CSU-Pueblo's Thomas Staines wins National Championship in the 800m

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PITTSBURG, Kan. Sophomore Thomas Staines (Colorado Springs, Colo.) ran to the second fastest 800m time in NCAA Division II history and broke the indoor national championships meet record to claim the first indoor track and field national championship in Colorado State University-Pueblo program history, Saturday on the final day of the national meet.

Staines ran to a time of 1:47.23 to claim the title by more than a second. He was in fifth at 200m and moved his way up to second at the 500m mark, then turned on the burners for the final lap and left no doubt in his victory.

He claims just the third national title, indoor or outdoor, in program history with two national championships being claimed at the outdoor championships in 1967 in the mile and the 4x400m relay.

That 1966-67 squad finished seventh to claim the highest placing, indoor or outdoor, at a national championships. The ThunderWolves claimed just the third top 10 finish in program history, as the Pack totaled 22 points to tie for ninth. CSU-Pueblo was the second highest scoring team among Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference institutions, as Adams State University was third.

Senior Derrick Williams (Columbia Falls, Mont.) added four team points to the mix when he finished fifth in the 3000m run with a time of 8:08.63. He claimed All-American honors for the 11th time in his career with the ThunderWolves (one in cross country, six at indoor nationals, four at outdoor championships).

Friday, Staines led off and Williams anchored the distance medley relay team to a runner-up finish to score eight team points. Also members of that All-American squad were senior Dueth Vassell (Denver, Colo.) and junior Devundrick Walker (Aurora, Colo.).