BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Freshman Mark Valentino (Smithtown, N.Y.) of the Marist track and field team placed 13th out of 21 competitors in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the U.S.A Track & Field Junior Championships on Sunday. Running under extremely hot, humid and sunny conditions, Valentino posted a time of 9:50.62.
Valentino began at a strong pace, and was in the top five of the race through the first 1,000 meters. Of the four runners who have competed in the steeplechase at junior nationals in program history, Valentino's finish was the second highest. He entered the race seeded 12th.
"Mark battled hard and race well in tough conditions," Marist director of track & field/cross country Pete Colaizzo said. "He held his own among some excellent competition and closed out what was a strong freshman outdoor track season."
Valentino is the 12th member of the program to compete at junior nationals in the last five years, and the 19th since 1998.