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Brian Blaylock qualified for the finals in the 1,500 meter run on Thursday.
Brian Blaylock qualified for the finals in the 1,500 meter run on Thursday.
Men's Outdoor Track & Field - Fri, May 26, 2017

GULF SHORES, Ala. --- Junior Brian Blaylock (Lowell, Ind./ Lowell) headlined a field of 11 University of St. Francis student-athletes that competed during the first day of activities at the 2017 NAIA Men's Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday.  Blaylock's time of 3:52.23 in the preliminaries of the 1,500 meter run placed him seventh in a field of 20 competitors to advance him to Saturday's finals.

Other individuals that competed on Thursday included senior Ian Welsh (Villa Park, Ill./ Willowbrook) and junior Jordan Duncan (St. Charles, Ill./ St. Charles East).  Welsh registered a throw of 50.95 meters (167 feet, 2.25 inches) in the hammer to place 19th out of 29 participants.  Duncan placed 22nd in a field of 32 competitors in the preliminaries of the 200 meter dash with his time of 21.74 seconds.

The Saints also fielded a pair of relay teams in preliminary rounds on Thursday.  USF's 4x100 meter relay team of junior Lexus Jackson (University Park, Ill./ Crete-Monee), sophomore Brandon Ruffin (Peoria, Ill./ Peoria), junior Sam Bandemer (Plainfield, Ill./ Plainfield East) and Duncan placed 11th out of 26 teams with a time of 41.53 seconds.  St. Francis' 4x800 team of sophomore Alex Lima (Western Springs, Ill./ Lyons), junior Aaron Sanchez (Rolling Meadows, Ill./ Mount Prospect), junior John Principato (Plainfield, Ill./ Plainfield Central) and senior Joey Santillo (Minooka, Ill./ Minooka) recorded a time of 7:39.85 to place 12th out of 26.

The championships run through Saturday.