NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Senior Darius Flowers (Birmingham, Ala.) has been the face of the Gallaudet men’s track and field program for the past four years and on Saturday his hard work and determination paid off at the 2013 Mason-Dixon conference outdoor championships at Christopher Newport University.
Flowers won two jumping events and was a member of the Bison 4x400 meter relay team that finished fifth overall during the two-day event. For his performance he was named Men’s Field Athlete of the Meet to go with his two conference titles.
Gallaudet finished sixth overall, the best finish during Flower’s career, with 32 team points. The host Captains from CNU swept the men’s and women’s championships. The Bison finished eighth last season and seventh the year prior. In 2010, Flowers was the lone representative GU sent to the Mason-Dixon championships but as an individual he still earned team points as Gallaudet placed ninth.
Flowers won the long jump on his first jump, when he cleared 6.72 meters (22 feet, 0.75 inches). During his six jumps during the event, he cleared 6.45 meters or better on every jump but one. Flowers won his key event, the triple jump, when jumped 14.28 meters (46 feet, 10.25 inches) on his last jump attempt to regain his Mason-Dixon crown for that event. Flowers finished second in 2012 after winning the event in 2011 at the conference championships. He was also second in 2010 in the triple jump.
The Bison relay team of freshman Alex Close (Tallahassee, Fla.), sophomore Michael Haynes (Edwardsville, Ill.), Vianney Boum Yamb (Silver Spring, Md.) and Flowers were fifth with a time of 3:26.53.
Haynes earned all-conference honors when he won the 110-meter hurdles event in 15.48 seconds. Close was 10th in the 400-meter dash as he crossed the finish line in 51.80 seconds.
Freshman Ivan Alfaro (Yakima, Wash.) was Gallaudet’s top long distance runner at the Mason-Dixon championships. Alfaro finished ninth in the 5,000-meter run (16:39.11) and 10,000-meter run (35:27.17).
In the field, newly acquired Shelby Bean (Arvada, Colo.) finished 10th in the shot put with a toss 10.74 meters (35 feet, three inches) on his first throw.
The Mason-Dixon Conference was founded in 1936 as a track and field only conference for schools from Maryland, Virginia and D.C. The original schools included American University, Baltimore University, Catholic University of America, University of Delaware, Gallaudet University, Johns Hopkins University, Randolph-Macon College, Washington (Md.) College and Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College).