SHAWNEE, Okla - Joseph Ventry (SR/Omaha, Neb) outlasted Grace's Bennett Parker to become the National Christian College Athletic Association Outdoor Track and Field high jump champion. It took two days but it was well worth the wait for Ventry.
On Friday afternoon Ventry was told he was the champion by a meet official before he headed over to the triple jump. After closer look by officials it was realized that Ventry and Bennett both had the same amount of misses before both had missed the 6' 7.5" height. The officials wanted to do the tiebreaker jump off right then but head coach Justin Carver requested it wait until Saturday. He told them that Ventry was in the middle of triple jump and that Bennett was able to recuperate while he was jumping. They agreed to have the jump off for 11 a.m. on Saturday.
Ventry was ready to go on Saturday morning. The tiebreaker rules have each athlete get one attempt at the height they both went out at the day before. If they miss both miss that height then they go down two centimeters. Ventry made sure that wasn't necessary as he was able to go above his personal best and clear the height 6' 8.75". Bennett failed on his only attempt and Ventry celebrated with his teammates. The win on Saturday brought Ventry's national champion total to three, as he won both the high jump and triple jump at the NCCAA Indoor Championships in March. He finished third in the triple jump at the outdoor meet with his jump of 45' 9.75".
Though Ventry was the only Panther to receive All-American recognition, there were several athletes that competed well during the competition.
Carter Price (FR/Rapid City, South Dakota) ran 10.76 seconds to claim sixth place in the 100 meter dash. Mason Held (SO/West Fork, Ark) took fourth in the 400 meter dash in a time of 48.45 seconds. He was the top NAIA athlete to finish the race. He also came home with a sixth place finish in the 200 meter dash with a time of 22.03 seconds.
Cameron Sorter (JR/Seaside, Ore) broke two school records over the weekend as he ran the 1500 meter run in 4:04.01. He finished just out of point placement in the 800 meter run with a ninth place finish running 1:56.50.
Brandin Fry (SR/West Fork, Ark) finished in fifth place in the decathlon scoring 5688 points.
Molly Little (FR/Billings, Montana) took eight place in the discus throwing a distance of 117' 10".
Ashley Dugan (JR/Spring Hill, Fla) took seventh in the long jump and fourth in the heptathlon. She missed being named an All-American in the heptathlon by four points.
The men's team finished in eight place out of 25 teams, and the women's team finished in 17th place.