Best of Babson Athletics 2016-17: Moment #4

Best of Babson Athletics 2016-17: Moment #4

NEWMAC Track Athlete of the Year Decker Caps 2017 Campaign as Program's First All-American

BABSON PARK, Mass.—After winning his heat with a record-setting performance in the prelims, Babson College men's track & field junior John Decker (Parkland, Fla.) came in fourth and became the first in program history, male or female, to earn All-America honors with a fourth-place finish in the 800-meter run at the NCAA Division III Championships in May.

Decker, who entered the national championships with the 10th best time in Division III, shattered his own school record for the third time in 2017 and became the first Babson athlete to qualify for the finals with a time of 1:50.48. He came back a day later and crossed the finish line with a time of 1:51.66 to come in fourth, just 0.36 off the pace of national champion Deko Ricketts of Washington University (Mo.).

The All-America performance at nationals capped a tremendous 2017 campaign for Decker, who cemented himself as one of the top middle-distance runners in the country. He was the first in school history to earn New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Track Athlete of the Year honors after posting victories in the 800 and 1500 meters, in addition to helping the Beavers win the 4x400-meter relay at the conference meet in late April.

Decker followed it up by becoming the program's first NCAA New England champion with his victory in the 800 meters on May 6, and also garnered all-region honors at both the NCAA regional meet and the NEICAAA meet a week later.