LA CROSSE, Wisc. - Calvin sophomore Caleb Ferguson used a furious finish to earn All-American honors in the 3,000 meter steeplechase Saturday at the NCAA III Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Ferguson passed four runners in the final 150 meters to finish seventh in a time of 9:15.88. In earning a top-eight individual finish, Ferguson became the 10th individual in Calvin men's track and field history to claim All-America honors in the steeplechase including the first since 2012.
Ferguson advanced to Saturday's championship final by gaining the 14th and final qualifying berth in Thursday's prelims. He moved up seven spots in Saturday's final with a strategic race. Ferguson ran in 11th place for the majority of the race while staying out congestion over the water pit and barriers. With 150 meters left, Ferguson put on a finishing kick to pass four runners and move into All-America position. Ferguson finished just two-tenths of a second out of sixth place.
"Caleb ran an outstanding race," said Calvin head track and field coach Bret Otte. "He ran consistent splits, gave himself enough space to hurdle the barriers cleanly and then came through with an incredible final kick. We are extremely proud of his effort. To achieve All-America honors as a sophomore is a tremendous accomplishment."
Ferguson is now one of 10 individuals in Calvin men's track and field history to earn NCAA III All-America honors in the steeplechase. Calvin distance coach Brian Diemer has guided all 10 of those runners. "Caleb ran an outstanding race," said Diemer. "He took some valuable lessons from his prelim race on Thursday and used those to his advantage today. He stayed out of trouble and left enough in the tank to make a strong move at the finish. He showed great determination and heart in his final lap and is very worthy to be named an All-American."
Ferguson's All-America finish allowed the Calvin men's track and field team to finish in 72nd place with two points. Mount Union won the national team title with 36 points.
CALVIN MEN'S 3,000 METER STEEPLECHASE ALL-AMERICANS
1987 – Pat McNamara – 7th place
1988 – Pat McNamara – 8th place
1989 – Pat McNamara – 1st place
1990 - John Lumkes – 1st place
1993 – Matt Schellenberg – 3rd place
1995 – Jason Washler – 7th place
1998 – Geoff Van Dragt – 3rd place
2002 – Justin Pfruender – 3rd place
2003 – Andy Yazzie – 7th place
2009 – Nate DeHaan – 6th place
2010 – Nick Kramer – 4th place
2011 – Nick Kramer – 3rd place
2012 - Nick Kramer – 1st place
2018 - Caleb Ferguson - 7th place