LA CROSSE, Wis. – Haverford College senior Peter Kissin ran to a fourth-place finish in the 10,000-meter run Thursday evening at the NCAA 2013 Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championship meet hosted by the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse. Teammates Jordan Schilit and Avi Bregman also had good days on the opening day of the three-day meet as each earned spots in their respective event finals on Saturday afternoon.
Kissin was part of a lead pack of four runners that broke free of the other 16 runners halfway through Thursday's timed final. The pack's leader fell back with a little more than four laps remaining moving Kissin, who had patiently hung on in fourth, into third place.
The lead two runners broke free on the last lap with Kissin left to fight off a hard-charging Dan Kerr of Calvin College. Kerr was able to edge past Kissin coming around the last turn but Kissin still posted a career-best time of 30 minutes, 00.85 seconds for fourth place and All-American status.
Aaron Easker of Wis.-Eau Claire captured the individual title with a winning time of 29:48.25.
Prior to Kissin's event final Schilit raced in the preliminary heats of the 1,500.
Schilit was in the first of two heats and bided his time in third place for the opening laps of the race. He moved into second on the back stretch of the last 400 then came out of the final turn and raced into the lead on the final straightaway, pulling away to capture the heat in a time of 3:50.75.
The top four runners from each heat plus the next four fastest times head into Saturday's event final at 3 p.m. Schilit will enter the race as the top seed, ahead of Dan Sullivan, heat two's winner and the reigning national champion in the event, from Wis.–Stevens Point.
Bregman ran in heat one, of two, of the 3,000m steeplechase shortly after Kissin's race.
Halfway through the race the front of the pack of 10 runners had distanced itself slightly from the others with Bregman holding fourth place throughout. He finished in fourth with a time of 9:06.21 to earn his way into the event final Saturday at 2:10 p.m.
The top five runners from each of the steeplechase heats automatically qualify for the final with the next four fastest joining their ranks. Jack Davies of Middlebury College, heat one's winner, enters the 14-man final with the fastest time, 9:03.49, from the prelims.
The team standings of the championship meet, with only three events scored, see Haverford in in 11th with the five points earned from Kissin's all-American effort in the 10,000.
The meet continues Friday with more preliminary heats on the oval and several event finals off the track.
Saturday's list of events will include the 5,000m final with Haverford's Christopher Stadler trying to pull off the indoor/outdoor double. Stadler captured the 5,000 at the 2013 indoor championship. Schilit and Kissin also qualified for the event and will join Stadler in the timed final.
NCAA 2013 D-III Outdoor Track & Field Championship, live results