The St. John’s men's 4x100-meter relay team of junior Jack Young (ROCORI), sophomore Kevin Arthur (Champlin Park) and seniors Brady Labine (Detroit Lakes) and Ryan Miller (Maple Grove) earned All-America distinction by placing fourth overall with a time of 40.86 seconds at the 2021 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships Saturday, May 29, in Greensboro, North Carolina.
The foursome finished third overall, second in the second heat, with a season-best time of 40.85 seconds in Thursday's prelims.
Wisconsin-La Crosse won the title in 40.21. St. John’s came into the meet the defending champions.
Miller and Labine waited two years to defend their national track and field title, as two returners from the SJU foursome that claimed first place in the event in a time of 40.92 seconds at the 2019 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships held in Geneva, Ohio.
Both were sophomores at the time – teamed with then-senior Drew Schoenbauer, now an assistant director of admissions at CSB/SJU, and sophomore Nick Gannon.
Labine talked extensively about that victory and the subsequent shutdown and missing a season to the Tribune while in COVID lockdown in 2020.
This year, Miller and Labine were joined by junior Jack Young and sophomore Kevin Arthur. The relay team's best time of 41.27 seconds is ranked 11th nationally heading into this year's national meet.
"It is kind of weird to think about," Labine said. "I'm always getting the years mixed up. I'll talk about (winning the national title) as last year when it really was 2019."
SJU's Ryan Miller earned his 2nd straight All-America honor in the 100m dash & another as a member of the Johnnies' 4x100m relay today at the 2021 @NCAADIII Championships!— Saint John's Athletics (@SJUJohnnies) May 30, 2021
RECAP: https://t.co/mTeFc0PE9r#GoJohnnies #d3tf pic.twitter.com/fXF1LJy2Ch
"I had mono during the indoor season last year. So, it really had been almost two years since I last competed in a track meet. It was so weird last spring to be sitting around at home doing nothing except running on the street by my house (in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota). It felt like we should be going back to nationals, or at least competing in a meet. But it definitely made me a lot more eager to get back out here this year. It's been a long time coming. We want to make the most of it."
Labine was one of eight Johnnies to earn U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Central Region honors across eight events May 21. To be selected for All-Region, a student-athlete must either be ranked in the top-five of an individual event in the region or be part of a top-three team relay.
Labine was second regionally and 11th nationally in the 4x100 (41.27).
NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships
4x100 M Relay
1 Wis.-La Crosse 'C' 40.21
2 Wis.-Oshkosh 40.57
3 Wartburg 40.82
4 St. John's 40.86 (Young, Arthur, Labine, Miller)
5 Wis.-Eau Claire 41.02
6 Mount Union 41.20
7 Rowan 41.22
8 Benedictine (Ill.) 41.47
9 John Carroll 41.71
(Frank Rajkowski, St. John's University writer and video producer contributed to this story)
Read more stories by Robert Williams here.