Liberty's Jovaine Atkinson Finishes 4th in NCAA Men's 60 Hurdles Final

Mar. 10, 2018 General

Liberty redshirt sophomore Jovaine Atkinson capped off his visit to the 2018 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships by placing fourth in the men's 60 hurdles final, Saturday evening at Texas A&M's Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium.

Thanks to Atkinson's five points, Liberty tied Ohio State, Oklahoma and Akron for 41st place in the final men's team standings. Florida took home the men's team national championship with 40 points, while USC finished second with 37.

Atkinson, who had posted a Liberty and Big South-record time of 7.64 during Friday's semifinal round, finished in 7.72 seconds on Saturday. The Spanish Town, Jamaica, native's first career All-America certificate is of the first team variety. He becomes Liberty's first athlete to garner first team All-America recognition at this meet since 2011, when Sam Chelanga finished as the men's 5K runner-up.

Florida sophomore Grant Holloway successfully defended his national title with a winning time of 7.47 seconds, scoring 10 big points toward the Gators' team championship. The only other two runners to defeat Atkinson on Saturday were seniors, including the Big Ten champion (Nebraska's Antoine Lloyd, second place, 7.60) and the MPSF champion (Cal's Ashtyn Davis, third place, 7.63). Atkinson edged Youngstown State's Chad Zallow by seven thousandths of a second for the fourth position.

Atkinson's impressive season saw him lower his own Liberty men's 60 hurdles record four times, slicing it from 7.94 to 7.64 seconds. He became the first runner ever to sweep the Big South men's 60 dash and 60 hurdles championships at the same meet. Atkinson was also recognized as the Big South Men's Outstanding Track Performer and Big South Men's Indoor Track & Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year.