Lawrence posts runner-up finish, three earn All-American honors

Published 1:34 pm Tuesday, May 28, 2019

GULF SHORES, Ala. – It was another record-setting day for Union College as two program records fell, three NAIA All-Americans honors were garnered, and Keenan Lawrence nearly won a national title on the final day of the 2019 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championship Meet on Saturday.

The three-day event took place at Mickey Mill Blackwell Stadium in Gulf Shores, Ala.

Lawrence, Santerrius Barlow and Donovan Johnson each earned NAIA All-American honors for the Bulldogs.

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In the men’s 800, Lawrence sat second after the first lap as he ran the first 400 in 55.73, a mere 0.08 behind the leader. The freshman maintained his strong pace and crossed the line in a school-record time of 1:51.25 for second, missing capturing the national championship by 0.39 seconds.

Lawrence’s finish is the highest for a Bulldog since Andrew Slaton took third in the 100 in 2016. The runner-up finish is the best for Union at the outdoor meet since 2010 when Armond Smith won the 110 hurdles.

In the men’s 100, Barlow ran into a stout field and placed eighth with a time of 10.98 to collect his first-ever NAIA All-American honor.

Johnson posted a school-record distance of 14.53 in the triple jump, surpassing the previous mark that stood for 10 years by 0.02 during the qualifying flight. DeMorrio Leggett set the old record at the Western Kentucky Open on April 25, 2009. Johnson later went on to soar past that distance, recording a leap of 14.74 meters during the final flight to earn him sixth place.

Hellen Maasotuo was scheduled to run in the women’s 800 final, but an ailment prevented her from competing.

The Union men finished with 12 total points to place it in a tie for 26th overall out of 72 teams. Meanwhile, the Union women tallied three points to land 52nd out of 63 teams.