WAVERLY, IOWA - The No. 18 Salisbury University men's track & field team opened the first day of the 2016 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field National Championships on Thursday, qualifying for the finals in two events.
Senior Luke Campbell began the day in the 400-meter hurdles' preliminary races, torching the opposition in the second heat with the best time of the preliminaries to move on to the final race on Saturday, May 28. Campbell immediately took a sizable lead from the start of the race and never relinquished it, on the way to a 51.34-second time. He set the record for Walston-Hoover Stadium at Wartburg College in the effort.
The Sea Gulls finished out strong in the first day of action in the 4x400-meter relay. Campbell, junior Jerel Madison, and sophomores Zach Schmelz and Eric Halton posted a school record for the second-straight meet to take second in the first heat and automatically qualify for the finals.
The team was able to maintain pace with the front of the pack in the heat, with Schmelz, Halton, and Madison holding strong between third and fourth throughout the first three legs. On the final handoff, Campbell made his move around the final turn, overtaking two opposing runners down the final stretch to move up to second in a time of 3:11.19; the Gulls bested the program record that they set just over a week ago by more than one second.
Campbell will continue the meet for Salisbury on Friday, May 27 in the preliminaries for the 110-meter hurdles, which are set for 5:05 p.m., Eastern Time.