After a back and forth day of decathlon action, Wood came up 232 points shy of the title, finishing in second place. He did finish with a personal best score of 6,672 points, however, scoring over 6,600 for the second straight decathlon. This day saw him gain ground on eventual champion Jacob DeValve of Liberty in the day’s opening event, the 110-meter hurdles, but then fall back after the discus throw. A nearly 300-point gain by Wood in the pole vault, thanks to a personal best 4.45 meter jump (14’7 ¼”), set up a dual over the final two competitions, but DeValve was able to pull away in the javelin throw, the contest’s ninth event, for the eventual win.
Wood, however, was able to rebound from the decathlon’s javelin just a short time later, doing so by notching an All-Big South finish in the high jump, where he came home in third place. He cleared 2.01 meters (6’7”) to accomplish that feat. Wood has now scored 16 points thus far in the meet, after finishing seventh in the long jump on day one.
After two days of competition, the Keydets sit in fifth place overall, having scored 25 points. Liberty leads the way with 90.5, while Coastal Carolina is second with 52 markers. High Point is third (37 pts.), while Gardner-Webb sits fourth with 26 points. Winthrop (16.5), Charleston Southern (13), Campbell (6), UNC Asheville (5) and Radford (2) round out the standings after two days.
“Antonio did a very good job today,” said VMI head coach Darrin Webb. “We’re asking a lot of him this weekend, but he has certainly come through with flying colors. Our team also ran very well in the 1,500-meter run, as just like we did on the women’s side, we qualified all four of our runners to tomorrow’s final.”
That 1,500-meter run did indeed see all four Keydets advance to Saturday’s final. They will be led by Felix Kitur, seeking to win both the 800-meters and 1,500-meters at this meet for the second straight year. In addition to Kitur (3:57), Andrey Dmitriev (3:57.43) also advanced, while Dean Gonsalves and Ermin Mujezinovic did so as well.
Kitur, seeking his unprecedented fifth straight Big South outdoor 800-meter title, was the top qualifier for Saturday’s final. He paced his heat by nearly four seconds, and was over two seconds faster than the day’s next quickest competitor. Gonsalves qualified sixth for the 800, and will advance to Saturday’s action as well.
The final day of this year’s Big South Outdoor Track and Field Championships will begin Saturday at 10 a.m.