Harding Men's Track and Field Wins GAC Championship
May 7, 2016 at 3:44 AM CDT - Updated July 10 at 4:51 PM
HAWNEE, Okla. - Harding men's track and field totaled 193 points and won the team championship at the inaugural Great American Conference Championship on Friday at Eddie Hurt Memorial Stadium on the campus of Oklahoma Baptist.
Southern Arkansas was second with 117 points and Oklahoma Christian third with 68.
Harding junior Josh Syrotchen won the Most Valuable Athlete award for scoring a meet-best 37 points, and Bison head coach Steve Guymon received GAC Coach of the Year. Syrotchen, of Spokane, Washington, won the discus (188 feet, 5 inches), the javelin (165 feet, 5 inches) and the hammer throw (157 feet) and placed third in the shot put (47 feet, 1 inches).
Harding was dominant in the field events. In addition to Syrotchen's three titles, Harding sophomore Cameron Bienz won the high jump (6 feet, 6 inches) and junior DeMarcus Murphy won the triple jump (46 feet, 11 inches).
Harding's highest-scoring running event was the 3,000-meter steeplechase. The Bisons totaled 20 points, with Harding athletes placing second (Daniel Evans, 9:29.84), third (Jonathan Jackson, 9:37.94), fourth (Mesa Allison, 9:41.54) and fifth (Jordan Turney, 9:43.27).
Harding scored 27 points in the high jump, sweeping the top three spots. Bienz won and freshmen Jaleel Johnson and Landry Dowdy tied for second by clearing 6 feet, 4 inches and earning seven points each.
David Pencarinha won the decathlon with a school-record total of 6,355 points. Pencarinha won in the decathlon (10 points), placed second in the 400-meter hurdles (8), fourth in the high jump (4) and sixth in the javelin (1) to total 23 points.