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4x400 Relay Finishes National Runner-Up In NCAA Thriller

From Sports Information Director, May 28, 2016 | Men's Track & Field
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

WAVERLY, Iowa - St. Norbert College's 4x400-meter relay finished as the national runner-up by the blink of an eye in the event's championship at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Wartburg College's Walston-Hoover Stadium.

The foursome of freshman Jon Gregory, senior Austin Livingston, junior Tyler Lewis and junior Ryan Grandlic turned in another school-record time, finishing in a blistering 3:10.63. The Green Knights were nipped at the finish line by UW-La Crosse, which won the national title with a time of 3:10.50.

The Green Knights moved themselves into contention by running with La Crosse, UW-Eau Claire and Salisbury University heading into the final two legs. On the third leg, the Salisbury runner had his baton knocked free, effectively removing the Sea Gulls from the leaders.

Grandlic, running anchor, got a clean exchange from Lewis heading into the final leg and ran with Eau Claire's Jimmy Paske and La Crosse's Ross Denman. Paske and Grandlic were stride-for-stride out front coming down the stretch, but Denman found an opening on the inside and shot past the pair in the final 20 meters to eke out the championship in a thrilling finish.

Grandlic's lean at the line clipped Paske for second place, with the Blugolds finishing in 3:10.69. The national runner-up finish for the quartet marks the highest finish for a St. Norbert relay at the NCAA national meet, surpassing last year's fourth-place showing in the 4x400.

St. Norbert's eight team points tied it for 35th place out of 82 teams scoring. La Crosse won the team championship with 41 points.