Keeney Wins NAIA National Championship - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Keeney Wins NAIA National Championship

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Doane College has a strong tradition in the multi-events and the tradition continued on Friday afternoon in Geneva, Ohio, as Rob Keeney (Callaway, Neb.) claimed the 2013 NAIA Indoor National Championship in the heptathlon with 5,379 points. Keeney was joined by teammate Kale Wolken (Tecumseh, Neb.) on the championship stand as Wolken placed fourth.

 

Keeney trailed through each of the first five events in the two-day heptathlon. However, he remained in striking distance of Calvin Sullins of Siena Heights University (Mich.) who was the leader after day one and after the 60m hurdles earlier in the day.

 

The two competitors had pulled away from the rest of the pack as they went into the pole vault, the sixth event. Both had cleared 4.20 meters but had missed their first two attempts at 4.30 meters. Keeney was first to make his final attempt and came up with a clutch vault as he cleared the mark and put the pressure on Sullins. Sullins missed on his final attempt which allowed Keeney to pull within 17 points on the clearance alone.

 

Keeney had an opportunity to take the lead if he could clear 4.40 meters but once again missed on his first two attempts. The senior, who earned All-American honors with a 6th place finish last year in the event, came through on his final attempt at 4.40 meters to secure an addition 29 points to take the lead into the final event.

 

The only event remaining was the 1000m run and Keeney's main object was to defeat Sullins. He not only defeated Sullins but pulled away as he placed third in the event with a time of 2:48.88, compared to Sullins' time of 2:59.58. The run garnered 777 points for Keeney and gave him a school-record, topping the mark he set at the conference championship a few weeks ago.

 

Keeney is the third Tiger to claim a multi-event title, joining Forrest Gregory in the heptathlon (2007) and John Heckenlively in the pentathlon (1996). Keeney will attempt to become the first Tiger to win an outdoor multi-event title later this year.

 

Wolken also had a strong meet, setting a personal best mark with a total of 4,981 points. Wolken posted the best mark in the long jump with a leap of 22-07.00.

 

Adding to the conference's success, Jake Holmquist of Hastings College took third with 5,048 points. The Great Plains Athletic Conference took three of the Top 4 spots in both the men's heptathlon and the women's pentathlon in 2013.

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