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McNeese distance runners are young but are showing promise


Athletics Northern Ireland Dyer, Neil and Scullion should be the team leaders at this week’s conference championship meet. McNeese State’s young distance runners have been taking it one step at a time this spring but with the Southland Conference track and field championship meet set to begin Friday, a little bit bigger leap might be needed.

“I have really been pleased with them,” head coach Brendon Gilroy said of his group, most of them freshmen and sophomores. “Most have realized personal bests this season and I see them really having a good chance to place high this week. There has been no going backward with this group. All have been moving forward.”

The entries for the Cowboys in the distance events will be: Michael Dyer and Jordan Neil in the 800 meters, Neil, Stephen Scullion and Matt Fontenot in the 1500 meters and Scullion, Alasdair Russell , Johnathan Koenck and Kenneth Pierce in the steeplechase.

Dyer in the 800 meters and Scullion in the steeplechase just may have a shot at a title.

A graduate student from Northern Ireland, Dyer is completing his collegiate eligibility with the Cowboys this season and posted a 1:51.97 clocking in the 800 during the Kansas Relays. That time is only one second off the best in the conference this year, a time posted by UTA’s Idilio Campos.

Scullion, a freshman, won the steeplechase event at the Northwestern State Relays this season and has a best of 9:12.55 which ranks fourth in the conference. However, he’s about 11 seconds in back of leader Kalphys Kemboi of Southeastern Louisiana.

In the 1500 meters, Neil, a freshman, ranks third in the league at 3:52.56 and Scullion is fifth at 3:55.04. Both are expected to be chasing Lamar’s Francis Kassagule who has run a 3:46.76.

“No matter how we do in the distance races,” Gilroy said, “it will be a step up from last year.”

(Article from McNeese State Paper & Web)