By WARREN DILLAWAY - firstname.lastname@example.org
HARPERSFIELD TOWNSHIP —
One Pymatuning Valley graduate is winding down his running career while another is just getting started at the University of the Cumberlands.
Landon Hamilton fell short of making the 5,000-meter finals Thursday afternoon during the National Intercollegiate Athletics Association Indoor Track and Field National Championships at Spire Institute.
Hamilton ran with the leaders for the first half of the 3.1-mile race and then fell back and couldn’t make up the distance. He finished 15th overall in a time of 15:26 falling 20 seconds short of the final qualifying spot.
“I just didn’t have it today,” Hamilton said while talking with his coaches after the race.
He said it was great to be back in Ashtabula County but it would have been nicer to run well.
Cumberlands head coach Floyd Stroud said Hamilton had a knee problem after running lots of mileage getting ready for a marathon run with the NAIA Track and Field Outdoor National Championships.
“He had to back off his training,” Stroud said.
Stroud said it has been nice having both Hamilton and fellow PV graduate Jonathan Gears on his team.
“It has been really great,” he said. “They are both great guys.”
Gears, a sophomore, has improved greatly since he arrived at the school last fall, Stroud said.
“He has really gotten so much better,” he said. “I think he is going to be really good.”
Julie Hamilton said it was fun to see her son run so close to home, but it was a little strange, as well.
“It’s kind of weird this is it (the end of his indoor college career),” Hamilton said.
Gears will be running a 3,000-meter semifinal at 5:45 p.m. today.
He said he decided to transfer schools and decided to follow Hamilton to Cumberlands.
“It’s nice. I told my coach this was the track I ran my first high school meet on,” Gears said.
“Me and Landon have been joking that if we make it to Nationals it would be a home meet,” Gears said.
He said the training has worked well for him this year.
“It’s a lot more intense and a lot more (mileage),” he said.