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Indoor Track & Field - Mon, Mar. 6, 2017

The St. Ambrose University men's indoor track and field team has been named the Buffalo Funds Five-Star Champions of Character Team award winner for its sport for the second time in four years.

The award is presented at the end of the season to teams competing in each of the 23 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics-sanctioned sports. Teams of Character are honored for their overall commitment to the program's five core values — integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership.

The SAU men were honored for their team-wide participation "Bee the Difference Day," when groups of eight helped elderly and homebound residents in the neighborhoods surrounding the campus with yard work; for their individual participation and leadership in campus organizations such as Dance Marathon; for leadership in a reading program at a local grade school; for buying gifts and spending time at Christmas with a group of students at another local grade school; and for participation in Campus Ministry and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

"I'm very proud of the men on this team and the way they represent us to the campus and the larger community," said head coach Dan Tomlin '05, '10 MBA. "A lot is expected of them and they have learned to embrace it and take advantage of opportunities in front of them. They are challenged to become leaders and when they takes those roles, whether on campus or off campus, they add to the fabric of our community."

The 2016-2017 team is the third Fighting Bees athletics team to win the Champions of Character team award. Previously, the men's indoor track team was honored in 2013 and the women's indoor track team received the award in 2015.

The men were presented the award on Friday, March 3, at the NAIA National Indoor Championships in Johnston City, Tenn., where they went on to post a fourth place finish, the highest national finish in program history, bettering an 11 th place finish a year ago.

Junior Anthony Peters won his second straight indoor 3,000 meter race walk national title, adding to an individual title in the outdoor nationals his freshman season. The Bees also got a second-place finish in the race walk from Emilio Mancha in the race walk and a runner-up finish from Michael Ohioze in the 400-meter sprint. Ohioze also finished eight in the 200-meter sprint and anchored a fifth-place finish in the 1600-meter relay, which included legs from Jack Reemtsma, Matt Ferris and Rane Nichols. Cole Connell finished fourth in the heptathlon.

The St. Ambrose women finished 25th overall. Race walkers Jenny Lopez, Katharine Newhoff and Cassandra Delgado finished fourth, sixth and eighth, respectively, Brandi Hosford finished seventh in the triple jump and Molly Jo Smith finished ninth in the 400 meters. Smith (preliminaries), Nicole Woodall, Ashley Plumb, Sarah Adams and Sarah Lampe teamed to key an eighth-place finish in the 3,200-meter relay.

All 15 SAU qualifiers for the national meet earned All-American status.