Mason Wittner, Staff Writer
Kennesaw State’s indoor track team scored points at the NCAA Championships for the first time in school history.
Junior Bilal Abdullah finished fourth in the heptathlon earning KSU five points in the NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas Saturday.
The meet marked the third consecutive season in which the Owls were represented in the NCAA Indoor Championship. Andre Dorsey has qualified for the championship three straight seasons, taking home indoor All-American honors in 2014.
The meet was Abdullah’s first appearance in the NCAA Championship. A runner must place within the top-eight of an event in order to score points for his team. Abdullah placed first in the 60m hurdles with a time of 7.87 seconds on Saturday, and followed up with a personal best 4.55m(14’11) in vaulting to finish 11th.
Abdullah finished the NCAA championships placing fourth and is the first athlete in KSU history to score points at the event.
“Bilal just performed amazing,” KSU head track and field coach Andy Eggerth said. “He exceeded my expectations. Heptathlons are very difficult because there are so many events and some of them are very difficult, so it’s very easy to have mishaps, but Abdullah was on fire the entire weekend. The three guys that finished ahead of him all had top-ten all time NCAA performances as far as their scores in the heptathlon.”
Dorsey, plagued with injuries throughout the season, struggled on the second day of the meet and placed 13th at the end of the day Saturday.
The meet wrapped up an historic season for the Owls as they finished the regular season undefeated, setting 20 school records en route to picking up their fourth Atlantic Sun Indoor championship.
“We couldn’t have asked for anything more than what the year brought for us on the men’s side,” Eggerth said. “We are really excited about that, but at the same time I feel the program is going to use this to grow in the future. I think we will bring in some good recruits and continue to develop the guys that are here, and we’ll have even bigger things in store for the future. Very excited, very happy, but never satisfied.”
KSU now faces a quick turnaround as the Outdoor Track and Field season begins with March 27th with a meet at Georgia Tech.
“This is a really tough time of year because they’ve been training hard since the first day they stepped on campus,” Eggerth said. “So with Georgia Tech, we have to get a certain number of meets in and we want to give some people opportunities to compete, but we’re not going to do a lot of competition there. Most athletes will compete in one or two events, but they ultimately need to rest and train for this early outdoor season.”