Junior Matt Molinaro qualifies for 800-meter run finals at 2017 NCAA Div. III Outdoor Track & Field Championships

Junior Matt Molinaro qualifies for 800-meter run finals at 2017 NCAA Div. III Outdoor Track & Field Championships

By Caleb Scott

GENEVA — Junior Matt Molinaro (Sterling Heights, Mich./DeLaSalle) posted a solid performance and advanced to Saturday's 800-meter run finals during Day 2 of the 2017 NCAA Div. III Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday afternoon at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.

Molinaro finished first in his heat and posted the fastest time overall in 1:50.22 in the event.

"I really wanted to get after it today," said Molinaro. "I wasn't really sure where I was at because there wasn't really a clock anywhere so I just wanted to go for the win. I'm happy with where I'm at and I'm really looking forward to the finals tomorrow."

"Matt's race wasn't quite as smooth as we expected but he ran really well," said head coach Jason Maus. "Tactically, he ran very well and was really smart. He seemed in control through the whole race and looked like he was really confident with his race. We accomplished the goal for today and now we get to look forward to the finals tomorrow."

The Polar Bears return to the track on the final day of the 2017 Championships as seniors Kase Schalois (Van Wert) and Lucas Shumate (Wapakoneta/Spencerville) and Molinaro compete in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, hammer throw and 800-meter run finals.