over the final 800 meters.
The Eagles sit in 17th in the team scoring thanks to Greer's finish.
Carson-Newman returns to action at the national championship meet Friday. Jahvad McDermott competes in the triple jump at 5:45 p.m. before Moore runs in the prelims of the 200 meters at 6:50.