Carroll Track & Field Adds 5 More NAIA All-American Honors - News, Sports and Weather

Carroll Track & Field Adds 5 More NAIA All-American Honors

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Five Carroll College athletes received All-American honors on the final day of competition at the NAIA National Championship at the Mickey Miller Blackwell Stadium in Gulf Shores.

Rhianna Grossman overcame a fall into the water pit on the first lap of the 3,000 meter steeplechase race. She received a gash on her lag as other competitors landed on her and came out of the collision in last place. She battled back to finish in fifth place and earn All-American honors.

"She showed a lot of heart to overcome that," head coach Harry Clark said. "Her leg looks like she was attacked by a bear. I'm sure it wasn't easy to run on but she battled hard to put herself back into medal contention."

Three Saints finished in the top eight in the 1,500 meter run. Leah Esposito battled to a third-place finish in the women's race and David Thor and Lyle Pocha were fifth and sixth respectively in the men's race. Both races were run at a slow pace and ended up as a sprint to the finish.

On the men's side, the top five racers were all within .70 seconds. On the women's side, Esposito finished with ahead of the fourth-place runner by just .16 seconds.

"The pace almost turned both races into a 400 meter dash," Clark said. "It wasn't the best race for our runners and I think they had the best finishes we could have hoped for under the circumstances."

The highest finish of any Carroll athlete was sophomore Stephen Delaney in the 400 meter hurdles. He finished second in the grueling race by just .17 seconds.

"I am extremely pleased with his race," Clark said. "He ran a blazing fast race and was step for step with the winner right to the line. It is exciting to think that he is just sophomore and he has a ton of room to improve."

The final All-American honors were earned by Kara Barth in the 400 meter dash. She finished in eighth place in the final, just two 1/1000th behind the seventh place finisher.

"Kara is in the same boat as Stephen," Clark said. "She did a great job this season and it is exciting to think that she has two more years to get better and compete for a national title."

The Saints tallied six All-American honors Friday for a total of eleven. Esposito led the way with Honors in both the 1,500 and the 4x800 meter relay.

"This meet was exciting for the ones that earned All-American awards but it great for so much more," Clark said. "We had kids run personal bests and show a lot of improvement, we had a few mishaps that cost us a chance at more All-Americans but the biggest thing was we competed hard and represented Carroll in a way that made me proud."

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