Vanderbilt senior Nikos Gkotsis earned the title of Greek National Champion in the steeplechase this weekend, as he ran a personal-best time of 9:04.27 at this weekend's Pan-Hellenic Championships in Patras, Greece.
Gkotsis was a top performer for the Vanderbilt cross country team throughout the 2016 season. He was the second Commodore across the line at the NCAA South Regionals and the SEC Championships with times of 32:39.90 and 26:06.70, respectively, and helped lead Vanderbilt to its highest team finish in the NCAA Regionals (16th) since 2010. Gkotsis also enjoyed success during the indoor track season, as he set a new school record in the 5000-meter run with a time of 14:51.47 at the Vanderbilt Invitational in January.
Director of Cross Country/Track & Field Steve Keith was thrilled to see Nikos excel on a big stage in his home country. "It was great to see Nikos win at his National Championships. The steeplechase had been a focus the last month of his training and he was able to come up with a big personal best when it mattered most, so we're all proud of him."
Gkotsis was also a standout in the classroom during his time at Vanderbilt. He recently graduated during this May's commencement ceremony with a degree in mechanical engineering and was honored by the SEC each semester on the conference's academic honor roll.
|Pan-Hellenic Championships (3000m Steeplechase-M)|
|1. Gotsis Nikos (RAS Athens)||9:04.27|
|2. Minos George (AO Mykonos)||9:09.11|
|3. Phila Stelios (OLYMPIACOS SFP)||9:09.39|
|4. Tzanetopoulos Achilles (OFKA Ulysses)||9:09.80|
|5. Karaiskos Panayotis (Pan GA)||9:13.36|
|6. Nikos Sakis (AEK)||9:14.92|
|7. Iason Ioannidis (Hercules GP)||9:15.76|
|8. Konstantinos Vranas (Hercules GP)||9:22.86|