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Press Release: Garcia Wins Hurdle Title at NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships


Garcia Wins Hurdle Title at NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships

First, UMass Dartmouth senior track and field student-athlete Jon Garcia (Stoneham, MA/Stoneham HS) beat the rain. Then he beat the rest of the field, earning his first NCAA outdoor championship and his second NCAA championship overall when he finished first in the 110 meter hurdles at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships at J.J. Keller Field at Titan Stadium at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Saturday afternoon.

Author:  Dave Geringer
Date:  May 26, 2007
Department:   Athletics - Outdoor Track And Field - Men
OSHKOSH, WI-First, UMass Dartmouth senior track and field student-athlete Jon Garcia (Stoneham, MA/Stoneham HS) beat the rain. Then he beat the rest of the field, earning his first NCAA outdoor championship and his second NCAA championship overall when he finished first in the 110 meter hurdles at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships at J.J. Keller Field at Titan Stadium at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Saturday afternoon.

Garcia won the race in 14.58 seconds, defeating Dorran Coley of Thiel by 0.25 seconds. Coley was second in 14.83 seconds, with Ben Zizis of Wisconsin Platteville third in 14.90 seconds.

The weather failed to cooperate. It was cloudy and very windy Saturday, and the rain that began to fall during the 110 meter hurdle race soon turned into a downpour.

"In the finals, I came out of the blocks a little bit slower, and with the wind and a front coming in, I had to make sure and stay in my lane," said Garcia. "After the first three hurdles, I was able to catch up. After I won last year indoors and lost outdoors, I was mentally focused all year. I really wanted to win outdoors. The coaches said that I came out of the blocks stronger, I would run well. I came out of the blocks really strong in the trials, but I came out a little bit slower today."

Last year, Garcia dueled with Marcus Walgrave of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, defeating Walgrave indoors in the 55 meter hurdles, but falling victim to Walgrave outdoors. Garcia was disappointed he didn't get another shot.

"The whole year, I wanted to race Marcus Walgrave and have him push me to break 14 seconds," said Garcia. "He had a hip injury this summer, so he's running the 100 and 200 instead of the hurdles."

While the conditions weren't the best, Garcia's performance was tops on the day. "It was a great day for Jon," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Devlyn Lovell. "The conditions weren't the best, but that's what happens outdoors. Jon is an exceptional athlete, and we're very happy that he won."

An injury that forced Garcia to miss the indoor season this year will allow him another shot at the indoor championship next year. "I'll be training with my brother and run some unattached races this summer," said Garcia. "I have one more year next year, and I'll be trying to run a great time and get my title back."

Garcia earned the fifth All-America honor of his career. He earned his fourth such honor by finishing fourth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships last season, while his previous first place finish was in the 55 meter hurdles at the 2006 NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships. Garcia has also earned All-America honors by finishing seventh in the 55-meter hurdles at the 2005 NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships and by finishing sixth in the 110-meter hurdles at the 2005 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

UMASS DARTMOUTH TRACK AND FIELD

Final
Wind = -2.3 m/s
    1 Jon Garcia, Sr, UMass Dartmouth                   14.58           
    2 Dorran Coley, So, Thiel College                   14.83           
    3 Ben Zizis, Jr, Wisconsin Platteville              14.90           
    4 Jamar Jackson, So, Wisconsin La Crosse            14.94           
    5 Nate Thornhill, Sr, Capital University            14.98           
    6 James Klobucar, Jr, Cornell College               15.01           
    7 Jermaine Morris, So, Lincoln University           15.03           
    8 Jarod Renford, Jr, Greenville College             15.05           
    9 Howard Powell, Fr, Wheaton College (MA)           15.11   
 

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