May 26th, 2013

Musk, Sandlin earn All-American status

John Spugnardi

Bellarmine University S.I.D.

Musk, Sandlin earn All-American status

Bellarmine University outdoor track and field athletes Angela Musk and Robert Sandlin, Jr. posted All-American performances tonight at the 2013 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the ThunderBowl on the campus of Colorado State-Pueblo.  Each finished in the top eight of the 1,500 meters finals to earn the distinction.  

Both Musk and Sandlin encountered serious hardships on their way to becoming All-Americans.  Sandlin had to get a special exemption into the finals because he was bumped and fell during his preliminary race, and Musk's problems were even more dramatic. 

Just 100 meters from the finish line in tonight's final, Musk got her feet tangled with a competitor and went sprawling onto the track.  She quickly got back on her feet and finished the race, but her time and placement were adversely affected.  Even with the fall, Musk claimed eighth place in the race—the last spot to earn All-America status.  Her time of 4:38.04 was 4.19 seconds off of her preliminary time.

Sandlin's final race came without the dramatics of a tumble, but his performance was highly dramatic.  With about 300 meters to go, Sandlin was in 11th place and then just started picking off competitors until he reached the finish line in fourth place with a time of 3:56.41--some seven and a half seconds faster than in the preliminaries.

“They (Sandlin and Musk) both proved they are among the best runners in the country,” said Bellarmine Director of Track and Cross Country Jim Vargo.  “Robert and Angela both ran great races, just the way we drew them up—except for Angela getting tripped,” he added.

Vargo lauded Sandlin's finish. “He just ran out of real estate,” Vargo said. “If the race would have been a few more meters, he probably would have been first or second.  We had talked about him waiting and making something special happen in the last 200 meters.  Well, he did.”

“We aren't 100 percent sure what happened with Angela's fall,” Vargo said, “but for her to show the presence of mind to get up and finish the race was very rewarding,”  He added that Musk sustained multiple burns from the track surface as a result of the fall.

“It's impossible to tell exactly where she would have finished, but she was right up there with the leaders when she fell,” Vargo said. “Finishing eighth is still a great accomplishment.”

Vargo added that this was the first time Bellarmine's outdoor track and field program has produced male and female All-Americans in the same year.


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