Goshen College’s men’s and women’s track and field seasons started off on the right foot last weekend at the University of Findlay Classic.
With only a handful of athletes participating, the Maple Leafs had four athletes qualifier for the NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships in March and also saw a school record fall in the process.
The race walk has been a big part of Goshen’s success on the track in recent years. All four of the college’s national qualifiers came from the 3k race walk. Jacob GunderKline, a junior, broke his own school record in the event.
GunderKline’s time of 13:39.26 was sixth overall in the event and second among college competitors, and shattered his previous record of 14:07.58.
Joining GunderKline at nationals will be two other members of the men’s team. Mitchell Brickson, a first-year, clocked in at 14:56.79, while David Horst, a senior, qualified by less than a second at 14:59.83.
On the women’s side, Erin Helmuth, a junior, will also return to the national championships. After finishing sixth at the 2011 championships to earn All-American honors, Helmuth qualified for 2012 nationals with a personal record of 15:52.90.
The 4×800 relay team of Billy Funk, a senior; Alejandro Rodriguez, a freshman; Jordan Smeltzer, a freshman and Brock GunderKline, a junior, finished sixth with a time of 8:32.84. Also Funk, Alain Chaponniere, a senior, GunderKline and Smeltzer finished in seventh place in the distance medley with a time of 11:08.03.
Other Maple Leaf performances:
At Findlay: Men’s 3,000-meter race walk: 14th, Barrett Donna 18:07.29; Men’s 4×800-meter relay: 6th, Billy Funk, Alejandro Rodriguez, Jordan Smeltzer, Brock GunderKline 8:32.84. Men’s distance medley relay: 7th, Funk, Chaponniere, B. GunderKline, Smeltzer 11:08.03.
At Trine: Men’s 400-meter dash: 6th, Kyler Lehman 55.64. Men’s 3,000-meter run: 3rd, Moses Kaelo 9:46.81. Women’s 3,000-meter run: 7th, Alli Beitler 13:15.99. Long jump: Lehman 19’9¾”. Pole vault: 6th, Oscar Amaro-Renteria 10’6″.
By Shane Miller