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McCann’s Collegiate Season Ends In NCAA Championships Semifinals

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
Release: June 12, 2014
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EUGENE, Ore. – Drake University sophomore Rob McCann (Mississauga, Ontario) saw his breakout collegiate season come to an end on Thursday evening at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, staged at Oregon’s Hayward Field.

McCann finished 11th in his heat of the 3,000-meter steeplechase and 21st overall in the semifinals with a time of 9:02.26. The top five finishers from each of the two semifinal heats plus the next two fastest times advanced to Saturday’s championship race.

“Though he didn’t get the result he wanted tonight, Rob has had a really great track season,” said Drake University distance coach Dan Hostager. “He’ll continue for two more weeks to prepare for the Canadian Track & Field Championships in two weeks before resting to prepare for the fall cross country season.”

McCann stayed close to the pack for the first half of the race before the front of the pack, led by heat winner Stanley Kebenei of Arkansas, started to pull away. Kebenei finished in 8:48.83, which was only the ninth fastest qualifying time of the evening.

Despite not advancing to the finals, the NCAA appearance caps a stellar season for the sophomore who was just one of five underclassmen in the nation to qualify for the veteran-laden field in the steeplechase at the NCAA Championships.

“The national level experience and his big personal bests will serve him well next year and going forward,” Hostager said.

Two weeks ago, he set a personal best of 8:46.44 in the event at the NCAA West Preliminary to advance to Eugene, Ore., for the NCAA Championships with the second fastest time in school history and the fastest by a Bulldog in 33 years. That race came on the heels of his Missouri Valley Conference Championship in the event on May 17 with a then personal best of 8:50.79.

In addition to his MVC title, he was named the league’s Elite 18 Award winner, given to the student-athlete with the highest grade point average at each of the league’s championship events.

He will continue his competitive season in his native Canada when he participates in the Canadian Track & Field Championships in Moncton, New Brunswick, June 27-29.

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