AU men win tight race for NAC 2013 Track Indoor Championship

The AU men celebrate winning the 2013 Conference Championship

The AU men celebrate winning the 2013 Conference Championship.

The Aurora University Spartan men’s indoor track and field team completed the NAC sweep on Saturday afternoon at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, capturing the 2013 Northern Athletics Conference Championship with 134 points, winning by 15 points. The days results went down to the final event in nailbiting form.

The Spartan men scored early and often but would not gain a lead until late in the meet and held on to the eventual win and Conference Championship.

Thirty-one Spartan individual or teams would score points as 11 of the Spartans finished with medals. AU Head Coach Ryan Chapman was named the NAC Men’s Head Coach of the Year and freshman Nick Williams was named the NAC Co-Freshman of the Year.

AU freshman Alex Duncan and Tyron Pitchford won events and set AU records. Duncan broke his own record in the 800 meter run with his winning time of 1:57.47 and Pitchford set a record in the 200 meter run with a winning time of 22.79. Senior Drew Schmitt set a new AU record in the 5,000 meter run as he finished second with a time of 15:45.11.

Williams won medals in three events, the 55 meter dash (third – 6.55), long jump (third – 6.82 meters) and the triple jump (third – 12.98 meters) to score 18 points.

AU trailed for the first 10 events of the day and took the lead when Duncan won the 800 meter and freshman Jaime Charles (seventh) and junior Kyle Kayzar (eighth) scored points for the Spartans.

Pitchford then followed with his win in the 200 meter and sophomore Wes Heniff finished eighth to score an additional point. AU led by 16 at the point in the meet with four events to go.

MSOE cut the lead to 10 (113-103) after the 3,000 meter run but Williams and Paul Beeler scored points in the triple jump to boost the lead back to 15 (120-105).

As the 4×400 meter relay and shot put concluded at nearly the same time, AU held on for the 15 point win and the 2013 Conference Championship.

Next action for the Spartans comes on Friday, March 1 when they compete in the Last Chance Meet at Carthage College. Meet time is set for 2:00 p.m. in Kenosha, Wis.