BRADENTON, Fla. – Junior John Braga (North Reading, Mass.) of the Merrimack College men’s track & field program competed in the final five events of the Decathlon at the 2016 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships hosted at IMG Academy on Friday, finishing in eighth place with a personal record of 7,013 points. The finish deemed Braga an All-American, and marked him a spot on the podium as one of the eight best decathletes nationwide.
Event: 2016 NCAA DII Outdoor Track & Field Championships – Day 2
Top Competitors: John Braga (8th/16 Decathlon)
Location: IMG Academy | Bradenton, Fla.
How It Happened
Braga entered Friday morning in fifth place following the five events that took place on Thursday: the 100-meter dash, long jump, shot put, high jump and 400-meter dash. He tied his personal record with a height of 1.99 meters in the high jump, tying for second among the field. He ended the day by sprinting to a fifth-place finish in the 400 meters, establishing a new personal best with a time of 50.15 seconds.
The junior began Friday with a bang, setting a personal record with the 110-meter hurdles. He finished the stretch in 15.63 seconds, marking the second best run in the event in school annals. He followed that up with another PR, this time in the discus, throwing it nearly 33 meters to add 521 points to his overall score.
The third event of the day – the eighth of 10 overall – saw Braga break the school record in the pole vault with a 4.20-meter launch. The afternoon then turned to the javelin throw, which saw the North Reading native mirror his overall finish by ranking in eighth place, with his best toss reaching nearly 50 meters in distance.
Braga set a personal record, including his first time reaching over 7,000 points, by running to third place in the 1500. He posted a time of 4:32.33, just four seconds behind the winner in the event.
Senior Cody Thomas of Alaska Anchorage entered Day 2 with the overall lead and ended the day as the NCAA Champion, totaling 7,590 points. Two student-athletes from Azusa Pacific, Shakiel Chattoo and Justin Balczak, finished in second and third, respectively.
Inside The Results
Thursday – Day 1
100m – 11.35s / 6th
LJ – 7.09m / T-4th
SP –10.46m / 16th
HJ – 1.99m / T-2nd
400m – 50.15s / 5th
Friday – Day 2
110m Hurdles – 15.63s / 13th
Discus – 32.85m / 14th
PV – 4.20m / T-12th
JT – 49.52m / 8th
1500m – 4:32.44s / 3rd