Brunnette caps career with ninth place finish in steeplechase
GENEVA, Ohio – Plymouth State University senior Sam Brunnette (Newport Center, Vt.) concluded an impressive career with a ninth place finish in the 3000-meter steeplechase at the 2019 NCAA Division III Men's Outdoor Track & Field Championship at the SPIRE Institute on Saturday morning.
Brunnette, who was making a second straight appearance at the outdoor championships, narrowly missed a fifth All-American finish after crossing the line in ninth with a time of 9:18.54.
The result marks the completion of an unbelievable career, which included seven NCAA Championship appearances, four All-Americans, four New England Regional titles and 13 Little East Conference championships.
2019 NCAA Division III Men's Outdoor Track & Field Championships – No Team Score
How it Happened:
* On a blistering hot day, Brunnette opened the race at the back of the pack.
* By the end of the first lap he had inched up to ninth, as the top three runners pulled away.
* Brunnette maintained his place into the third lap and a minor crash on the first hurdle took out a pair of runners behind him.
* He crept into seventh at the end of his third lap, then moved up two more places late in the fourth.
* Brunnette moved into a top-four position to start the sixth lap with a tight pack right behind him.
* He stumbled coming out of the final water pit and made a quick recovery, but a group of runners slipped past him to drop him to ninth, where he would ultimately finish.
Straight From the Coach's Mouth:
"I enjoyed watching that race as much as any race Sam has ever run," said head coach John Ostler. "It was equal parts smart and courageous. The steeple is such a demanding event, sometimes it doesn't matter how good 99% of the competition is, a bad 1% will determine the outcome. Overall my heart is overfull with pride to be Sam's coach. His career was built off hard work, racing bravery and great sportsmanship. Those characteristics were on full display until the very end. All of Plymouth State should be proud of how he represented our community. I'm grateful to have been along for the ride."
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