Eastern Mennonite University senior Connor Faint (Winchester, Va./Millbrook) finished his career in style, breaking an ODAC record and earning his second straight All-America honor when he crossed third in the 400m hurdles at the NCAA Track & Field Championships on Saturday. Teammate Grant Amoateng (Bristow, Va./Patriot) later took 13th in the triple jump, as the duo wrapped up on the national stage in back-to-back years.
After drawing the outside lane in the finals last year at Nationals, Faint ran out of the more desirable third lane on Saturday, second from the inside and with a clear view of the rest of the field. He ran a flawless effort through the hurdles, and then turned on the afterburners down the final stretch. Faint used his speed to hold on to his bronze spot, crossing third in :51.35.
Faint's time bested his EMU-record PR of :51.89 from earlier this spring, but was also the best time in the history of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. Safwan Williams of Lynchburg held the previous mark at :51.72 from 1999, with Faint's :51.35 breaking one of the oldest track marks in the ODAC by 0.37 seconds.
After finishing eighth last year, Faint because the first EMU male to earn multiple All-American honors, and he did it in back-to-back years. He also claimed the highest finish for any male in program history. Kenny Layman held the previous high mark for finishing fourth in the outdoor 5000m in 1978.
Seeding held true for the top two finishers in the race, with Peter Girardi of St. John Fisher winning with a :50.50. Rowan's Anthony Salemo, who was last year's national champion, was second in :51.06. Faint held off Josh Yamamoto of Augustana (Ill.) by :0.10. Yamamoto had earned the No. 3 seed heading into Nationals and had the top time from Thursday's preliminaries.
Participating in the outdoor Nationals for the second straight year, Amoateng improved on each of his first three attempts, finally landing a 14.47m (47ft-5.75in) on his last attempt. He stood fourth out of the ten men in his first heat, and then had to wait out the second heat to see if he remained in the top nine to earn three more jumps in the finals.
EMU's junior slid down to 13th after the second heat, leaving him out of the finals. Amoateng had entered as the No. 12 seed with his PR jump of 14.71 (48ft-3.25in) during the season.
Benedictine sophomore Luther Newburn repeated his national title with a jump of 15.89m (52ft-1.75in).
Amoateng matched his 2017 finish when came in 13th with a jump of 14.16m (46ft-5.5in).
The national meet was hosted by University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in La Crosse, Wisc.